3 Things Workers Should Know About New York’s Scaffolding Law

Otherwise known as Labor Law Section 240, New York's Scaffolding Law is one of the best worker protection laws in the country.

Essentially, the NY Scaffolding Law requires all property owners and general contractors to provide construction workers with proper safety equipment — such as scaffolding — when the workers are constructing, demolishing, painting or simply cleaning a building. If the owner or contractor fails to fulfill this duty, and a worker is injured in a fall as a result, then the owner or contractor will be "absolutely liable."

So not only does the Scaffolding Law promote safety on construction sites, but it also provides workers who suffer fall-related injuries with effective legal options.

If you have been injured while working construction in New York, here are three things you need to know about the Scaffolding Law:

  • It applies to more than just scaffolding: While Labor Law Section 240 is often used by workers who have suffered scaffolding-related accidents — hence the name "Scaffolding Law" — it actually applies to several other situations, including those involving ladders, hoists, pulleys, ropes and slings, just to name a few. It also protects undocumented workers, which many people do not know.
    However, it should be noted that this law does not apply to property owners of one- and two-family dwellings, who contract for construction and do not actually control the work.
  • It is not the same as workers' comp: Seeking damages under New York's Scaffolding Law is not the same as seeking workers' compensation benefits. In fact, the compensation available under the Scaffolding Law may be significantly larger than what is provided through workers' comp, which is one of the many reasons why you should always speak to a catastrophic injury attorney before a workers' comp lawyer.
  • There may be a time limit to bring your claim: Under New York law, you typically have a limited amount of time to file a lawsuit following an injury-causing accident. Otherwise known as the statute of limitations, this period of time is normally limited to three years for personal injury claims related to construction accidents. If you fail to bring your claim within this time, you will be forever barred from enforcing your legal rights.
    However, it should be noted that if a construction death results in the death of a family member, you may only have two years to bring a wrongful death action. Also, if a government agency is involved, you will be subject to an even shorter time limit of 90 days.

Ultimately, this is merely a small amount of what you need to know if you have suffered serious injuries in a construction-related fall. To learn more, contact Edelman & Edelman, P.C.

We Will Fight For You

Scaffolding accidents can frequently involve complex litigation, which is why you need an experienced law firm handling your case. Not only does Edelman & Edelman, P.C., have a long history of successful verdicts and settlements, but attorney Martin Edelman is also regarded as one of the preeminent construction accident attorneys in New York.

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Schedule your free legal consultation today by calling our New York office at 212-235-1197. You can also reach us online. You shouldn't have to suffer simply because a property owner or contractor was more concerned with their bottom line than your safety.