Construction Injuries and Scaffold Laws in New York

Jul 29, 2020

New York is not only the population capital of the United States, but it is the skyscraper capital as well. The number of overhead construction projects in the city at any one time is extensive. And now that the city has eased restrictions on activity, construction projects are back in operation. Any construction project that requires the use of scaffolding falls under specific state laws and ordinances in New York City, and when employees are injured the construction companies are held to strict scrutiny when injury cases are settled. The laws are technical in some respects and general in others, giving employers room for a contributory negligence defense in some cases. This means that it is imperative to have a Brooklyn construction injury lawyer like the professionals at Levitsky Law Firm representing the case who know the nuances in the scaffolding law.


How Strict Scrutiny Applies in Scaffolding Injuries


The wording of the labor laws governing scaffolding accidents in New York is specific regarding how workers are covered when injuries happen. Contractors often defend against workplace injuries when employees fall, including attempting to use a comparative negligence defense that the worker violated safety measures or was insubordinate in some manner resulting in the injury. However, these defenses are rarely successful because strict scrutiny application means that the injured worker’s attorney is not necessarily required to prove negligence on the part of the employer even when general damages could be available. However, failure to provide safety equipment and enforce the use of the gear can constitute negligence by the employer. This means problems can arise when general or sub-contractors use short cuts and fail to equip those workers with appropriate safety measures.


How This Differs From Standard Workers’ Comp Claims


Workers’ compensation injuries typically are no fault claims, but not in all cases with a scaffolding fall injury. Injured employees are regularly eligible for general damages that do not apply in a standard type of claim because the requirements regarding safety equipment and enforced use are clear in the combined statutes of Labor Law 200, Labor Law 240, and Labor Law 241. The laws are specific regarding which workers are included, and provisions are also made for visitors as well. All must be provided protective gear. In addition, the issue of falling object injury is also addressed, which is the most common injury class. Failure to provide designated safety requirements amounts to employer negligence in many situations, and it also means that injured scaffold workers are often compensated with general damages for long-term ramifications of the injury as their life progresses. General damages are not available in a typical workers’ compensation case for other professions unless additional labor laws are enacted for their craft such as in scaffold workers professions.


Contact a Construction Accident Law Firm Brooklyn


New York construction workers who are injured in scaffolding accidents should never accept the word of the employer as final say when they have been injured on the job. Always call Levitsky Law Firm, Brooklyn construction injury attorney who is knowledgeable regarding the New York scaffolding laws when seeking maximum compensation for injuries.