Scaffolding & Fall Accidents

Upstate New York Lawyers Advocating for Work Injury Victims

Scaffolding is a temporary structure that gives a construction worker a platform on which to stand when they are working on high surfaces. It is generally safer than ladders, and it allows a worker to place supplies, tools, and equipment within arm's reach. However, scaffolding is often rapidly erected without much planning. As a result, there is a real risk of a collapse or a worker falling from a great height and suffering catastrophic injuries or death. If you were injured or a loved one was killed in a scaffolding or fall accident in Syracuse, Rochester, or the surrounding communities, the skillful Syracuse scaffolding accident lawyers at DeFrancisco & Falgiatano may be able to help you recover damages.

Scaffolding and Fall Accidents Cause Devastating Injuries

If you were injured as a construction worker due to improper scaffolding or an object falling from scaffolding, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. New York Labor Law Sections 240 and 241 were enacted to allow a construction worker injured in a gravity-related scaffolding accident to sue the property owner and contractor for damages. These laws can also be used to show liability in a case of wrongful death.

Under Section 240, also known as the Scaffold Law, there are special protections for workers who are working at heights. This law requires them to be given strong scaffolding, ladders, stays, hoists, braces, pulleys, blocks, ropes, and other important safety equipment to prevent falls. Owners and contractors are generally responsible for workers injured while certain buildings and structures are erected, demolished, repaired, changed, painted, cleaned, or pointed if the injury is gravity-related and due to the defendant's failure to give the worker proper safety devices.

Under the Scaffold Law, when a subcontractor fails to protect its workers, the owner or general contractor usually can be held responsible for a fall that results. A scaffolding accident attorney in the Syracuse area can help an injured worker gather evidence to support a violation. In some cases, owners and general contractors will seek indemnification from a negligent subcontractor. Unlike with negligence claims, there is no defense of comparative or contributory negligence under Section 240, although there is under Section 241. In other words, if you fell in part because of your own actions on the scaffolding, this does not reduce your damages if liability is found under Section 240.

After a scaffold fall or collapse, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration may inspect and investigate the construction site to see whether the contractor and owner adhered to the detailed safety guidelines for fall protection, training, and placement of scaffolding near power lines. OSHA guidelines specify which materials and weight limits are allowed for scaffolding. They also specify that training must be provided and delineate which topics should be covered. OSHA has the authority to issue sanctions, including fines and stop work orders as well as licensing loss.

The OSHA standards mandate training on how to erect and dismantle scaffolds, which personal protective equipment should be used, how to handle materials, and how to provide fall protection. There are other topics that may be appropriate if certain kinds of scaffolds are used, such as tube and clamp scaffolds. Employers are supposed to provide fall protection equipment and make sure that workers use it. Damages that you may be able to recover after a scaffolding or fall accident include medical treatment, prescription drugs, medical mileage, past and future loss of wages, disfigurement, scarring, pain and suffering, and household services.

Seek Counsel from a Scaffolding Accident Lawyer in Syracuse or Beyond

Scaffolding and fall accidents can result in catastrophic injuries, such as broken bones, crushing, traumatic brain injuries, paralysis, nerve damage, and disfigurement. In some cases, they result in a wrongful death. If you are injured or a loved one is killed at a construction site, our law firm may be able to help you recover damages from the responsible parties. Our Syracuse scaffolding accident attorneys represent people injured on construction sites in Syracuse, Rochester, Binghamton, Auburn, Elmira, Norwich, Cortland, Delhi, Herkimer, Watertown, Lowville, Oneida, Wampsville, Utica, Canandaigua, Oswego, Cooperstown, Ithaca, Lyons, and all of Upstate New York. Call us at 315-479-9000 or contact us via our online form to set up an appointment.

Client Reviews
"I highly recommend DeFrancisco & Falgiatano - Charlie represented me for a medical malpractice case. He is the best of the best. He is friendly and I am very happy with the representation he provided."
"I cannot express in words what an awesome job Charlie Falgiatano and Jean Marie Westlake did in representing my family in my mother's case at trial. There can never be enough thank-yous." D.L., Cortland, NY
"I suffered a serious injury as a result of medical malpractice. My husband and I retained Jeff DeFrancisco to assist us in this case. We were extremely happy with his representation and highly recommend him." Kelley R., Syracuse, NY
Since the insurance company was unwilling to settle the matter my case ultimately went to trial. At trial Jeff DeFrancisco did an absolutely amazing job by obtaining a very favorable result for me." T.H., Oneida, NY
"We were very impressed with how Jeff DeFrancisco represented us at trial and we were extremely happy when the jury found in our favor." D.M., Auburn, NY