Scaffolding Hazards: What You Need to Know

Lever & Ecker, PLLC December 9, 2022 Construction Accidents

Construction sites are dangerous, especially in New York City. Thanks to long standing rules and laws, owners, contractors, and employers are obligated to provide a reasonably safe and secure work environment. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and other oversight bodies mandate that owners and construction companies follow specific safety protocols to protect workers and visitors on a construction site. If you have suffered a scaffolding accident due on a construction site, speak with a scaffolding accident lawyer to protect your legal right to compensation. 

At Lever & Ecker, PLLC, we understand that workers put their lives at risk daily, including by using scaffolds as a part of their job responsibilities. Regardless of a worker’s level of experience, scaffold accidents can still occur due to human error or defective equipment. With 65+ years of experience fighting for New Yorkers’ rights, we are prepared to hold the responsible parties accountable for the injuries you have suffered. 

Common Hazards That Lead to Scaffolding Accidents

Working on a scaffold is among the most hazardous tasks in the construction industry, causing injury or death from planking or support giving way, the worker slipping, inadequate fall protection, or being struck by a falling object. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 4,764 occupational fatalities in 2020. Employer or contractor negligence can significantly contribute to scaffolding accidents.  

Over 65% of construction workers use scaffolds as part of their construction duties. Despite the number of annual fatalities and life-altering injuries, scaffolding safety violations were one of the leading cited regulations in 2022

The following are common hazards that may lead to scaffolding accidents:

  • Failure to secure the scaffold 
  • Defective materials 
  • Defective scaffolding equipment 
  • Excess load 
  • Lack of supervision 
  • Lack of supportive safety equipment 

Workers have a right to work in a safe and secure work environment. If you have suffered injuries in a scaffolding accident, speak with an experienced lawyer to recover the complete monetary compensation you deserve for accident-related damages.

Liability in a California Scaffolding Accident

Proving liability in a scaffolding accident is challenging without the representation of an experienced lawyer. In New York, you cannot sue your employer directly for your accident and injuries, as your remedy against your employer is limited to the filing of a workers’ compensation claim. However, through workers’ compensation you may only recover up to two-thirds of your lost wages and may not seek compensation for pain and suffering. 

However, you are entitled to pursue a claim, called a third-party liability lawsuit, against others, such as the owner and construction manager/general contractor, that caused or contributed to your injuries. If a third party is liable for your scaffolding accident, you may be entitled to recover damages beyond the lost wages and medical expenses you can recover through workers’ compensation. 

The following parties may be held liable for scaffolding hazards that led to your accident: 

  • The owners of the construction site 
  • The construction manager or general contractor on the site
  • Other contractors, depending on the nature of the relationship between your employer and those contractors
  • Manufacturer of the defective scaffolding

Filing a third-party claim is entirely separate from any workers’ compensation claim you might file, and it proceeds as a personal injury lawsuit, through which you are entitled to compensation for your injuries – including past and future pain and suffering – and various other types of damages.

Speak With the Scaffolding Accident Lawyers at Lever & Ecker, PLLC

If you suffered injuries in a scaffolding accident, speak with the personal injury lawyers at Lever & Ecker, PLLC, for a comprehensive assessment of your case. Workers’ compensation may only cover a fraction of your physical, emotional, and financial burdens. We have 65+ years of experience fiercely advocating for New Yorkers’ rights and are ready to fight for the justice you deserve. 

Schedule a no-cost consultation with one of our award-winning lawyers by calling (914) 288-9191 or (718) 933-3632, or filling out our contact form.

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