If a scaffolding accident occurs, the employee is typically held liable and can be sued for any injury to you or another worker. But sometimes, the manufacturer is also liable, and all parties involved may face a personal injury lawsuit.
Overview Of Scaffolding Accidents
Scaffoldings are necessary tools in everyday construction and are commonly used by millions at construction sites for structure development, repair, and maintenance. Still, due to their nature, there is an inherent danger present in their use.
Multiple work safety regulations and requirements are implemented by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to protect workers. Despite this, however, thousands of accidents still occur each year, many either from failure to adhere to these regulations or negligence in another form.
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OSHA Safety Requirements and Regulations
In addition to training, there are hundreds of standards in place by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to protect construction workers and ensure a safe work environment. But among these, there are a few prominent prerequisites for the operation of scaffoldings:
- Scaffoldings should support at least four times their weight.
- All planking should overlap no less than 12 inches.
- All workers must wear hard hats if work is being done overhead.
- Each scaffold or walkway should be at least 18 inches wide.
- Tools and debris are not to be allowed to accumulate on the platform.
Each employee must also be trained by a qualifying individual before performing any scaffolding duties. Routine inspections are also to be done to ensure the optimal functionality of the scaffolding and all relevant equipment and prompt resolution should any flaw or potential hazard be discovered.
Other Potentially Responsible Parties for Scaffold Accidents
Failure to comply with OSHA standards will leave your employer or the establishment liable for your injuries and able to be sued through a personal injury claim, but this is not always the case.
A negligent employee’s actions or failure to give proper warning before a dangerous action before a scaffolding accident leaves them responsible for any subsequent injury.
Additionally, equipment mishaps and malfunctions are possible. One of these occurrences directly influencing a scaffolding accident would make the manufacturers the liable party in this case.
Multiple parties can be held responsible for a scaffolding accident. How this affects any potential lawsuits depends on the fault laws of the state you are currently residing in.
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Filing A Personal Injury Claim for a Scaffold Accident
A personal injury claim involves filing a lawsuit against the negligent party responsible for your injury. The employer will usually be among those responsible, but a negligent employee’s actions could have facilitated the accident, or faulty machinery would note that the manufacturer would bear responsibility. If filing a personal injury claim, it would be against these parties.
There are likely to be insurance policies at your workplace that will cover medical bills and lost wages, but the amount in wages reimbursed will vary depending on your state and will not always be the full amount. So it is encouraged to file a personal injury claim to ensure full reimbursement in the event of an injury.
The time you have to file a personal injury claim will be dependent on your state of residence.
If you are successful in your personal injury claim, you are eligible for the following in damages.
- Lost wages
- Medical bills
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Funeral & burial expenses (Wrongful Death)
A personal injury lawyer can determine what fair compensation would look like in your case.
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Different Causes Of Scaffolding Accidents
Since scaffolds place workers high above the ground, the consequences of a scaffolding accident can be catastrophic. Below are some primary catalysts:
- The scaffolding is improperly built or maintained.
- Accumulation of debris or work equipment placed atop the scaffolding at high altitude.
- Poor weather causes the work area to become dangerous or unstable.
- Workers are not properly trained by the facility to operate the scaffolding.
One or more of these criteria or several others being met can be the cause of workers falling off or through the scaffolding, being hit by debris above, or any other mishap that can cause catastrophic injury or death.
Common Injuries From Scaffold Accidents
OSHA regulations require that certain safety equipment be worn by law-abiding workers when any operation involving a scaffolding takes place, but scaffoldings typically place workers at high levels of elevation, and falling from such a height, even with the proper safety equipment, can be disastrous:
Here are some common examples of injuries from scaffolding accidents:
- Internal bleeding & organ damage
- Neck injury
- Head trauma
- Bone fractures
- Spinal cord injury
Another common cause of scaffold accident injuries involves debris or heavy construction equipment falling off of the scaffolding and hitting workers down below. This can cause a head injury that can have life-changing repercussions.
Work With Our Personal Injury Lawyers After a Scaffold Accident
Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers can determine who is liable for a scaffold accident. We can then file an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit to help you seek compensation. Call us today for a free consultation.
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