Who is liable for a scaffolding accident in New York City?
Recently, a scaffolding structure gave way on the 50 Hudson Yards construction site, injuring four construction workers. Investigations conducted by the New York City Department of Buildings revealed that the cause of the accident stemmed from the improper assembly of a scaffolding component. Due to the faulty assembly, when heavy materials were set on the 18th-floor platform, the workers went falling to the 17th -loor platform. The accident could have been far worse had the workers fallen further, but at least one worker sustained severe injuries. This incident is just one of many scaffolding accidents to occur in New York City this year. Our NYC construction accident lawyers discuss the causes of scaffolding accidents and your recovery options if injured in a construction accident below.
Causes of Scaffolding Accidents
Scaffolding is an integral part of most construction sites, as it allows workers and materials to be elevated to the necessary height during construction or repair of buildings. Hundreds of buildings within New York City will have scaffolding around them at any given time. When scaffolding fails, workers are at risk of serious injury due to the height involved. Falling workers may experience head trauma, broken bones, spinal cord damage, contusions, and many other serious injuries.
The temporary nature of scaffolding can lend itself to safety issues. Scaffolds can be quickly constructed, at times without sufficient planning or oversight. Some of the top causes of scaffolding accidents include:
- Defective scaffolding materials or parts
- Poorly constructed scaffolding
- Overloading scaffolding
- Poor maintenance of existing scaffolding
- Accidents involving the scaffolding support beams
- Failure to comply with OSHA scaffolding regulations
Your Right to Recovery After a Scaffolding Accident
Construction workers injured on the job due to scaffolding accidents will generally be eligible to receive workers’ compensation coverage. Workers’ compensation is designed to provide injured employees with coverage for their lost wages and medical costs. However, if you can establish that your injuries stem from negligence on the part of the employer, you may be able to pursue compensation outside of the workers’ compensation system. You may be able to file a personal injury claim against the site owner, the contractor, or the subcontractor. If a defect in the materials used to create the scaffolding led to the accident, you may be able to file a product liability suit. Contact our construction accident lawyers to find out more about your legal right to recovery following an accident.