Artículos publicados en Ladder or Scaffold Accidents

If you’ve been injured working on a major project at a large commercial building, then you may understand that there are certain laws that can protect you and entitle you to compensation. What you may not know, though, is that the statutes’ protections go farther than that. They can apply to a large range of construction or repair-related tasks on commercial or residential properties, unless a legal exception applies.

In other words, after you’ve been hurt at work, you may have more legal options than you otherwise would have thought. Be sure to check with a knowledgeable New York City construction injury attorney about the legal avenues available to you.

S.S. was one of those workers, having accepted a job to remove gutters from a property in Queens. While he was removing those gutters, S.S. fell from a ladder and suffered significant injuries. As a result of the harm he suffered, S.S. sued the property’s owners for damages under Section 240(1) of the New York Labor Law, which protects workers when they’re injured in a fall due to inadequate fall protection.

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The headlines and the attached new stories are seemingly everywhere. “Workers Clinging To High Rise FiDi Scaffolding Rescued”… “3 Injured After High Winds Take Down Scaffolding Atop Brooklyn Building”… “Midtown scaffold breaks loose, falling bricks hurt 2 pedestrians.” Wherever you look, it seems that there is a scaffold accident somewhere in New York City that has injured or nearly killed one or more construction workers.

There’s a reason why the New York law that protects construction workers injured as a result of falls or falling objects is sometimes called the “Scaffold Law,” and that’s because so many of these accidents involve workers using scaffolds who were hurt or killed because they were provided with unsafe scaffolds or inadequate fall protection. If you’ve been hurt in a construction accident involving a scaffold, don’t delay. Reach out to an experienced New York City construction injury attorney today learn more about the legal options available that may permit you to recover substantial compensation.

In a late June incident, the scaffold reportedly failed because it was unable to withstand the weather conditions. According to CBS New York, a scaffold in Park Slope was brought down by high winds in that part of Brooklyn. No workers were injured, though three people in the building next door were. The reason this accident was not more harmful – or deadly – than it was appears to have been due, at least in part, to luck. The scaffold collapsed on a Sunday afternoon, when there were no construction workers on it. One can imagine that, if this had occurred on a Monday afternoon, the outcome would have been far more tragic.

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If you’ve been injured at your construction job in New York, you may be entitled to substantial compensation. To make that happen, though, you’ll need to be sure of several things. You need to be sure that yours is the kind of accident that is covered by the New York statutes that protect construction workers, that your lawsuit seeks compensation under the correct statute and that the people and/or entities that you sue are ones identified by New York law as potentially liable.

What that means, in plain English, is that you may have the pieces of a winning case and still fail if you don’t complete all the legal procedural steps correctly. This is just one more (of the many) reasons why you need to be sure you have an experienced New York City construction accident attorney on your side from the very beginning.

So, what are we mean by completing “all the legal procedural steps correctly?” A recent case involving a Brooklyn accident is a good example. C.R. was a worker doing plumbing work at a high school. C.R. was injured when he fell from a scaffold. He was wearing neither a harness nor a lanyard at the time of the accident.

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When you’re injured at your construction job, you may know exactly why it happened. You may have seen that piece of plywood break in half before you fell in that hole, or you may have seen that your scaffold had no guardrail before an accident caused you to fall to the ground. Other times, though, you may not be exactly sure why your accident happened. You may be working on a ladder and it simply collapses, throwing you to the ground, without your ever knowing why it failed.

If you aren’t sure why you suffered your injury, does that mean that, because of that lack of knowledge, you cannot win a lawsuit for compensation for your construction injury? Many times the answer is, “No! It does not mean that!” The truth is that many laws in New York can create a pathway for much needed compensation even if you don’t have knowledge of every detail of your accident. Be sure to consult an experienced New York City construction injury to find out how best to proceed.

As an example, look at the case of J.D., a signalman for a Long Island construction company. The signalman was reportedly hurt when he climbed an extension ladder and the ladder “slipped out from under him,” causing the signalman to fall 20 feet to the ground below.

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Sometimes, achieving success in your construction injury case may be very complex. It may involve large amounts and multiple varieties of proof, from eyewitness statements to documentation to expert opinions. Other times, the path to success can be very straightforward and may not involve that much evidence at all. Whether your situation is complex or straightforward, be sure you are prepared to succeed. Be sure you have a skilled New York City construction attorney on your side.

How direct is the path to success sometimes? The case of W.C. is an example. W.C. was a laborer working on the renovation of a Catholic school in Queens. W.C.’s duties required him to stand on a scaffold. While the laborer was doing his job one day, the scaffold’s platform collapsed, leaving W.C. to fall through the scaffold’s frame and all the way to the ground. The fall caused the laborer to suffer significant injuries.

W.C. filed a lawsuit against the parish that owned the school. His lawsuit included multiple claims for compensation under various sections of New York’s Labor Law. One of the sections was Section 240(1), which protects workers engaged in construction activities from elevation-related risks of harm. That includes things like objects falling and striking the worker, and also includes things like a worker falling due to a collapsed scaffold.

Too many times, construction and repair workers are given shoddy equipment with which to do their jobs and, too many times, that inadequate and unsafe equipment results in a worker getting hurt or killed. In a perfect world, that would never happen. Since the real world isn’t perfect, it is fortunate that workers in New York have laws that allow them to go to court and obtain the compensation for their injuries that they deserve. To make sure you are getting compensated fairly for your harm you suffered on the job, be sure you have a skilled New York City construction attorney going to bat for you.

