Chopra & Nocerino, LLP

New York construction worker struck by scaffolding

The New York City construction worker is one of the iconic images of the American working class. These hard-working individuals are the backbone that keeps the city standing upright, as well as the force that keeps it expanding. Construction is a physical job that carries an element of risk with it at every turn. And while safety is always a key concern on a jobsite, accidents do happen.

That was the scene earlier this summer in Morningside Heights, a neighborhood in Manhattan. According to NBC New York, construction worker Angel Ezpinoza was repairing the façade of a building at Columbia University when a piece of scaffolding came loose. The piping dropped 12 stories before fatally striking him.

In the wake of a construction accident

If you have worked at a construction site, there is no doubt you've considered what you could lose if you were in an accident. Aside from the pain of being injured, there is the strong likelihood of being unable to work. Being unable to provide for yourself and those that depend on you is a situation nobody wants to think about.

In addition to lost wages, there are medical bills to consider, possible surgery or rehab expenses, medical braces and even lost wages for family members who may have to take time off work to provide care. Workers’ compensation may be a good start, but often doesn’t cover all your expenses.

That is a time when working with a professional may be the answer to how to receive the compensation you need to get back on your feet. There is often much more at play in a construction accident than an individual accidentally hurting themselves.

In Angel’s tragic case, the scaffolding could have been defective, causing it to break and fall. The contractor he worked for may have negligently chosen to overlook the fact the scaffolding wasn’t properly assembled. There are many possible scenarios that an attorney can help you, or your family, through to find what really happened and secure fair compensation for what you have been through.

New York has protections for construction workers

If you are injured while working, be sure to notify your supervisor immediately. An incident report is critical to filing workers’ compensation and future paperwork. Be sure to visit a doctor right away as well. Getting prompt medical records in black and white can be essential for proving that your injury happened the way you claim that it did. 

OSHA mandates that everyone has the right to a safe work environment. New York City gives special considerations to workers who work in certain high-rise conditions. You have rights as a construction worker; protect them and seek fair compensation if you’ve been injured on the job.

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