The US Department of Labor estimates that 4,500 workers are injured each year in accidents involving scaffolding. These injuries are so common that the state of New York has a specific law (Labor Law § 240 (1), which is widely known as the Scaffolding Law) that requires contractors and work site owners to ensure safe conditions for employees who work on scaffolds. In many cases, when an employee is injured in a scaffolding-related accident, the law requires that the employee receive special financial compensation.
If you are a construction worker who was injured by falling off of scaffolding – or if you were injured by an object that fell off of scaffolding – you may be covered by the Scaffolding Law. If this is the case, you may be entitled to money damages beyond what you can receive from workers’ compensation.
Workers Injured in Scaffolding Accidents
When an employee is injured on the job, he or she has the option of seeking workers’ compensation. Most employers are required by law to maintain workers’ compensation insurance policies, which provide their injured employees with cash benefits and/or medical coverage.
One advantage of workers’ compensation is that if you are injured on the job, you do not need to prove that the injury was the fault of your employer in order to receive benefits. However, once you receive workers’ compensation, you lose the right to sue your employer for your injuries.
Employees who receive workers’ compensation often find that the money they receive is not enough to satisfy their needs when they are injured. Workers’ compensation typically pays for a percentage of an employee’s lost wages, but not all of the employee’s lost wages. It also does not typically provide cash benefits for a worker’s pain and suffering.
The Scaffolding Law
Construction workers in New York who have been injured in scaffolding accidents often receive more money for their injuries than what workers’ compensation offers. The Scaffolding Law allows them to file a claim against the owners of the property where the construction took place, and/or the contractors in charge of the construction project. If an employee is covered by the law, he or she will receive full financial compensation for all costs associated with his or her injuries – including pain and suffering, medical care, and lost wages.
Not all workers who have been injured in scaffolding accidents are covered by the law, however. The accident must have occurred because of elevation. This means that the worker must have fallen from a high place, or that the worker was injured because something fell onto them from a high place. In addition, the accident must have taken place during construction work. The law defines this as “the erection, demolition, repairing, altering, painting, cleaning or pointing of a building or structure.”
Contact an Attorney Today
Whether or not you are covered by the Scaffolding Law, if you have been hurt on the job in a scaffolding accident, you may be entitled to money damages for your injuries. You can speak to an experienced lawyer today by calling Paul Giannetti at (866) 868-2960, or by contacting the office online.