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The Scaffold Law

How is liability determined after a scaffolding accident?

In New York, it can be difficult to determine which party is responsible for an injury resulting from a scaffolding accident. Any party other than your employer who was negligent and allowed you to get hurt on the job site involving a scaffold could ultimately be held responsible for your injury. Some of these include: 

  • Property owners
  • Construction companies
  • General contractors or subcontractors 

In accordance with New York Labor Law 240, also known as “scaffold law”, these third parties are held strictly responsible for injuries suffered by workers who either fall off a scaffold or have a piece of equipment fall off an elevated area and strike them.

If a scaffolding accident occurred on the job, can I bring a lawsuit? 

If a scaffolding accident occurred on the job, you can still bring a lawsuit against a third-party that was present or in charge of maintaining the job site. While your employers are usually protected by workers’ compensation laws, other parties involved on the job site such as property owners, construction companies, and general contractors or subcontractors are not, and they can be held fully responsible for an injury resulting from a scaffolding accident in accordance with New York Labor Law 240.

How long do I have to file a lawsuit after a scaffolding accident in NYC?

In New York State, the statute of limitations to bring a lawsuit for a scaffolding accident

occurring on private property is three years from the date of the accident. As soon as a scaffolding accident occurs, the statute of limitations begins to run. However, if the accident occurs on a municipal property, and the municipality can be held responsible, you must serve a legal document referred to as a Notice of Claim on the appropriate parties within 90 days of the accident. If this is not done, then New York State law will prohibit you from bringing a lawsuit. 

It is critical that you immediately contact the Law Offices of Michael S. Lamonsoff after a scaffolding accident. Your compensation and recovery of damages depends upon it.

More on New York labor laws and the importance of contacting the Law Offices of Michael S. Lamonsoff

Generally, the construction being done that falls in line with New York Labor Law 240 takes place on a structure, such as a building, towers, garages, bridges, subway or railroad tunnels, and boats, with the type of work relating to erection, demolition, repairing, altering, painting, cleaning, pointing of a building, and erection of scaffolding, hoists, stays, ladders, slings, handers, blocks, pulleys, braces, irons, ropes and other devices. 

Other than New York Labor Law 240, New York Labor Law 241(6) is another one of New York’s Labor Laws that was enacted to protect construction workers on job sites. Under New York Labor Law 241(6), property owners, contractors, architects, and even manufacturers of equipment must all abide by the many provisions of the New York State Industrial Code. One of the more common rules in the New York State Industrial Code pertaining to workers is Rule 23, which involves such matters as PPE, tools, explosives, cranes, power-operated equipment, improper use of chemicals, and structural steel assembly. For example, if you slip on spilled chemicals, you have the right to be compensated for your injuries in accordance with Rule 23 and New York Labor Law 241(6). Point being, these laws offer multiple aspects of attacking your case and getting the compensation you deserve.  

New York’s Labor Laws were enacted to protect the rights of workers, while also serving as a reminder to property owners, contractors, architects, and equipment manufacturers that they will be held accountable if they do not ensure that they are providing a safe and proper environment on a construction site. These labor laws were enacted by New York State for a reason—to protect workers. If you were injured as a result of a scaffolding accident, then you have a right to hold the responsible party, or parties, accountable, and should call the Law Offices of Michael S. Lamonsoff for a free case evaluation.

Types of injuries caused by scaffolding accidents

There are many different types of injuries that are caused by scaffolding accidents, most of them being severe. Some common injuries caused by scaffolding accidents include: 

  • Head and brain injuries, such as a concussion
  • Broken bones
  • Eye-related injuries
  • Spinal injuries
  • Limb dismemberment
  • Crush injuries
  • Shoulder and knee tears
  • Death 

Many of these injuries require surgical procedures and extensive treatment, with some producing permanent damage.

What are the most common causes of scaffolding accidents?

Scaffolding accidents are one of the most common types of accidents on a construction site. Some of the most common causes of scaffolding accidents include: 

  • Falling objects
  • Complete or partial scaffolding collapse
  • Tripping or slipping on an object resulting in a fall off a scaffold
  • Lifelines or fastenings that are not secure
  • Inadequate guard railing
  • Lack of or insufficient support devices
  • Deficient uprights.

Six steps to take after a scaffolding accident

  1. Immediately seek medical attention. It is important that either you or your loved one sees a doctor to make sure your injuries are documented and treated as soon as possible.
  2. Report the scaffolding accident to either your employer, property owner, or any individual responsible for running the job site on that day. It is important to document the scaffolding accident in writing, if possible.
  3. If you receive a call from someone asking for you to make an official statement, even if it is your own employer, it is usually in your best interest not to do so, and you have no legal obligation to make one. If you have already retained our services, let the caller know that you are represented by an attorney and give them your lawyer’s contact information. We will take it from there.
  4. Take photographs or video of where the accident happened, in addition to anything else you feel is relevant in causing your scaffolding accident.
  5. If there were any witnesses to your accident, try to get their name(s) and contact information. Witnesses can provide very valuable testimony regarding how the scaffolding accident happened.
  6. Immediately call us for a free consultation and case evaluation.
Construction workers on scaffolding

It’s critical that you seek our services after a scaffolding accident

The knowledgeable and experienced lawyers at the Law Offices of Michael S. Lamonsoff know what it takes to make sure you get rightful compensation for your injuries sustained in a scaffolding accident case. As soon as we are retained, we start an investigation into which parties are responsible and how we can hold them accountable for violating New York’s Labor Laws. No stone is left unturned to build the strongest case possible and we are prepared to take your case all the way to trial if necessary. Call for a free consultation with an experienced scaffolding accident lawyer in NYC

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