Achieving Financial Recovery for Falls From Roofs, Scaffolding, Ladders and Other Structures
Do I Have a Case?
Falls are the most common cause of injury on construction sites: workers falling from roofs to the ground, falling into unguarded excavations or elevator shafts, falling from ladders or scaffolds, or falling from large equipment. Because working at elevation is so dangerous, New York created its own unique laws — the New York Scaffolding Statute — to provide safety protections and to ensure workers are properly compensated for their injuries.
Section 240 of the New York Labor Law states that project owners and their agents (except 1- or 2-family homeowners) and contractors are 100 percent responsible for construction accidents caused by missing, inadequate or failed safety equipment.
- Learn more about New York’s ladder and scaffolding laws
- Learn more about New York’s commitment to protect construction workers
The scaffolding law applies to every situation in which a worker is working on a building or structure and elevation is involved. This law covers construction work, but it also applies to remodeling, painting, cleaning and demolition work. A roofer falling to the ground during a construction project would be covered; so would a building maintenance worker falling from a roof while cleaning snow from it.
The definition of a “structure” is so broad it includes work on bridges, towers, utility poles, heavy equipment, roads, boats and other vehicles. At Powers & Santola, LLP., our Syracuse lawyers have obtained financial compensation under Section 240 for a worker crushed by a falling forklift he was repairing and a worker injured by a falling air conditioning unit.
If you were injured in a fall, contact the upstate New York law office of Powers & Santola, LLP., to schedule a free consultation. Law firm partner Daniel Santola has been named one of the “Best Lawyers in America.” He has recovered millions of dollars in verdicts and settlements for injured construction workers and their families.
Obtaining Financial Recovery for Falling Workers Under Section 240
In order for workers injured in a fall to get financial compensation from an owner or contractor, a New York fall injury attorney will need to prove three things:
- That Section 240 applies to the type of work taking place
- That Section 240 safety requirements were violated
- That the safety violations caused the accident or injury
What Are the Safety Requirements?
The property owner or the contractor of the project is required to provide appropriate safety devices to prevent falls and injury as a result of “an elevation differential” (a height difference).
If no protective safety devices are provided, or the device provided collapses or fails (such as a scaffolding collapse or a ladder slipping), the property owner and contractor are both 100 percent responsible. Often, the very fact that the accident happened proves that a property owner or contractor violated the law.
You Still Qualify for Workers’ Comp
Bringing a case under Section 240 of the New York Labor Law does not affect your ability to collect workers’ compensation benefits. You can collect workers’ compensation benefits now while you bring a lawsuit to recover money for your losses.
Contact Us for a Free Case Evaluation
If you have been injured due to workplace safety violations, contact Powers & Santola, LLP., to schedule a free consultation with an experienced Albany attorney.