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Scaffolding Accident Lawsuits - Who Is At Fault?

Scaffolding Accident Lawyers Explain The Scaffold Safety Standards

Should You File A Scaffolding Accident Lawsuit? 

Every day, construction workers put their lives at risk for serious injuries or possibly death when working on construction sites surrounded by dangerous and hazardous materials and equipment. With an estimated amount of 500,000 construction accidents reported yearly, statistics show that one out of every five of these construction accidents involve scaffolding. If you’ve suffered injuries caused by a scaffolding accident, you may be wondering: 

  • Will worker's compensation cover my lost income? 
  • Where can I find a construction accident attorney? 
  • How will I pay my medical expenses? 
  • How much is a scaffolding accident settlement worth?

The experienced scaffolding accident lawyers at The Product Lawyers are dedicated to assisting injured workers fight for the compensation they deserve. If you or someone you love has suffered injuries or even a wrongful death caused by a scaffolding accident on a construction site, contact us today to schedule your free consultation. 

Litigation Status: Active
Accepting Clients: Yes
Content Author: Laurence Banville
Edited By: Emily Smith
Published: February 19, 2021
Fact checked on: February 19, 2021Resources Cited in this Article
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Construction Worker Scaffolding Accidents

A large percentage of construction is performed on sides of buildings and above structures where construction workers rely on the use of scaffolds and ladders to complete their construction projects. Because of this, construction site scaffolding accidents are known to cause a wide amount of serious work injuries, and the most common tend to include: 

  • Broken bones
  • Traumatic Brain Injuries
  • Spinal Cord Injury
  • Electrocution
  • Paralysis
  • Neck Injuries
  • Death
  • Rib Fracture
  • Nerve Damage
  • Concussion

These catastrophic scaffolding accidents are usually caused by dangerous conditions that lead to a construction worker falling from scaffolding, creating serious life-threatening injuries. Injured workers can face significant costs associated with medical bills, loss of income, and other financial hardships.

There are approximately over 2 million workers that continue to work with scaffolds, with about 4,500 of those workers sustaining scaffolding accident-related personal injury. Though workers' compensation laws were created to assist injured workers, it can be somewhat difficult to go through the claims process and successfully receive the financial compensation you deserve.

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Causes Of Scaffold Accidents - Scaffold Safety Standards

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) was created to help protect scaffolding workers in the construction industry. OSHA provides safety regulations that all employers are required to follow, to ensure the health and safety of their scaffolding workers. 

Sadly, there are many construction companies that do not abide by the safety protocols. Failure for a scaffolding company to properly maintain safety equipment can cause accidents to construction workers that can lead to traumatic, preventable accidents. The most common causes of scaffolding accidents include: 

  • Defective equipment
  • Failure to maintain equipment
  • Lack of safety regulations 
  • Insufficient fall protection for worker safety
  • Slip and fall accidents
  • Scaffold support fails
  • A worker being struck by a falling object

Improper scaffolding training also has a huge impact on the number of scaffolding accidents that cause personal injury. When scaffolds are put away or set up without taking the necessary precautions, it can cause unsecured planking and support for the worker maneuvering on the scaffold. Other scaffolding accidents that can cause a personal injury include:

  • Defective scaffolds
  • Inadequate supervising while on a scaffold
  • Improper scaffolding training
  • Scaffold roofing accidents
  • Electrical wiring mishaps on the scaffold

Your employer may be held responsible for injuries sustained by a scaffolding accident if the accident was caused by a violation of The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards. 

Here is a list of OSHA's most commonly violated scaffold safety regulations:

  • Tools and materials are not permitted to be collected on the scaffold.
  • All planking should overlap by at least 12 inches.
  • The scaffold should support 4x its expected weight.
  • No loose objects are allowed on the scaffold.
  • Adequate overhead protection must be present.
  • Scaffolds must be at least 10 feet from electrical power lines.

Who Is Responsible For Scaffold Accidents?

The liability in a construction site scaffolding accident is usually determined by three components.

  • Product Liability, was the product faulty, defective?
  • Premises Liability, was the site of the scaffold accident not up to safety standards?
  • Negligence, was the scaffolding accident a user error or an outside source?

A personal injury lawsuit would help determine who the liable party is in the scaffolding incident and can help the client recover damages and compensation to help pay for:

  • Lost wages
  • Medical expenses
  • Loss of future earnings
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of consortium
  • Loss of quality of life

Workers' Compensation Laws

As mentioned above, worker's compensation has the sole purpose of protecting the rights of both the employer and the employee in scaffolding incidents. For employers, a "no-fault" insurance plan is provided to the employees and covers a workplace accident as long as the employee agrees not to sue the employer for additional compensation. For employees, the worker's compensation insurance is supposed to help cover medical expenses associated with the work-related scaffolding accident, including a percentage of the worker's salary to help during their recovery.

As great as that sounds, it's unfortunately very common for worker's compensation claims to get denied or come back as inconclusive. Denials for scaffolding accidents can happen for a variety of reasons, but the most common is related to the timing of filing, insufficient medical treatment, or the employer choosing to fight the claim.

Even if you qualify for workers' compensation, you could still be eligible for other financial compensation that can help you get back on your feet after a scaffolding injury.

Contact A Personal Injury Lawyer - Get Your Questions Answered

Many construction workers falsely assume that since they are already collecting workers' compensation from their employer's insurance provider, they would not be entitled to file a personal injury lawsuit against a negligent third-party. If a third-party such as a manufacturer, contractor, or property owner is responsible for your accident, they can be held accountable thus be liable for your scaffolding injuries. 

There are two types of scaffolding accident claims that can be filed:

  • A personal injury claim, which is filed by an individual after sustaining injuries after a scaffolding accident
  • A wrongful death claim, which is filed by the loved ones of the individual who died due to their scaffolding injuries.

If you or a loved one has been injured due to a scaffolding accident, contact our experienced scaffolding accident attorneys today to assist you in pursuing a claim. Our law firm can offer you a free case evaluation and we work on a contingency-fee-basis, so you have nothing to lose and compensation to gain. 

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Medical Journals & Expert Research Cited In This Article

OSHA Scaffold Guide: Scaffold Use In The Construction Industry

Grainger Scaffold Requirements: OSHA Scaffolding Requirements Outlined

OSHA Safety Standards For Scaffolding https://www.osha.gov/scaffolding

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