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, the manufacturer may sometimes 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. 

What Causes Scaffolding Accidents?

According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS),  scaffolding-related accidents are known to cause 4,500 injuries and 60 scaffold deaths every year. These are some of the scaffolding accident statistics that serve as an eye-opener about the disaster that they can cause. Some people may fall from a scaffold or get injured on scaffolding due to other causes. 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: The absence or improper use of fall protection measures, such as guardrails and safety nets, can lead to fall scaffolding accidents.
  • 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.

Common Injuries From Scaffold Accidents

According to the Occupational Safety And Health Administration (OSHA) regulations, law-abiding workers must wear safety equipment when performing any operation such as scaffolding. This is because scaffolds put the workers at high levels of elevation causing scaffold hazards. Therefore, safety equipment will be helpful in such a scenario. However, it may happen sometimes that falling from a height can be disastrous and may cause injuries.

Injuries sustained in a scaffolding accident can 

  • Internal bleeding & organ damage
  • Lacerations 
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Paralysis
  • Neck injury
  • Head trauma 
  • Bone fractures

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.

Filing A Personal Injury Claim After a Scaffold Accident

In a personal injury claim, the injured victim may file a lawsuit against the negligent party who is responsible for the injuries. The responsibility may be of the employer but the accident may have occurred due to the negligence of someone else. Sometimes, the accident may be caused due to faulty machinery which means it is the responsibility of the manufacturer. An injury claim after a scaffold accident needs to be filed against these parties. 

The medical bills and other expenses may be covered by the insurance policies at the workplace. However, the amount of wages that will be reimbursed will depend on the state and may not be always the complete amount. Therefore, a scaffolding accident claim is one of the most important steps that must be taken with the help of an attorney after suffering from an injury to ensure reimbursement for the losses. 

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 damages will depend on the case’s unique circumstances, the injuries’ severity, and the jurisdiction’s laws. 

How Long Do I Have To Sue Someone After A Scaffolding Accident?

An injury victim must file a scaffolding accident injury claim as soon as the accident occurs. It is because the statute of limitations begins to run from that date which may vary according to your state regulations. However, there are some exceptions to this rule. 

If the accident occurs on municipal property then the municipality will be held responsible. They must be served with a “Notice of Claim” which is a legal document to the appropriate parties within 90 days of the scaffold accident.

Talk To An Attorney If  You Are a Victim Of a Scaffold Accident

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.