Scaffold Accident Lawyer – New York City

Recent estimates suggest that New York City has more than 400 miles of scaffolds or about three percent of the city’s sidewalk space. Their prevalence, paired with contractor negligence and lack of accountability, can account for the high volume of scaffold accidents suffered by construction workers–particularly by immigrants who are pressed by economic constraints to perform dangerous construction jobs.  

At Douglas & London, we fight to hold contractors and scaffolding companies responsible when their negligence causes serious injuries to their workers. We have in-depth knowledge of New York City’s scaffolding laws and the legal protections the city and the state have implemented to protect workers. We use that knowledge to recover compensation for workers seriously hurt by scaffolding accidents. 

Injured workers are generally entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. Pursuing these benefits means employees forfeit their right to sue their employer. However, they can sometimes sue third parties whose recklessness or careless actions caused their accidents.  

Common defendants in civil litigation may include manufacturers of defective scaffolding equipment, maintenance companies in cases of improper inspections, and negligent contractors and subcontractors. A personal injury claim can seek additional compensation to cover damages outside workers’ comp benefits, such as pain and suffering, emotional trauma, and diminished quality of life.  

Understanding Scaffold Accidents and Their Causes 

Federal and state laws mandate that scaffolds and similar lift systems follow standard safety protocols for assembly. Scaffolds also have load ratings that contractors should not exceed. Contractors are also responsible for training and monitoring their employees in properly using and operating scaffold systems and taking precautions to prevent falls from elevations.  

Scaffold accidents are generally the result of a negligent party’s failure to live up to these responsibilities, which can lead to: 

  • Construction workers falling from scaffolds that do not have proper guardrails or safety cables to prevent falls. 
  • Operations on scaffolds and elevated surfaces in bad weather, where rain, ice, snow, and heavy winds increase the hazards of working on elevated surfaces. 
  • Failure to secure tools and materials that can be dropped onto or from scaffolds. 
  • Inadequate or irregular inspections of scaffolds to verify they are correctly assembled. 
  • Loading scaffolds with too much weight causing them to be top-heavy and increasing the risk of collapse. 
  • Defective or worn scaffold components. 

These are just a few causes of scaffold accidents in NYC. It’s wise to consult with an experienced New York construction accident lawyer. They can confirm whether the cause of your accident is connected to third-party negligence so you can recover damages outside workers’ compensation. 

A New York City Scaffold Accident Lawyer Will Protect Your Rights

Property owners, project managers, construction contractors, and insurance companies have incentives to minimize payments and discourage injured workers from filing scaffolding accident third-party claims–particularly if those claims lead to OSHA investigations and possible fines and penalties. An injured worker is disadvantaged when going up against these powerful entities skilled in minimizing their liability. 

Representation by an experienced scaffolding accident lawyer will place the injured worker’s claims on even ground with those entities by doing the following: 

  • Handle all communications with insurers 
  • Gather and retain evidence about the scaffold accident before memories fade or physical scaffolding structures are no longer in place.  
  • Identify all negligent parties that may be liable to pay compensation to an injured worker, including contractors, scaffold manufacturers and installers, property owners, and architects and engineers. 
  • Fight to recover damages for an injured worker’s economic losses, including medical bills and lost wages, and non-economic losses such as pain and suffering. 

Consult a Scaffold Accident Attorney Soon After an Accident 

Seek prompt medical attention for your injuries and report the accident to your employer. Then, contact an attorney to begin the process of recovering the full measure of your damages. Under New York law, you generally have three years from the accident date to file a construction injury lawsuit. However, given how quickly memories and evidence of an accident can fade, it’s best to consult an attorney as soon as possible.   

Further, if you have a scaffold accident claim against a city or state governmental entity, you will need to file that claim within 90 days after the accident. Consult with a lawyer even if you believe that your injuries are minor. Any delay can result in forfeiting your right and opportunity to recover the damages you deserve. 

Contact Douglas & London  

The NYC construction injury lawyers at Douglas & London understand the trauma and uncertainty frequently accompanying accidents at construction sites. We can ease your burden and help you protect your livelihood while you recover from your injuries without fear of repercussions from an employer or insurer who wants to dissuade you from pursuing your just compensation. 

Please call our Manhattan offices for a free case evaluation. We have over 20 years of experience in New York scaffold accident lawsuits. We will devote the full measure of our skills and experience to recover the damages that negligent parties owe you.