Window washing is not a job for the faint of heart. It takes a great deal of professionalism, dedication, and bravery to scale those heights every day. If you've been injured in an accident as a window washer, or worse, had a loved one die while on the job, call Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro & Halperin, LLP immediately. Our firm is proud to serve the men and women who labor under such conditions. For decades, we have successfully fought for victims of workplace injury, and our track record reflects that. For a free, no-obligation case evaluation, contact us at (212) 986-7353, or use the online form found on this page.
If you've been injured in a window washing accident, don't hesitate to contact us immediately. Your case will rely heavily on conditions and elements found directly after your accident, so it's extremely important that you contact our attorneys in order to help preserve critical pieces of your case. Physical evidence, eyewitness statements, and documentation concerning the details surrounding your accident can dissolve over time. To help make sure that we're able to build the strongest case possible on your behalf, it's imperative that you contact our personal injury attorneys. We've obtained millions of dollars for our personal injury clients and have the experience necessary to ensure that your rights as an accident victim are never ignored.
In regard to injury cases, the state of New York's statute of limitations only provides a three-year window for personal injury suits. Put simply, if you don't act immediately on your injury claim, you may be unable to collect compensation from the at-fault party. The NY on the job injury attorneys at Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro & Halperin, LLP have a history of representing New York window washers, and will utilize every resource at our disposal to best represent your needs and the needs of your family. However, we can only help if you contact us as soon as you possibly can.
Because of the great heights that window washers work at, especially in New York, they are at even greater risk to suffering an injury due to falling. These injuries may include:
- Traumatic Brain Injuries: Falls can easily cause damage to the brain due to the violent impact with the ground or the shaking of the brain. Even if you suspect you have a concussion, it is important to have your injuries assessed by a doctor to rule out any long-term damage.
- Spinal cord, neck, and back injuries: These parts of the body act as an extension of your nervous system and, if seriously damaged, can affect your body’s overall mobility, even causing paralysis.
- Broken bones: Fractures and broken bones can be the most obvious injury you notice after a fall.
- Exposure to toxic chemicals: Chemicals used for cleaning can be dangerous if a worker gets them in their eyes, mouth, and even on their skin. Wearing proper protection such as gloves, goggles, and boots can prevent burns and other injuries.
- Rotator cuff tears: Window washers may overextend and stretch their muscles during their work, causing repetitive damage to their shoulders. This damage can be exasperated from lifting and carrying cleaning equipment and chemicals at job sites.
Following a recent incident at 1 World Trade Center that left two men hanging on for their lives hundreds of feet above the city, many window washers and similar laborers began asking themselves:
- If I have a window washing accident, who's really at fault?
- Was my company-provided equipment in good working order, or was it in need of repair or replacing?
- Am I really the only one to blame for getting hurt while on the job?
While there are a number of possibilities when it comes to personal injury or wrongful death suits, window washers in particular are covered under a very specific section of New York State Labor Laws:
New York Labor Law § 202: Building managers, owners, lessees, superintendents and other officials must ensure the safety of contractors hired to wash windows at any height along their structure. Washers are required by law to refrain from their duties if the tools provided to wash the windows are not up to code.
New York Labor Law § 204: Similar to Labor Law 202, it is up to the building owner or contractor on the job site to ensure that window washers, or anyone improving the exterior of a commercial building for that matter, are given the necessary scaffolding and safety gear to perform the job. Even if the laborers bring their own gear, whoever has contracted the work is required to provide the proper rigging and gear.
Within New York, all employees are eligible for workers’ compensation and can file a claim for a workplace injury. However, independent contractors are not considered employees and are not awarded the same right to workers’ compensation. Independent contractors apply for workers’ compensation separate from their personal insurance, but it is often more affordable to find employment directly with a cleaning company.
If you are unsure if your injury is covered under workers’ compensation, consider the following requirements:
- You are an employee of the company
- Your injury occurred while you were performing your job
- You reported the injury in writing to your employer within 30 days of the incident
- You provided a medical report stating that your injury was the result of an on-the-job injury
As long as your injury fits into this situation and you follow each step when filing your claim, you are protected under New York workers laws and should receive compensation for your injuries in the form of medical costs, lost wages, and disability benefits, if applicable. However, your employer and their insurance provider may deny your claim if it does not perceive the injury as “work-related.” In this situation you will want to collect all related evidence, including witness statements, medical reports, and job site reports, and immediately contact a personal injury attorney.
Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro & Halperin, LLP have represented laborers from every type of industry, both public and private, throughout New York City for almost 50 years. We know the various defenses that negligent building owners, contractors, and site supervisors have used before, and how to successfully counter these defense strategies. We are dedicated to workers' rights, and promise to work tirelessly in your defense.
While a lawsuit cannot undo injury and other damage done, we can help secure the financial aid and peace of mind you need in order to begin moving on. If you've recently been injured as a window washer or know someone who has, please call Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro & Halperin, LLP today at (212) 986-7353 to schedule your free appointment.