Godwin Hurley Donoghue, LLP

Workers' compensation and the scaffolding law

Construction work can be dangerous. Working on scaffolding at high elevations can increase that danger, particularly in a city like New York with its abundance of tall buildings and heavy pedestrian and motor vehicle traffic. Workers' compensation is available in the event of an on-the-job accident and there is a law in place that is intended to help protect New York construction workers, not just in the city but also throughout the state.

The New York Scaffold Law exists to protect those construction workers. Nevertheless, it has come under attack from insurers as they cite it as a cause of increased construction costs. Under the law, if a company provides the necessary safety equipment, training and a safe environment, the company will not be held liable regarding scaffolding accidents.

Unfortunately, some construction companies cut corners to improve their bottom line. They may be doing this at the expense of the safety of the workers who are doing the jobs that provide the revenue for that bottom line. Construction fatalities happen too often even though safety for the workers should be of paramount importance.

Construction is dangerous and accidents can happen even with appropriate safety measures in place. If a person in New York is injured on the job, a knowledgeable workers' compensation attorney can be of assistance. An experienced lawyer can review a person's situation and inform the client of his or hers right under the law. The attorney can also assist the client in obtaining the benefits that are available through workers' compensation, while also assessing whether grounds exist for pursuing a third party claim for personal injuries.

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