Falls are one of the top workplace accidents. Any city with tall buildings must work with scaffolds during construction and repairs. Workplaces must give workers safety gear and training to prevent falls, but accidents happen and you can get compensated for them.
If you’ve fallen in a scaffold accident, you may be owed compensation beyond what worker’s compensation offers. Morelli Law can help you get it. We have scaffold accident lawyers who handle fall cases in Mount Vernon, NY.
New York’s Scaffold Law
New York has a particular labor law that covers fall accidents on construction sites. It’s nicknamed the scaffold law, but it covers almost all gravity-related accidents that a worker might suffer. It covers them whether they fall off something or someone drops and falls on you.
New York Labor Law 240 explains what owners, contractors, and their agents must do to secure elevation devices like scaffolding. In brief, it says these devices must be constructed, placed, and operated in a way that they can be used safely.
If an employer fails to do this, then an employee could sue their employer directly under the scaffolding law. The courts have also leaned toward making employers and owners 100% responsible for the accident if the plaintiff is successful.
How This Law Works with Workers’ Compensation
You can collect both workers’ compensation and make a claim under the scaffolding law, but there are limits to who you can sue. In almost all cases, if you pursue workers’ compensation then you cannot sue your employer. That system was built to avoid that situation.
However, if there are multiple parties to blame for the accident, then you could pursue workers’ comp through your employer and still sue another party under the scaffolding law. This can also help you get damages you couldn’t usually receive under workers’ comp, like pain and suffering.
Our scaffolding accident lawyers in Mount Venon, NY, can help you learn all of your legal options and offer advice to help you decide which route is best. Victims from scaffolding falls often have permanent injuries that require ongoing medical care, so you need someone on your side who will fight to bring you the full value of your claim.
Mount Vernon Scaffold Accident Lawyer Near Me 877-751-9800
When does the Scaffold Law Apply?
There are three elements to the scaffold law you must meet to make a successful claim. First, there must be an owner or general contractor responsible for the project.
Second, you have to be a worker for them performing building work. Specifically, “erection, demolition, repairing, altering, painting, cleaning, or pointing of a building or structure.” If you are a passerby that got hit by something falling from a scaffold, you could not sue under this law (though you could sue under the usual personal injury laws).
Third, the accident has to be related to gravity. Something or someone must be falling. If all three apply to your case, call Morelli Law to speak with one of our scaffolding accident attorneys in Mount Vernon. You may be owed compensation under the scaffold law.
Are There Exceptions?
There are two exceptions to the scaffold law. Owners of single-family homes and duplexes who do not direct or control the work are exempt from following the scaffolding law. So if you’re a roofer or a painter and you fall off a scaffold or ladder during work, you could not sue the owner under the scaffold law.
The second exception are any architects, engineers, or designers that only do planning and design for a building project. These people don’t control or direct the physical work and are considered exempt unless they direct or control the work beyond planning and design.
What Compensation May I Recover?
If you can sue for your scaffolding accident, you can sue for medical expenses, lost income and future earnings disability, and many non-economic damages that aren’t covered by workers’ compensation like pain and suffering.
There is also a chance you could recover punitive damages. If your employer was especially negligent or reckless, the court may give you additional money as a punishment for the defendant. These awards serve as a warning to other companies to avoid breaking New York’s labor laws.
If you file only a workers’ compensation claim, your options for compensation are more limited. You can get coverage for your medical bills but you can only recover a portion of your lost wages. A scaffolding injury lawyer can help you maximize your workers’ compensation claim and your lawsuit.
How Long do I Have to File a Scaffold Accident Claim?
If you sue under the scaffold law, you must do so before the statute of limitations runs out. In New York, you have three years to start a lawsuit for personal injury. If you go beyond this deadline, the court will say you took too long and dismiss your case.
For workers’ compensation, begin your claim as soon as possible after your accident. The deadlines for filing are much tighter. Morelli Law can help you with your workers’ compensation claim if you’re worried about rejection, or help you at your hearing if they deny your claim.
Causes of Scaffolding Accidents
To prevail in a lawsuit, you will need to prove the cause of your fall from a height at work. On scaffolds, common causes of fall accidents include:
- Planks on the scaffold breaking or slipping
- Slipping on something on the scaffold and falling
- Poor or missing fall protection equipment
- Falling objects off a scaffold
On any job that’s higher than a single floor, a fall from a scaffold can cause traumatic brain injury, spinal injuries, fractures, and even death. Many scaffold accidents are fatal if they happen on tall buildings. Morelli Law can help you with making a wrongful death claim if you’re a survivor in this unfortunate situation.
If You’ve Been Injured, Call Morelli Law
If you need a scaffold accident attorney in Mount Vernon, NY, call Morelli Law. We are one of the top personal injury firms in the country, and we’ve been successful in many scaffold accident cases. Let us make our case for why you should hire us.
Call us to get a free consultation and learn your legal options. Workers’ compensation alone may not be enough to cover the extensive injuries of a fall at a construction site. Find out if New York’s scaffold law will help cover additional damages you’re owed. Call or email us to schedule your consultation.