Did you know that there are more deaths in the construction industry each year than in almost any other U.S. industry? The inherent danger in construction sites causes many “falls” to happen, including individuals falling from scaffolding. Therefore, unsafe scaffolding leads to many lawsuits brought about by construction workers and their families, who may be seeking compensation for either the worker’s personal injury or death.
Unfortunately, the economic recoveries of injured employees are often limited by workers’ compensation laws, including in accidents related to scaffolding. Below, we will go over what happens in scaffolding accidents cases not involving workers’ compensation laws, and what needs to happen in order to win a personal injury lawsuit after falling from scaffolding.
Upholding Safety Standards
There are many regulations in maintaining, constructing, and using scaffolding safely, as established by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Of course, states may also have their own regulations when it comes to safe scaffolding, and private organizations often publish their own safety standards surrounding scaffolding. If any of these such standards are violated, the circumstances may be used as evidence in personal injury lawsuits resulting from scaffolding accidents.
Generally, these are some of the most often violated safety standards that result in scaffolding accidents: scaffolding should support more than the necessary weight anticipated, by at least four times the amount; barrels, bricks, or other loose objects should never be used to support the scaffolding; planks should extend over their supports with between six and 18 inches, and should overlap by at least 12 inches; and others.
Scaffolding Accident Lawsuits
You must be able to prove three things in order to win a personal injury lawsuit resulting from a fall from a scaffolding: the defendant (typically the party responsible for maintaining or moving scaffolding) had a duty to provide a safe environment for you; they were in breach of that duty; and the breach of duty caused you harm.
Any party that is responsible for making decisions at the construction site is typically liable for the workers’ safety and thus has a duty to protect them. Said duty may apply to scaffolding. For example, a building owner that regularly oversees and directs construction workers may be liable for scaffolding accidents that occur on their property. Breaching that duty means that they have in some way failed to meet the established regulations of scaffolding safety.
Personal Injury Damages
As scaffolding accidents often result in personal injury, there are many types of damages you could collect as the result of such an accident. These may include medical expenses, lost wages, loss of normal life, and pain and suffering.
In order to win such a lawsuit, you must be able to prove negligence on the defendant’s part. With all the regulations in place and various circumstances, it’s often best to go with a personal injury lawyer to help you win your case.