New York Window Cleaner Accident Lawyer
New York is known for its high-rise commercial and residential buildings decorating the skyline in each of the major cities. Some of the unsung heroes of the high-rise building locales are the people that risk life and limb to wash the windows on the upper floors. It takes dedication, professionalism, and bravery to scale those heights every day.
If there is a problem with the scaffolding or any other piece of equipment involved, window washers face a terrifying drop. Indeed, workplace falls are the leading cause of workplace on-the-job fatalities in the country, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The International Window Cleaning Association reports that at least one window washer is killed each year by falling from a skyscraper window.
If you have been injured in a window cleaning or scaffolding accident, or if you have lost a family member to a window washing accident in the Hudson Valley, contact an experienced New York personal injury lawyer for a consultation on your claims by calling Rusk, Wadlin, Heppner & Martuscello. We will ensure that the parties at fault for the fall are identified and held responsible for your injury.
Who Pays After a Window Washing Accident?
In New York, if you are injured while washing windows or otherwise cleaning the exterior of a building as part of your job, then you are covered by workers’ compensation. Your employer is required by law to provide workers’ compensation for just this sort of event. You are covered regardless of whether the accident is your fault or the fault of a co-worker or your employer.
However, workers’ compensation may not cover all of your medical bills and related expenses. If there was another cause of your accident, outside of either your employer or other co-worker, then you may be able to file a third-party liability claim against the responsible party. For example, if the accident was caused by a defect in the rope, scaffolding, or safety harness, then you may be able to bring a lawsuit against the manufacturer of the equipment.
Likewise, you may be able to sue the property owner or another contractor if they are at fault for your accident. New York Labor Law section 240(1) – the scaffold law – holds contractors and owners absolutely liable for injuries caused by their failure to provide a safe working environment, including providing scaffolding, hoists and other devices necessary to give proper fall protection to a worker employed in cleaning a building. While workers’ compensation is limited to medical bills and lost wages, third-party liability claims and section 240 claims allow you to pursue noneconomic damages such as pain and suffering.
Causes of a Window Washing Accident
Window washing accidents can be caused by a number of reasons. Many of these causes implicate the liability of a third party. Property owners and contractors, in addition to the window washer’s employer, are responsible for maintaining appropriate safety equipment and practices. Failure to utilize appropriate equipment or properly provide oversight is one major cause of liability. Additionally, some common causes of window washing accidents include:
- Collapsing scaffolding or ladders
- Faulty scaffold construction
- Issues with the harness, clips, or safety lines, or lack thereof
- Defects in safety equipment
- Misuse of safety equipment
Building a Personal Injury Case After a Window Washing Accident
After a New York window washing accident, it is vital that you contact a dedicated personal injury attorney as soon as possible in order to preserve any civil claims you may have. The success of your claims will depend in large part on the conditions of the workplace and the elements identified directly after the accident, so it is important to begin your investigation immediately and with the help of a knowledgeable window cleaner accident attorney. Gathering the right evidence from day one is the best way to ensure that your medical bills and other damages are covered by the appropriate parties.
Additionally, New York has a statute of limitations of three years for personal injury claims. This means that you must bring your lawsuit within three years of the date of the accident in order to have any chance of recovery. Our dedicated window washer accident lawyers will help you build your case and force the people responsible to compensate you and your family for your damages.
Kingston Injury Lawyers for Hudson Valley Window Cleaning Accidents
For assistance in seeking the damages to which you and your family are entitled for injuries received in a Hudson Valley window cleaner or scaffolding accident, contact a New York personal injury accident lawyer at Rusk, Wadlin, Heppner & Martuscello for a free consultation on your possible lawsuit. Call 845-331-4100 for our Kingston office or 845-236-4411 for our office in Marlboro.