NY Construction Fall Accident Lawyers

Fall-Related Accidents and Injuries on a Construction Site

Every year, falls cause major injuries to construction workers in New York. In fact, they often result in fatalities. Even when the worker survives, there are many tough challenges he or she is faced with, such as costly medical bills, an uphill recovery, and the loss of income from missed work. Sometimes, you could even be left with a permanent disability like paralysis - unable to work for the rest of your life.

How Do Construction-Related Falls Happen?

The most common construction-related falls occur when a worker falls off a scaffold, falls off a ladder, slips and falls, or falls after being hit by another falling object. Whatever the cause, the end result can be devastating. The worker could suffer broken bones, catastrophic injuries, or paralysis. He or she could suffer brain injuries or be killed outright.

Falling accidents on construction sites are largely preventable, and The Department of Labor and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) have stringent rules the construction industry is supposed to follow. The following hazards cause the most fall-related injuries:

  • Unprotected sides, wall openings, and floor holes: These are found almost in any construction site, but employers must use appropriate guardrail, safety net, and fall arrest systems, especially when workers are doing their jobs at a height of 6 feet or more. It's common for construction companies to cut corners, and workers and their families end up paying the price after a fall accident.
  • Improper scaffold construction: All scaffolds must be constructed according to manufacturer’s instructions. Installing appropriate guardrails and fall arrest systems will go a long way to protect workers.
  • Protruding steel rebar: These steel bars, which are a common sight in any work site, should be bent over or topped with caps so a worker cannot be impaled by falling on them.
  • Improper use of portable ladders: The risk of falling off portable ladders increases if ladders are not positioned safely, are old and defective, or if they are placed on an uneven surface.

Falls and Spinal Cord Damage

When a construction worker suffers enough physical trauma in a fall to damage his spinal cord, he can be paralyzed. The spinal cord carries messages from the brain to the muscles. Damage to the spinal cord can disrupt this communication.

Depending on where and how bad the spinal cord injury is, paralysis can be in just one area, or widespread. When the spinal cord is damaged in the neck, it can result in quadriplegia, which is paralysis of both arms and legs. When the trauma affects only the lower half of the body, it is known as paraplegia.

Paralysis is a permanent disability that prevents victims from returning to work. Treatment and rehabilitation for victims can be costly, adding up to millions of dollars over a person's lifetime.

Falls from Heights: the Greatest Danger

Falls from heights account for 33% of all deaths at construction sites. Scaffolding, open sides, and ladders are the most common culprits. If a construction company does not properly maintain its equipment or follow safety guidelines, a slight miscalculation by a worker or unavoidable trip becomes a tragedy.

Proving that a fall was caused by the construction company’s negligence can be quite difficult, so an experienced NY personal injury lawyer is necessary to make a strong case. When negligence is demonstrated, the victim can get compensation for medical bills and other expenses, not to mention pain and suffering. Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro & Halperin, LLP, has worked vigorously on behalf of many injured construction workers to get compensation for their preventable injuries:

  • $11.1 Million Verdict - Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro & Halperin, LLP, were able to obtain a verdict of over $11 million for a construction worker who fell from a ladder at a New York high school. Our client struck his head after falling from the ladder, which resulted not only in serious medical expenses, but also in severe changes in his personality and psychological well-being. Proving these changes required the testimony of a neuropsychologist, psychiatrist, and other professionals. Despite a vigorous opposing defense, we were able to win fitting compensation for our client's pain and suffering and medical expenses.
  • $2.4 Million Settlement - While working in a building, a plumber fell about 10 feet from a ladder and suffered serious physical injury as a result. We were able to demonstrate that the ladder was old and not properly maintained, which made it unsafe for our client to use during work on the roof. This resulted in the fall that required extensive medical treatment, including arthroscopic surgery and the insertion of a screw to reduce the extent of a fracture. By demonstrating the extent of these injuries, and the liability of the company involved, we obtained a settlement of over $2 million following mediation, without the need of a lengthy trial.
  • $1.75 Million Verdict - After falling about 6 feet from a ladder while drilling holes in a ceiling, a plumber suffered extensive physical injuries. We demonstrated that the ladder was not properly maintained and that additional protective devices should have been supplied to keep our client safe while working. This negligence made the defendant liable for our client's injuries, which required arthroscopic surgery and lumbar surgery to properly treat. Fortunately, our client was able to return to work and not lose earnings due to his injury, but he still received a verdict of well over $1 million to pay medical expenses and compensate him for his pain and suffering.

These types of injuries from ladder falls are all too common; usually due to faulty equipment or a lack of proper safety gear at a work site. Such negligence is not only dangerous for workers, but is grounds for liability if an accident and injury does occur. Do not suffer in silence. If you have been injured due to a fall from a ladder, it might not have been your fault. Your employer should keep the site safe, which includes proper maintenance and replacement of ladders, and providing safety equipment to minimize injuries when an accident does occur.

Disability payments may not be enough to cover all of your medical expenses and loss of income due to serious construction site injuries. DO NOT accept a settlement from your employer's insurance provider without consulting our experienced NY construction accident attorneys.

Call a NY Work Injury Lawyer at (212) 986-7353 Today

Victims of construction accident injuries and paralysis can receive fair compensation with the aid of experienced attorney. If you are suffering from a job-related injury, a construction accident attorney can help you get support for your current and future medical bills, as well as pain and suffering, lost wages, and more. Let Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro & Halperin, LLP, help. Contact us today for a free consultation.

Additional Information

NY Construction Site Fall Accident Verdicts & Settlements

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Contact Us: Free Consultation

If you or a loved one has been seriously injured, it is important to seek legal representation as soon as possible. Contact the New York personal injury attorneys at Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro & Halperin, LLP today for a FREE, no obligation consultation today:

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420 Lexington Ave. Suite 2750 New York, NY 10170
Phone: (212) 986-7353 Fax: (212) 953-4308

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New York Construction Slip and Fall Attorney Disclaimer: The legal information presented at this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer or attorney client relationship. Any results set forth here were dependent on the facts of that case and the results will differ from case to case. Please contact a lawyer at our law firm offices. This web site is not intended to solicit clients for matters outside of the State of New York, although we have relationships with attorneys and law firms in states throughout the United States.

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