Scaffolding accident lawsuits come in two forms: personal injury and wrongful death. Personal injury claims can be filed by those hurt in a scaffolding accident. Wrongful death claims can be filed by loved ones of those who succumb to scaffold-related injuries. A lawyer experienced in scaffolding lawsuits can help victims and families receive compensation for treatment, lost income and more.Injured by a fall from scaffolding? Get a free consultation today.
Why People Are Filing Scaffolding Accident Lawsuits
Approximately 2.3 million people work with scaffolds, and each year there are about 4,500 scaffolding-related injuries. Around 50 of those injuries result in death. Federal and state regulations demand strict worksite safety standards, but construction accidents are still far too common. Many worksite injuries are the result of a scaffolding collapse, but other incidents can result in harm as well.
Scaffolds regulations exist to keep construction workers safe, but they only do so when enforced. Failure to maintain safe scaffold conditions can put workers at risk of serious, even life-threatening injury. In fact, depending on the starting height, a fall can create enough force to tear heart muscle or damage spinal nerves.
Fall From Height Injuries
- Lower extremity fracture
- Pelvic fracture
- Spinal fracture
- Nerve damage
- Spinal cord injury
- Rib fracture
- Pericardial tearing
- Pneumothorax (collapsed lung)
- Hemothorax (part of the lung cavity filling with blood)
When working on or around scaffold installations, the cost of ignoring safety regulations can be steep. Injured employees can face substantial medical bills, lost wages and other financial consequences. Worker’s compensation may help provide financial benefits for covered employees. Others can seek legal damages in a scaffolding accident lawsuit to help offset these unexpected costs.
OSHA Scaffolding Safety Checklist
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) works with state lawmakers to ensure worker safety during construction projects. To help, OSHA created a checklist of scaffolding requirements to ensure worker safety.
Selected Requirements from OSHA Scaffolding Checklist
- Scaffolds must be able to carry their own weight plus four times the maximum intended load.
- Scaffolds have to be equipped with guardrails, midrails and toeboards.
- Unstable objects, such as barrels, boxes, loose bricks or concrete blocks must not be used to support scaffolds or planks.
- Must use scaffold plank grade material.
- Scaffolds must undergo proper inspection and re-inspection at specified intervals.
- Employees must be instructed about the hazards of using diagonal braces as fall protection.
- Scaffolds must be at least 10 feet from electric power lines at all times.
- Proper training is required for all personnel who will be working around or on a scaffold.
If you note unsafe conditions or know of a scaffolding accident at your worksite, you can report such violations to OSHA. Reports can be made in any of the following ways:
- Call OSHA at 1-800-321-6742
- View OSHA Offices by state and contact the your local office
- Fill out an online eComplaint Form, or print and mail/fax it to your local OSHA office.
Even if you qualify for and receive worker’s compensation, you may still be eligible for additional compensation. These damages can be sought by filing either of the scaffolding accident claims below.
- Personal injury claims are filed by individuals hurt in a scaffolding accident.
- Wrongful death claims are filed by loved ones of an individual who died due to injuries sustained in a scaffolding accident.
Reputable scaffold accident lawyers will typically offer an initial consultation for free. It’s a good idea to get in touch with an accident attorney as soon as possible. The statute of limitations in your state may prevent you from exercising your legal rights if you wait too long.Talk to a personal injury lawyer Learn about your rights after a scaffolding accident
Liability laws may change from state to state, but in most cases, the safety of scaffolding and the workers on a construction site falls on the shoulders of the employer or contractor in charge. Supervisors and managers are responsible for ensuring that proper materials are used and erection standards are met; they are also required to inspect scaffolding on a regular basis to ensure worker safety.
In New York, workers are uniquely protected, as labor law states that all responsibility for fall injuries is in the hands of the construction company or building owner. Other states may place responsibility with the scaffolding company the workers in accidents not caused by a faulty scaffold.
Worker’s compensation is designed to benefit both the employee and employer in the case of a worksite accident. For employees, worker’s comp covers medical expenses, along with a portion of the employee’s salary. For employers, it provides a “no-fault” insurance program. Covered employees agree not to sue the employer for additional compensation in return for “automatic” accident benefits.
However, there are many instances in which worker’s compensation is denied or simply insufficient. Injured workers may be denied compensation for a number of reasons, including but not limited to:
- The claim is not reported or filed on time.
- The employer disputes the claim.
- The worker declined to receive medical treatment.
If your employer is denying you compensation, it’s important to go through all the details with your personal injury attorney. They may be able to fight for your right to worker’s compensation. They may alternately suggest a personal injury lawsuit against your employer.
Scaffolding Accident Settlements and Verdicts
When a scaffolding accident is attributed to an employer or owner’s negligence, they can be held liable for legal damages. Employees injured in construction workplace accidents have received substantial verdicts and settlements over the years.
Scaffolding Fall – $6.3 Million Settlement
A man who fell from scaffolding at a public school sustained multiple serious injuries, leaving him with permanent disabilities. His lawsuit settled for $6.3 million.
Fall on Scaffolding – $7.5 Million Verdict
A construction worker fell from one level of scaffold to a lower level and injured his foot as a result. He now lives with complex regional pain syndrome in that foot, which forces him to walk with a crutch and use prescription pain medication daily. Though a jury awarded him $7.5 million, a pretrial agreement cut that award down to $2.5 million.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I Need a Construction Accident Attorney?
The best way to tell if you have a case is to speak to a scaffolding accident attorney with experience handling construction-related lawsuits. They will be able to advise you on how to move forward and help you get the compensation you deserve.
What if I Was Walking by Scaffolding When I Was Injured?
You don’t have to be a construction worker to have legal rights in a scaffold accident. If scaffolding collapses on you as a bystander, you have the right to sue. The same goes for construction materials falling from scaffolding and injuring you. Depending on how the accident happened, you may seek legal damages from the general contractor or the property owner.
How Will I Pay for a Scaffolding Lawsuit?
Reputable law firms will undertake this type of case on contingency. This means the injured worker pays nothing up front and only pays the lawyer once a settlement or verdict is reached. You can discuss payment options in your free case consultation.Talk to a Scaffolding Accident Lawyer
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