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Workers' comp isn't your only option after a fall

If you were injured in a fall at a construction site, you have options. In addition to workers' compensation, you may be able to seek additional compensation under New York's scaffold law.

Labor Law Section 240 is known as the scaffold law, and it is unique to New York. It allows construction workers who were injured while working at an elevated height to seek compensation through a personal injury claim. This compensation is in addition to the coverage you would receive under workers' compensation.

When can you pursue damages under the scaffold law?

If you were working without proper safeguards and fell as a result, you may have a claim under New York's scaffold law. This includes situations where:

  • You were forced to use unsafe or defective scaffolding or ladders
  • There were no guardrails, safety lines or harnesses
  • Other equipment was unsafe or defective such as ropes, pulleys, hoists and similar construction equipment

The law includes specific guidelines for the use of scaffolding and safety equipment. A property owner, contractor or other third party can be held liable if he or she fails to follow these guidelines and a construction worker suffers in an injury in a fall.

What type of compensation could you receive after a fall?

Workers' compensation provides benefits to help cover medical expenses and a portion of your lost wages. You are entitled to workers' compensation benefits if you were injured at work, regardless of who was at fault for the accident.

If New York's scaffold law applies in your case or you were injured by a third party while at work, you can also pursue a personal injury claim. In this type of claim, you can receive compensation above and beyond what you would receive through workers' compensation. This includes damages for your medical bills, pain and suffering, and lost income.

How do you know if you have a personal injury case?

An attorney can evaluate your claim and explain your options. Your lawyer can also help you pursue all available compensation for your injuries, whether in negotiations or in the courtroom.

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