All New Yorkers have a right to a safe job site. Every day, construction workers face the risks of falling from high places and from dangerous falling debris. Unfortunately, many deaths and injuries in construction could be prevented if more employers followed the rules and made employee safety a priority. If you or a loved one are a victim of a “gravity-related” accident– either a human fall or impact from a falling object – while on a job site, New York’s “Scaffold Law” may entitle you to compensation. The attorneys at Sullivan Papain Block McGrath and Cannavo P.C. make it their mission to fight on behalf of injured workers and their families to get the full compensation they deserve.
With rising insurance costs cutting into corporate profits, New York’s longstanding legal protections for injured workers, embodied by the Scaffold Law, have come under increasing attack, not only from Albany but also in courts statewide. Although the law is set up to help workers, experienced owners, general contractors, and insurance companies hire sophisticated lawyers to torpedo claims or reduce compensation. Our team at Sullivan Papain Block McGrath and Cannavo P.C. are skilled at navigating our clients’ construction accident claims through these challenges. Over the last decade alone, we recovered over $2 billion on behalf of accident victims, including for scaffolding and other gravity-related worksite accidents.
The “Scaffold Law” is legal statute, Section 240 of the New York Labor Law. It provides that courts must hold owners, contractors, or their agents responsible for injuries suffered by workers who fall or are struck by falling objects. The law simply requires that the physics of the accident involve a difference in elevation. Our team of attorneys focuses on exposing all areas of liability to prevail in these complex cases.
Workers might be surprised to learn how much more the Scaffold Law covers than just scaffolding accidents and ladder accidents. In fact, many different types of labor, workers, and job sites fall under its protection.
There are many different ways employers fail to safeguard their laborers in violation of the Scaffold Law. Sometimes, these failures are routine and obvious. At other times, unsafe conditions are subtle or even willfully concealed. However, whenever failure to provide proper protection results in a fall injury, the worker has a right to recover. Certain devices must be in place and working properly, depending on the labor being done. These may include the following:
Workers may not be aware of these failures even after getting hurt. Just because a worker never used or even saw a particular safety device on the job doesn’t mean that protection wasn’t supposed to be there. Similarly, just because a device was there doesn’t mean it was in proper operation. For example, if a ladder really was safe and in proper operation, then there shouldn’t have been a terrible accident. The real reason for an accident may not be obvious to an injured worker, especially where hazardous conditions become the norm.
Additionally, even if your worksite injury did not occur at a typical construction site, you may still have a claim. The Scaffold Law covers all of the following job types involving a building or a structure:
These categories are broad enough to include many kinds of jobs, – ordinary or unusual. It is important that an injured party choose a law firm that will not reject a case just because there was no “construction” going on at the time of the accident.
Additionally, the Scaffold Law covers more than just work on buildings. It also encompasses work involving “structures.” If you suffered an injury from a fall or falling debris while doing roadwork, landscaping, plumbing, delivery work, inspection work, or any other type of job, the right legal argument could make all the difference. Our lawyers know that every case is different and that devastating injuries are often the result of unusual accidents. Our team excels at handling these difficult cases.
Commercial property owners, construction companies, and insurance companies detest the Scaffold Law. Despite repeated and ongoing attempts at repeal, the law remains in place to protect hardworking New Yorkers. Unlike typical negligence claims, the cases governed by this statute are not affected by the comparative negligence of the injured worker. This means that the insurance companies and employers cannot reduce a monetary award even if the worker was partially responsible for the accident. It is worthwhile to explore your legal options even if you think your own mistake may have contributed to your injury.
You can call our office at 212-732-9000 to contact one of our construction accident attorneys. If you are in the hospital or immobile in your home, our firm will also make arrangements to come visit you and talk about your case, at no charge to you. When handling legal matters, time is of the essence, and the earlier you contact us the better we can assist you with your construction accident and ensure that your rights are protected.
Read about results obtained by our firm on behalf of construction accident victims.