Obtaining Proper Support: New York’s Scaffold Law
New York’s Scaffolding Law (section 240(1) of New York’s Labor Law) was designed to provide a high level of protection to construction workers suffering from injuries caused by working in an area that has heights or different elevations, or workers who have been injured by debris falling from a height.
This protection is thorough, and can provide you with substantial rights if you have slipped or fallen due to these circumstances. Even if you were off of the work site when the fall happened, but were performing work that was an integral part of the project, you are likely entitled to protection under this law.
Initiated in 1885, this statute focuses on providing the safe environments that all construction workers deserve by ensuring that property owners and general contractors are fully liable for the safety of their employees. There are no similar laws across the U.S., and therefore, it has become one of the most important, primary sources of litigation in New York.
To discuss the scaffold law in full detail and specifics regarding your slip and fall injury, contact the attorneys at Lipsig Law Firm. At Lipsig, we provide personal injury lawyers who understand the scaffold law, the Bronx, and surrounding areas, and who are passionate about the hard workers who reside here. We are dedicated to making sure that your rights are taken seriously, and therefore provide free consultations to any injured construction worker or family member, and require no payments until we win your case.
Workers’ Compensation: Isn’t It Enough?
The United States workers’ compensation system was initiated early in the 20th century. Although it was originally designed to help, it has many problems, especially for some of those most deserving.
Workers’ compensation is only a partial form of support. It provides very little coverage, requires all medical visits and procedures to be pre-approved through time consuming and stressful processes, does not fully cover wages lost, and does not allow consideration for compensation for emotional or psychological damage.
Did you know?
- Employers can dispute workers’ compensation claims, causing lengthy delays for the injured party.
- Many hard-working employees end up waiting several years until they get any financial assistance.
- The workers’ compensation program is run through the government, meaning that even when things run smoothly, the process will involve lots of time and paperwork.
- When financial support is obtained through workers’ compensation, it is typically only about 1/2 to 2/3 of the employee’s usual weekly wage.
Hard working employees deserve better than this, and that is why Lipsig Law Firm is here to help.
What Are Common Slip And Fall Side Effects?
Depending on the severity of the fall, you can be left with differing levels of injury. The most serious of these are injuries sustained to the head, spine, and neck. Even lesser injuries, like broken bones or ligament tears, can require rehabilitation time to ensure that you can work within the same capacity again. Protecting yourself legally and ensuring that you get the compensation you deserve can help cover the costs of tackling many of these side effects, including those that workers’ compensation doesn’t consider.
Possible Injuries From Slip And Fall Accidents:
- Head/Brain Injuries – head injuries can include traumatic brain damage and possible lifelong consequences, victims suffering from these types of injuries can have a broad range of responses, from concussions to brain bleeds and comas, they can also struggle with memory or mobility loss, and spend substantial time and money to try to rehabilitate these sometimes unfixable conditions
- Back, Spine, and Neck Injuries – again, depending on the severity of these injuries, there are a broad range of consequences, from slipped disks and chronic pain, to bone breaks and paralysis, all requiring different amounts of rehabilitation, physical therapy, and medical treatments
- Broken Bones and Fractures – the way that a person lands after a fall accident can determine which bones are fractured or broken and can cause significant medical care and rehabilitation time
- Tendon and Ligament Tears – these injuries are very painful and, like many others associated with fall accidents, they can cause long-term damage and require physical therapy or surgeries
If you fell while working, it’s completely normal to feel afraid to ever work around heights again. Victims experience post traumatic stress disorder, lasting phobias, and psychological suffering. Brain injuries sustained can have significant impact on your life as well.
Emotional Support Resources
- Psychology Today is an online resource which lists information and contact numbers for specialized professionals who work with trauma victims of all kinds in the Bronx and surrounding neighborhoods.
- Reaching out to support groups who understand exactly what you are going through can be an important way to confirm that you are not alone. There are groups available in the Bronx and surrounding neighborhoods, some which offer support in Spanish as well as English.
- The Trauma Survivors Network is a completely free support group that is online-based and offers help and support specific to anyone who has been injured from falls on the job, among other things.
Can My Employer Retaliate If I Sue?
Although most employee-employer agreements are considered “at-will,” meaning that you can terminate the agreement at any time for any reason, there are both State and Federal laws which prohibit employers from engaging in behaviors that are considered retaliatory. If your employer has taken retaliatory action against you, you are entitled to take additional legal action.
Employer retaliation can include:
- Demotion or termination
- Unnecessary discipline
- Forced isolation
- Workers’ compensation interference
- Use of threats, whether verbal or physical
Additional information concerning retaliation can be obtained through the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission (or EEOC).
Was I Wrongfully Terminated?
If wrongful termination can be proven, the employee is entitled to sue their employer for damages, lost wages (both past and future), legal fees and expenses, mental anguish, and punitive damage. Many states have 3 exceptions entitling them to ‘wrongful termination,’ however, New York currently has just one: implied contract.
What Does Implied Contract Mean?
An implied contract is created when the employer and employee have no written or spoken agreement with each other, only one created through actions that is assumed. If there is no record of any actual verbal or written agreement, this indicates an implied contract agreement, which is considered an exception entitling the employee to consider pursuing a wrongful termination lawsuit.
Getting What You Deserve
If you’ve been injured, you deserve help. You should never have to choose between paying for medical treatment and feeding your family, especially when so much support is at your fingertips. Our consultations are completely free, so that you can explore your rights without paying a dime.