I.G. was a painter who got hurt in exactly that kind of scenario, according to his lawsuit. Allegedly, I.G. was doing his painting work while standing on an A-frame ladder that had a broken lock. As a makeshift lock, the painter’s supervisor simply shoved a screwdriver into a hole in the ladder, according to I.G. The painter allegedly complained, but to no avail.

You can probably guess what happened next. The ladder failed and I.G. fell, suffering substantial injuries, according to the lawsuit. The painter allegedly noticed after the fall that the screwdriver had fallen out of the hole in the ladder.

Not all injuries for which you can obtain compensation under the New York laws that protect construction workers are stereotypical ones. Just because you weren’t hurt moving a steel beam while 11 floors off the ground or using heavy equipment to demolish a wall, that doesn’t mean that you cannot still sue and win the compensation you need under these laws.

One challenge you will very likely face, though, if you were hurt in one of those “other” activities, is that the defense will try to convince the court that the laws don’t cover the task that injured you. That would mean that you cannot recover anything on a claim filed under those statutes. Don’t let yourself fall victim to that strategy; be sure you have an experienced New York City construction attorney on your side to fight for your case.

Reportedly, R.W., a worker at the Nassau Coliseum, was standing atop a wooden A-frame ladder to work on a light fixture when he suffered substantial injuries. R.W.’s injuries, and the lawsuit that arose from them, highlight a particular kind of problem some injured construction workers may face. New York’s laws that protect construction workers, especially Sections 240(1) and 241(6) of the Labor Law, cover a wide range of activities, but you may still be confronted with a defense argument that the work you were doing when you were injured was something not protected by the law.

An ancient Chinese proverb teaches that the “journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” In other words, any great destination requires that you first take on, and clear, the first hurdle and take each challenge one at a time to achieve your goal. Your New York construction injury case can be somewhat like that. Certainly, your ultimate goal is to obtain a fair amount of compensation in light of the amount of harm you’ve suffered. To get to that point, you must get past all the preliminary potential pitfalls, including a motion for summary judgment filed by the defense.

If the defense wins its motion for summary judgment, then your case never goes to trial and you recover nothing. Defeat that motion and you have a viable chance of obtaining a fair settlement or judgment. To help in clearing all the necessary hurdles, be sure you have an experienced New York City construction injury attorney on your side.

Sometimes, the defense may try to use your lack of knowledge of certain details related to your case to get summary judgment. Just because you don’t remember everything, however, doesn’t automatically mean you don’t have a case. The lawsuit filed by a construction worker named J.O. is a good example.

Construction work is dangerous work and, sometimes, fatal accidents truly are no one’s fault and could not reasonably have been prevented. Too often, though, that’s not the case. Too many times, the accidents that prematurely end the lives of the men and women working construction in New York are accidents that are caused, entirely or partially, by someone’s failure to comply with proper safety protocols, including Department of Buildings requirements. It is for these (and other) situations that New York has very strong laws designed to protect construction workers and their families. If you or a loved one has been victimized because someone on your site failed to do what they should have done to ensure safety, you should contact an experienced New York City construction injury attorney and put those laws to use for your family.

A recent fatal accident from Manhattan is an example of what we mean when we say “failed to do what they should have.” G.P. a 49-year-old man from Queens, was working on a construction project located next door to Grand Central cleaning debris off a scaffold. As he worked along an area of the scaffold that did not have guardrails, he fell through the scaffold. At the time, the scaffold was on the fifth floor. G.P. dropped 30 feet to the second floor. He was ultimately pronounced dead at Bellevue Hospital.

A report from therealdeal.com indicated that the Department of Buildings, which issued a full stop-work order after the man’s death, intended to file violations. According to the department, guardrails were required. In other words, the scaffold upon which G.P. was working should have had guardrails in all areas.

When you’re injured whole on the job working construction, and you sue for much-needed compensation, you may have to take on a motion for summary judgment made by the defense. That is a very important point in the lawsuit process and winning this battle is extremely important, because if the judge grants summary judgment to the defense, then that is the end of your case and you get nothing. But, if you defeat the defense’s motion, that may open many doors. Often, for example, the defense will not even begin making serious settlement offers until they’ve lost a request for summary judgment.

So, what does it take to overcome the defense’s motion for summary judgment? What you need is enough evidence, and strong enough legal arguments, to persuade the court that you have a viable case to take to trial. As long as you have enough to demonstrate that your case is at least plausible, then you get to go forward. For the exact advice you need about what it will take to succeed in your specific case, talk to a knowledgeable New York City construction injury attorney.

Here’s an example of how the process works. F.S. was working as a bricklayer in the Bronx when he was hurt. He sued to collect compensation for his injuries. At one hearing, the bricklayer testified that, as he attempted to move from his motorized scaffold to the roof of the 20-floor building, his leg allegedly became entangled in safety wire, causing him to trip and fall. At his deposition, though, F.S. testified that, in attempting to get from the scaffold to the roof, he put his right leg on a railing and grabbed onto a parapet with his hands. In engaging in that maneuver, he claimed that his right leg became entangled in the wire and caused the accident. At another point in the deposition, the bricklayer seemed to indicate that he fell while trying to get from the scaffold to the top of the parapet wall.