Legal Protection in Scaffolding Accidents in New York City
Whether washing windows or doing construction jobs, scaffolding workers are prone to falling from great heights. Safety harnesses and other precautions should prevent serious injuries and deaths, but this is not always the case. At Rubenstein & Rynecki, our attorneys protect workers’ rights and help them seek compensation under New York laws.
New York Scaffolding Law
Unlike other states, New York has its own law that legally protects construction laborers who work on scaffolds, ladders and at heights where they are prone to falls. Most workers only have recourse through workers compensation and cannot sue. However, under the Scaffolding Law, injured workers can sue property owners or contractors based on strict liability. The law requires contractors, owners and their agents to be responsible for equipment, such as hoists, scaffolds, ladders, ropes, stays, slings, hangers, pulleys, etc. Courts hold them liable even when safety violations do not occur. Workers can sue them for injuries sustained in a construction accident. Workers’ families can sue them for wrongful death.
Causes of Accidents
Scaffolding accidents can result from many causes. Two brothers, window washers at the Hearst Tower in New York City, fell 47 stories in 2007 when their scaffolding structure gave way. One brother died and the other sustained serious injuries. The surviving brother sued the company that helped maintain the scaffolding equipment. Investigation revealed a faulty compression device was attached to the hoist rope. Other causes of scaffolding accidents include:
- Falling objects
- Insufficient ties
- Faulty bracing
- Defective foundations
- Improper scaffolding construction or installation
- Lack of proper maintenance
- Insufficient guard railings or toe boards
- Planking that cannot support the weight
- Missing boards, base plates or unsecured planks
Scaffolding Accident Injuries
Workers who survive scaffolding accidents from extreme heights experience numerous injuries, such as the following:
- Brain damage
- Traumatic brain injury
- Spinal injury
- Internal injuries
- Joint injuries
- Herniated discs
- Crush injuries
Recovering Compensation for Injured Workers Since 1972
Rubenstein & Rynecki and its predecessor firms have represented accident victims since 1972. If you or a loved one has been hurt through a scaffolding, construction or some other type of accident, you may be entitled to money damages. Rubenstein & Rynecki may be able to help you.
No recovery, no fee. Contact us today for a free consultation.