The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reports that 2.3 million construction workers use scaffolds at the job site. Scaffolds are temporary structures that elevate and support workers and their materials as they construct, repair or clean a building. While OSHA enforces over a dozen scaffolding regulations, scaffolding accidents and injuries are much too common.
What causes a scaffolding accident?
There are a few major causes of scaffolding accidents including:
- Scaffolding collapse: If a scaffold has multiple defects, the entire structure could collapse and injure those on or around it. Scaffolds are often made up of heavy materials (e.g., wood, metal), making the injuries suffered even more serious.
- Slip and falls: It is very common for workers to slip or trip on an object within the scaffold and fall off the structure. Falls are actually the most common cause of deaths on construction sites.
- Struck by a falling object: Heavy equipment and materials can fall hundreds of feet causing major injuries to those below.
- Defective planks or support beams: Scaffolds have many parts that need to be well-maintained. Broken or dented support rods and planks may fail to support a worker’s weight, causing the structure to break. As a result, the worker may fall or get stuck within the structure.
No matter the type of accident, they often cause serious injuries, including:
- Crushing injuries
- Spinal cord injuries (e.g., paralysis)
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Broken bones
How can I recover compensation for my injuries?
Depending on the circumstances of your accident, you may have two options to recover compensation:
If you were injured on-the-job, you may file a workers’ compensation claim with your employer. The benefits you receive will help pay for medical bills and lost wages, but you will be unable to file suit against your employer.
Third Party Lawsuit
Both workers and passersby may file a lawsuit against any third party they find liable for the accident. Some potential defendants include:
- Scaffold manufacturers
- Contractors (general and sub)
- Engineers and architects
- Construction company (for pedestrians only)
- Property managers
Once you have determined the liable party, you will need to prove that the defendants are guilty of negligence. Proving negligence requires you to establish:
- Duty owed to the plaintiff: You will need to prove that the defendants owed you a duty to keep you safe.
- Breach of duty owed: You will need to show that the defendant was negligent. OSHA violations or failure to provide adequate training may be negligent behaviors.
- Causation: You will need to show that the defendant’s negligence caused your injuries. To do so, you will need to show that your injuries would not have happened but for the defendant’s negligent actions.
- Damages: Lastly, you will have to prove that you suffered damages in the accident.
Scaffolding accidents can cause serious injuries that will affect you for the rest of your life. For more information on how to receive compensation for your injuries, contact a construction site accident lawyer at Montero Law Center. We offer free consultations and do not charge you unless you win your case.
Give us a call today: 954-767-6500.