Yes, you can sue after a scaffolding accident if the accident was due to negligence or unsafe conditions. The employee will be held liable and can be sued for an injury caused to another worker. However, sometimes, the manufacturer may also be held liable for the injury, and a personal injury lawsuit may be filed against all the parties.
Consulting with a scaffolding accident attorney can help assess the details of the case and determine if you have grounds for a lawsuit to seek compensation for injuries and damages (See more on when to hire a personal injury lawyer).
What Causes Scaffolding Accidents?
Scaffolding accidents can be caused by various factors, including:
- Lack of Proper Training: Inadequate training for workers on how to use scaffolding safely can lead to accidents.
- Faulty Equipment: Defective or poorly maintained scaffolding equipment can result in collapses or accidents.
- Unsafe Conditions: Working on uneven or unstable surfaces or in adverse weather increases the risk of accidents.
- Lack of Fall Protection: Absence or improper use of fall protection measures, such as guardrails and safety nets, can lead to falls scaffolding accident.
- Overloading: Putting too much weight on the scaffolding beyond its capacity can cause it to collapse.
- Poor Construction Planning: Inadequate planning and design of scaffolding structures contribute to accidents.
- Communication Issues: Lack of clear communication among workers on the scaffolding can lead to accidents and falls.
- Inadequate Inspections: Failing to regularly inspect and maintain scaffolding for safety can result in hazardous conditions.
Understanding and addressing these factors is crucial for preventing scaffolding accidents in construction settings.
Injuries Sustained In Scaffolding Accidents
Injuries sustained in a scaffolding accident can vary widely, ranging from fractures and sprains to more severe outcomes like head injuries or spinal cord damage. The nature and extent of injuries often depend on factors such as the height of the fall, safety measures in place, and the promptness of medical attention received.
Who Is At Fault For A Scaffolding Accident?
Determining fault in a scaffolding accident involves assessing various factors related to negligence, product liability, and premises liability:
- Worker Negligence: If workers fail to follow safety protocols or misuse the scaffolding, they may be partially or fully responsible for the accident.
- Employer Negligence: Employers are responsible for providing proper training, ensuring safety measures, and maintaining a safe work environment. Failure to do so can result in employer negligence.
- Product Liability:
Defective Equipment: If the scaffolding equipment is faulty due to design flaws, manufacturing errors, or inadequate warnings, the manufacturer or distributor may be liable for product liability.
- Premises Liability:
Property Owner Responsibility: Property owners are responsible for maintaining a safe environment. If the scaffolding is on someone else’s property, the owner may be liable for premises liability.
Determining fault often involves a detailed investigation into the circumstances surrounding the accident. Multiple parties, including the employer, equipment manufacturer, and property owner, may share liability based on their responsibilities and actions leading up to the accident.
What Damages Can You Pursue After A Scaffolding Accident?
The damages one can receive after a scaffolding accident varies based on several factors, including the extent of injuries, liability, and other circumstances surrounding the accident. Damages in a scaffolding accident case may include:
- Medical Expenses: Compensation for past and future medical costs related to the injuries sustained in the accident.
- Lost Wages: If the victim cannot work due to the injuries, they may receive compensation for lost income.
- Pain and Suffering: Damages for physical pain, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life caused by the accident.
- Permanent Disability or Disfigurement: Compensation for long-term disabilities or disfigurement resulting from the accident.
- Punitive Damages: In extreme negligence or intentional misconduct cases, punitive damages may be awarded to punish the responsible party.
The specific amount of damages will depend on the case’s unique circumstances, the injuries’ severity, and the jurisdiction’s laws.
Can You File A Lawsuit Against Your Employer After A Scaffolding Accident?
In many cases, filing a lawsuit against your employer after workers’ compensation laws restrict a scaffolding accident. Workers’ compensation is designed to benefit employees injured on the job, regardless of fault. It typically prevents employees from suing their employers for workplace injuries.
However, there are exceptions to this rule. If the scaffolding accident was caused by a third party (someone other than the employer or a co-worker), you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against that third party. For example, if a defective scaffold or negligent subcontractor contributed to the accident, you might pursue a claim against those entities.
Additionally, if your employer intentionally caused your injuries or engaged in gross negligence, you might have grounds for a scaffolding accident claim.
Involved In A Scaffolding Accident? Contact A Lawyer
A personal injury lawyer can help in a scaffolding accident by investigating the incident, determining liability, and pursuing compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages. They navigate the legal complexities to protect your rights and seek the best possible outcome for your case.