New York safety requirements generally ensure that ladders on construction sites are somehow secured to the building before a worker uses them. In a perfect world, this would help to create less injury for those on the work site. As we see daily however, mistakes, oversights, and accidents happen, and in the world of urban-area construction, they commonly involve ladders.
Can New York’s Scaffolding Law Help Me?
Throughout the state of New York, special provisions have been made for workers under Labor Law section 240, also known as the Scaffolding Law. This law was specifically designed to protect individuals working at heights or in areas of differing elevations. Across the nation, there is no other state which imposes such strict statues. It certainly applies to those injured from ladder falls, and can also include workers who use:
- Hoists, ropes, and pulleys
- Braces, slings, stays
- Other devices used when working at different heights
If an individual is injured because of working at a height, the Scaffold Law places full liability for the injuries sustained onto the owner of the property and the general contractor. Liability can also be shouldered by other contractors and subcontractors. This liability is automatic and thorough, and, a majority of the time, it helps workers to recover significant compensation for the medical expenses, lost income, and pain and suffering they have had to endure.
If your injury occurred while working at a height, it is critical that you speak to a qualified attorney about section 240 of New York’s Labor Law. The state recognizes the value in all that you do and has provided this law in support of it.
Important Questions On Workers’ Compensation
Before you file a workers’ compensation claim, it helps to take a closer look at how workers’ compensation works and ask yourself some important questions.
- Does it provide me with enough compensation to pay the bills? Those receiving workers’ compensation typically see about 1/2 to 2/3 of their usual weekly paycheck amount.
- Do I have time to wait for approval for medical procedures? Workers’ compensation requires lengthy paperwork and approval for coverage of your medical procedures.
- Do I deserve more? Employees who choose to pursue a lawsuit (if applicable) generally receive significantly more compensation than those being supported through workers’ compensation alone.
Side Effects And Injuries Of Ladder Falls
- Back and Neck Trauma – these injuries can include slipped disks and chronic pain, bone breaks, and even paralysis
- Broken Bones and Fractures – broken bones and fractures are painful, require time to heal, and often need casts or braces, causing additional time away from work and pay
- Head/Brain Injuries – these injuries can include brain bleeds, comas, traumatic brain damage (effecting memory or mobility), and even lifelong issues that are unable to be fixed
- Tendon and Ligament Tears – during a fall, tendons and ligaments are stressed and strained, causing pain and need for potentially lengthy rehabilitation
Emotional Stress After A Substantial Injury
After a ladder fall injury, you can be left with more than physical damage. Construction workers who fall often also suffer from post traumatic stress disorder, depression, or fear of working in the same industry again. These feelings are normal and very common. Other side effects can include:
- Trouble sleeping and bad dreams about the event
- Occasional episodes of confusion
- Inability to focus on things
- Trouble feeling like your “old self” again
- Distress over the thought of being injured again
Defective Ladder Liability
Did you know that according to statistics produced by the United States Consumer Products Safety Commission, almost 165,000 people across the nation are treated annually for injuries relating to ladders? If you’ve been hurt from a fall, whether off a ladder or something else, your healing time may be lengthy. It’s likely that medical bills keep piling up and you are left worrying about how to pay them and support your family during your time off of work. We believe that you deserve more, and work to help you explore your rights during the more difficult times in life.
Ladder injuries sustained due to product defects entitle the victim to compensation for their damages. A qualified personal injury attorney can help to uncover and confirm any suspicions you may have concerning product defects on the work site. Generally speaking, it is common to seek compensation not just for your physical injuries, but also for medical expenses and loss of income, pain and suffering and emotional trauma, and even property damage.