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NYC Construction Site Fall Lawyer

Construction worker with safety harness and safety line working on a new construction site project

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reports that falls are the leading cause of fatalities at construction sites. They are responsible for more than a third of all fatalities and lead to severe and catastrophic injuries that devastate victims and their families. Falls from heights include a wide range of events such as:

  • Scaffolding accidents
  • Ladder accidents
  • Rooftop falls
  • Falls through floor openings

If you have sustained injuries after falling at a construction site, the skilled legal team at The O’Connor Law Firm is here to guide you through the legal process of seeking compensation.

Causes of Construction Site Falls in New York

Falls from heights at New York construction sites often occur because of defective or unsafe scaffolding equipment, or improperly installed equipment. Owners and contractors who do not require or provide protective equipment also put workers at risk for a fall if an object lands on a scaffold, lift, or ladder, and causes them to fall. OSHA regulations and New York Labor Law 240(1) govern the requirements for any owners, contractors, or businesses that use scaffold equipment.

OSHA Scaffold Regulations

OSHA provides standards for the design, construction, and inspection of scaffold equipment that every employer, supervisor, and employee must follow. They include:

  • Design and construction of scaffolds must comply with standards for the type of equipment, method of construction, and use.
  • Scaffolds, components, and suspension ropes must support their own weight plus several times more than the maximum intended load.
  • A designated person must inspect all scaffolds and components for visible problems before use on each shift.
  • A competent person must also inspect equipment that prevents falls from heights such as belts, harnesses, droplines, and anchor points.
  • Any equipment with visible damage must be removed from use immediately.

New York’s Scaffold Law

New York Labor Law 240(1), nicknamed the ‘Scaffold Law,’ protects construction workers from the risks associated with working on scaffolds and other lift devices. Contractors and owners open themselves to absolute liability for injuries when they do not implement proper safety protocols and provide workers with adequate equipment to protect them from falls. Absolute liability means that contractors and owners do not have to employ an injured worker to be liable for scaffold related accidents.

How a New York City Construction Fall Lawyer Can Help

Construction workers without protection equipment on unsafe scaffolding

In the wake of severe injuries from a fall at a construction site, victims face financial consequences that go beyond the physical pain and emotional trauma of injuries. An experienced construction accident attorney can help you get the compensation you deserve for your injuries while you focus on healing and recovery. Construction accident lawyers have specialized knowledge allowing them to help support their clients’ accident claims, which includes:

  • An in-depth understanding of OSHA regulations and violations that can lead to dangerous falls from heights
  • Comprehensive knowledge of New York Labor Law 240 (1) regarding scaffolding and other devices used on construction sites
  • Experienced in applying laws to construction accident claims, so clients have the best chance of a positive outcome for their claim

Injuries Caused by Falls from Heights

Falling off a ladder, from scaffolding, or through a floor opening leads to dangerous injuries, some of which are fatal. Common injuries associated with falls from heights at construction sites include:

Workers’ Compensation Benefits May Not Be Enough

If you suffered injuries from a fall at a construction site, you were likely on the job. The first step to getting your medical expenses covered and receiving payments for lost wages is to file a workers’ compensation claim with your employer’s workers’ comp insurance provider.

Workers’ compensation covers all necessary medical benefits, but you only receive disability payments equal to two-thirds of your average weekly wage from the previous year’s work up to a maximum of $966 per week in 2021. For many accident victims, this leaves a significant gap in their household income. Although workers’ compensation cash benefits help, they are often not enough to make up for the economic loss from a construction site accident.

Suing Third-Parties for your Construction Site Fall Injuries

Workers’ compensation insurance exists to protect employers from lawsuits when workplace injuries occur. In most cases, you cannot sue your employer after a fall, but you may have grounds for legal action against a third party. Seeking compensation for damages from a third party can make up the income not received from workers’ compensation cash payments. Additionally, workers’ compensation does not pay benefits for non-economic losses such as pain and suffering or loss of consortium.

Examples of third parties who could be partially or fully liable for injuries from a fall on a construction site include:

  • Property owners
  • General contractors
  • Building engineers
  • Architects
  • Another subcontractor
  • Equipment manufacturers

Types of Damages You Might Receive with the Help of a New York City Construction Site Fall Lawyer

If you bring a personal injury lawsuit against a third party after a fall from heights construction site accident, you could receive compensation for a wide range of economic and non-economic damages related to your injuries. Types of damages commonly included in insurance settlements and jury awards include:

  • Medical costs including hospitalization, diagnostic imaging, surgery, aftercare, doctor visits
  • Estimated future medical expenses when a fall from heights leads to permanent injuries that require ongoing care and treatment
  • Rehabilitation costs such as physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, or another specialized treatment to help accident victims regain function and cope with any permanent injuries
  • Lost wages
  • Lost earning capacity when a fall from heights causes catastrophic injuries that prevent someone from returning to work or seeking gainful employment in the future
  • Physical pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Diminished quality of life
  • Loss of consortium
  • Scarring and disfigurement

Contact an Experienced Construction Worker Fall Attorney Today

Contact The O’Connor Law Firm today to discuss your construction site fall and injuries and learn more about how we can help. Attorney Brian J. O’Connor is a former construction accident defense attorney and knows the tactics and tricks insurance carriers use to try to deny, delay and defend legitimate construction accident claims. Call 212-566-4868 or 718-948-3500 or fill out our contact form for a free case evaluation.

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