scissor lift accident injury lawyer new york city

What Our New Jersey and New York Construction Accident Attorneys Want You to Know About Scissor Lift Lift Accident Claims

Workers take their lives and safety in their hands when they do any task high in the air. When they are in a device like a scissor lift, it can be even more dangerous. Then, their safety depends on how the lift was made, how it is operated, and what safety equipment is used. 

An injured worker may file a construction lawsuit if someone else is to blame for their scissor lift accident. The construction accident attorneys at Hofmann & Schweitzer have been fighting for the rights of injured New York and New Jersey construction workers for almost 50 years, with numerous multimillion-dollar recoveries. Call us to learn how we can help you. 

What Is a Scissor Lift, and Why Is It So Dangerous?

Scissor lifts are called that because the work platform goes straight up and down using crossed beams. The mechanism these lifts use to work closely resembles that of a scissor. 

Scissor lifts take employees high off the ground. Most scissor lifts extend from 20 to 60 feet in the air. There are even some lifts that can reach as high as 120 feet. Given the height and the danger, it is vital that the lifts function perfectly and employers follow all applicable rules, both in the operation of the lift and in training employees to use them. 

Regulations from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration also govern the operation of scissor lifts in the workplace. Since scissor lifts reach high off the ground, they are covered under OSHA’s scaffolding standard, which is part of the Safety and Health Regulations for Construction.

Common Causes of Scissor Lift Accidents

Like other types of aerial lifts, scissor lifts are inherently dangerous pieces of equipment. The main hazard is that workers are high off the ground, where gravity may cause a catastrophic injury. Any type of accident or instability can cause them to suffer a fall, which can lead to severe injuries. In addition, because scissor lifts are mechanized, workers in them and on the ground may suffer an electrocution injury.

Some common causes of scissor lift accidents include:


Too many people on the platform can cause a scissor lift to tip over or people to fall out of it, 


Wind gusts can cause the platform to fall or sweep workers out of the lift.

Defective or improperly maintained lifts

A mechanical problem or defect can cause your injury.

Excessive or unbalanced weights

The lift must maintain a proper center of gravity to keep it from tipping.

Improper positioning

The lift must be properly positioned on level ground to maximize safety. 

Compensation for Scissor Lift Injuries

You have the right to file a lawsuit if New York Labor Law 240 applies to your scissor lift accident case. While New York workers’ compensation limits your possible compensation to medical expenses and part of your lost wages, a lawsuit may allow you to recover all your health care costs, lost income, pain, suffering, and other damages.

Why You Need a New York Scissor Lift Accident Attorney 

Our experienced construction accident lawyers will thoroughly investigate the cause of your accident, gather evidence, and identify all potential defendants. We will advise you of your rights and consider all applicable avenues of compensation. If it will help your case, we will identify expert witnesses to help prove liability or value your damages so that we can help you make a fair recovery for your scissor lift injuries. 

New York Labor Law and OSHA Regulations Protect Construction Workers on Scissor Lifts

New York Labor Law 240, also known as the New York Scaffolding Law, creates strict liability for contractors and property owners when construction workers are hurt in accidents involving elevation. In other words, construction workers who are hurt on scissor lifts may have a legal claim against the contractor or property owner if the contractor or property owner fails to provide adequate safety devices and the injury results from a covered activity.

Timothy F. Schweitzer
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Personal injury lawyer specializing in maritime, construction and railroad injury claims.