Scaffold accidents injure workers and bystanders every year. Some scaffold accidents leave victims permanently disabled, or even dead. If you or a loved one has been injured in a scaffold accident that was caused by someone else’s negligence, you may have a legal right to be compensated for your injuries, lost income, and pain and suffering. You need to have your case evaluated by a personal injury attorney as soon as possible.
Causes of Scaffold Accidents
Human error is to blame for almost all scaffold accidents. These mistakes can be anywhere from the scaffolding design and manufacture to the way the scaffolding is assembled or used. Certain types of scaffolding are more prone to certain kinds of issues.
Some typical causes of scaffolding accidents include:
• Negligent scaffold construction
• Wrong ladders
• Improper equipment
• Failure to follow safety procedures
• Failure to have adequate safety procedures in place
• Defective scaffolds
• Poorly maintained scaffolds or equipment
The person or company responsible for causing a scaffolding accident will vary depending on the type of accident. It a third-party contractor assembled the scaffolding, but was negligent they could be held responsible for any injuries that happened because of their mistake. When the employer themselves is responsible for the accident, in full or in part, making a claim can be more complicated.
Injuries from Scaffold Accidents
Scaffolding injuries are often major or even catastrophic because of the height workers are at, the weight of the scaffolding, and the number of points for collision during a fall or scaffolding collapse.
Some typical injuries in a scaffolding accident are:
• Sprains and strains of muscles
• Torn or ripped ligaments, tendons, and muscles
• Broken or shattered bones
• Amputated digits or limbs
• Traumatic brain injuries
• Neck and back injuries
• Spinal cord injuries
If you or your loved one has been injured in a scaffolding accident, it is important to get a medical evaluation as soon as possible. Even if you do not require emergency care, a doctor should still examine you. Some internal injuries and even traumatic brain inquiries can go undetected for days, weeks, or even longer. The sooner any injuries are discovered, the better your chances are of a full recovery.
It is also important to document any injuries if the need arises to make a claim in the future Both worker’s compensation law and personal injury law require proof of injuries and have strict deadlines for making a claim. Failure to get a proper medical evaluation in the days after a scaffold accident can result in you losing out on money you would otherwise be legally entitled to receive.
Personal Injury or Worker’s Compensation?
There are two difference systems for compensating injuries in the United States. If you are injured on the job, no matter whose fault it is, you are entitled to worker’s compensation benefits. These benefits often do not include pain and suffering, and they are generally more limited than would you would get in court. Even if your employer was clearly at fault for the accident, under worker’s compensation law, you cannot sue your employer in most instances.
However, if you were not on the job, or if you were on the job but a third party was partially responsible for causing the scaffold accident, you can sue that third party under personal injury law. In some cases you may be able to collect both worker’s compensation benefits and a personal injury award.
You need to have your case looked at by an experienced scaffold accident attorney to determine what type of damages you are entitled to.
Making an Injury Claim
If you are making a worker’s compensation claim you may only have a days or weeks after you were injured to report the injury to your employer and begin the worker’s compensation claims process. If you also have a personal injury claim you will also face a short deadline to make that claim.
Most of the time a claim for damages will be made with an insurance company. Making a claim with the insurance company does not protect your rights. If the time period for filing a lawsuit goes by, even if you made a claim with the insurance company, you will likely not receive any compensation.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a scaffold accident, you need to get help from a qualified attorney right away. The longer you wait to pursue your claim, the more difficult your case will be and the more likely you may miss out on getting the full amount of compensation you are legally entitled to. We can help you connect with an attorney who understands how to bring scaffold accident claims. The sooner you contact us, the better chance you have of protecting your rights before it is too late.