Long Island Scaffolding Accident Lawyer
Construction workers need scaffolding to do their jobs. When scaffolding is unsafe or when workers are not given the tools and training they need to use scaffolding safely, serious accidents and injuries can happen. You shouldn’t have to bear the costs and losses on your own, though.
If you want a scaffolding accident attorney in Long Island, NY, to handle your case, contact Shulman & Hill at 516.613.3196. One of our representatives can help you understand your next steps. If you hire our team, our personal injury attorneys can inform you of your rights, strategize a path to seek compensation, and fight for what you deserve.
What Qualifies as Scaffolding on Long Island, NY?
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), scaffolding includes any elevated platform (either suspended or supported) meant for temporary use as well as that platform’s structure (such as anchorage points) which are intended to carry workers, equipment, or both.
In other words, scaffolding is not just the platform that workers stand on to reach higher portions of the structure they are working on. It also includes the ladders, supports, and other portions of the scaffold. All parts must work properly for the scaffolding to be considered safe for use.
Laws that Regulate Scaffolding
Scaffolding enables workers to work on the higher parts of bridges, buildings, and other structures. When the scaffold is constructed properly and the workers know how to use it, it can be very safe. There are many laws in place to protect workers from unsafe scaffolding.
New York Labor Law § 240 requires owners and general contractors to bear the ultimate responsibility to provide adequate equipment for workers to perform their job duties at elevated heights, including making sure that scaffolds are safe and secure.
In addition, OSHA makes regulations regarding scaffolding safety, including:
- How much weight a scaffold must be able to safely support
- How to safely construct a scaffold and special parts associated with it (e.g., aerial lifts)
- The minimum or maximum required width, depth, and slope of each part of the scaffold
- What safety measures (e.g., guardrails) must be applied and in what circumstances
- Instructions for specific types of scaffolds (e.g., horse scaffolds)
- The type of training employers must provide to employees regarding the safe use of a scaffold
Any failure to meet state or federal regulations concerning scaffolding could put employees’ health and lives at risk.
What Is a Workplace Injury on Long Island?
Simply put, a workplace injury is any injury a worker suffers while performing their regular job duties. Concerning scaffolding injuries, “regular job duties” could include:
- Climbing up and down the scaffold, with or without tools and equipment
- Using tools and equipment while on the scaffold
- Walking around on and beneath a scaffold
- Helping to erect or deconstruct a scaffold
- Teaching others how to use the scaffold safely
If not done properly and with the utmost care, these tasks could result in serious accidents, such as:
- Losing your balance while using potentially dangerous equipment (e.g., power tools)
- Falling off the scaffold
- Getting caught in a scaffolding collapse
- Being hit by something falling off the scaffold
- Suffering an injury while using tools to construct or deconstruct the scaffold
These and other types of accidents can, in turn, cause serious injuries like:
- Bone fractures
- Head injuries, including traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
- Back and neck injuries, including spinal cord injuries that lead to paralysis
- Dislocations or amputations
- Injuries to the hands and feet
- Lacerations and deep cuts
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), scaffolding (staging) accidents resulted in 180 nonfatal injuries in New York State in 2020. Most of these accidents (130) were so severe that the worker was required to take a month or more off from work.
If you get hurt on the job, you can easily feel overwhelmed and confused about your options. Is workers’ compensation available? Should you see your doctor or one appointed by your employer?
A Long Island scaffolding law attorney from Shulman & Hill can answer all of these questions for you and many more. We offer free case assessments so you can begin to understand your options even before you hire us.
What Is a Fair Settlement for a Scaffolding Accident?
Every case is different and requires careful investigation and evaluation. The legal team at Shulman & Hill would be happy to go over your case and determine all of the ways you qualify for compensation.
For many scaffolding injury victims, workers’ compensation benefits could be available. However, if you are eligible to file a third-party lawsuit, your damages may include:
- Pain and suffering (including emotional distress)
- Reduced quality of life
- Disabling injuries
- Loss of consortium
- Scarring or disfigurement
- Medical expenses (including travel expenses)
- Loss of wages
- Loss of earning capacity
- Loss of your old job or future job opportunities
If the scaffolding injury was fatal, the worker’s surviving relatives may be able to sue for funeral expenses, loss of financial support, and other types of damages.
The exact amount you can receive depends on your circumstances, which we can review with you after you hire us to represent you.
What Does a Long Island, NY, Scaffolding Law Lawyer Do?
A scaffolding law attorney is responsible for representing workers who suffered an injury due to unsafe scaffolding or scaffolding use. At Shulman & Hill, we represent injured workers in Long Island, NY, and elsewhere. We can help you figure out which of the following options are right for you:
Apply for Workers’ Compensation
Most New York employers are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance to support workers who suffer a workplace injury. This money would make up for a portion of your lost wages. You could also receive free medical care.
To receive workers’ compensation benefits, you need to:
- Apply for benefits promptly
- Prove to your employer’s satisfaction that the injury is directly connected to your normal job duties, submitting supporting evidence
- Negotiate with your employer or their insurance company, if they have any doubts about your injury’s source or how much compensation you deserve
You may also have to fight back if your doctor tells you to go back to work before you are ready. Shulman & Hill can help you through all of these tasks and scenarios.
File a Personal Injury Lawsuit
Filing a lawsuit could be the right option if a liable third party is involved in your case. For instance, if the property owner allowed dangerous scaffolding on the property and they should have known that the scaffolding posed a risk to workers, you could hold them liable for your injuries.
The process of filing a lawsuit involves:
- Collecting evidence to prove the at-fault party’s guilt and justify the amount of compensation you are asking them for
- Sending a demand letter to the at-fault party’s insurance company
- Negotiating with the insurance company or even taking the at-fault party to court
Alternatively, if you are filing a lawsuit on behalf of a deceased loved one, you can file a wrongful death lawsuit instead of a personal injury lawsuit. The process for both types of cases is roughly the same, and we can help you with both types of cases.
Seek Both Workers’ Compensation and a Settlement
Some workers only qualify for workers’ compensation or a personal injury settlement. Others may be able to seek both. For instance, if your workplace injury was caused by a manufacturer that deliberately sold faulty scaffolding, you could get workers’ comp from your employer and a settlement from the manufacturer.
We can give you access to a scaffolding lawyer near you in Long Island. Our team has handled both workers’ compensation and personal injury cases, so we are uniquely qualified to help you, no matter what your case brings.
When Can I Get Compensation After a Scaffolding Accident in NY?
According to the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB), you have to notify your employer within 30 days of the accident and apply for benefits within two years. If you are filing a personal injury lawsuit, CPLR § 214 generally gives you three years from the accident date to do so. The amount of time your case takes can greatly vary and depends on many different factors, which can be discussed with your attorneys.
Although the deadlines for each type of compensation differ, it is usually best to start your case as soon as possible. This way, evidence is more readily available, and our team has more time to build the strongest possible case in your favor.
Know Your Rights After a Scaffolding Accident in Long Island, NY
Shulman & Hill has helped recover over $300 million for injured clients. Once we see the evidence in your case, we can give you a better idea of the compensation you could recover. Our scaffolding law attorney in Long Island, NY, can fight to ensure you get everything you deserve after a work-related injury.
Contact [firm-name] online or call us at 516.613.3196 for a free case review today. We charge no fees unless and until you get your compensation.
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