Scaffolding accidents are a large contributor to falls on construction sites and can lead to serious injuries. Many times, your workers’ compensation will handle your accident. However, there are certain cases that do not involve workers’ comp. Let’s explore what you need to know if you’ve been injured in a scaffolding accident and what’s involved in filing a personal injury lawsuit against the construction company.
Regulations for Scaffold Safety
Many states and private organizations publish their own set of regulations for maintaining safe scaffolds at construction sites. Any scaffolding injuries that result from failing to uphold these regulations, where applicable, can lead to a personal injury case. However, the main authority on scaffold safety regulations is the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Let’s take a look at some of OSHA’s safety regulations that are often violated and lead to scaffolding accidents.
- Do not allow tools and other equipment to accumulate on a scaffold.
- Loose objects like bricks or barrels should not be used to support a scaffold.
- Lean-to scaffolds and shore scaffolds are not allowed.
- Scaffolds should be able to support at least four times the weight the scaffold is anticipated to hold.
- If work is taking place above the scaffold, overhead protection must be provided for those on the scaffold.
- There should be at least 12 inches of overlap on all planking.
- There must be 6-18 inches of planking extending over their end supports.
Common Types of Damages from Scaffolding Accidents
If you were injured in a scaffolding accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses, or damages. The most common kinds of damages that result from scaffolding accidents include lost income from an inability to work, medical bills, decreased quality of life and additional pain and suffering. In order to receive compensation for these damages, you must prove that your injuries were a direct result of the construction company’s negligence.
Filing a Personal Injury Case
As with most personal injury cases relating to construction accidents, you must prove three elements in order to make your case.
- You must demonstrate that the defendant had a duty to provide safe conditions for the workers. It isn’t always clear in construction site contracts who specifically is responsible for maintaining the safety of the site, so you need to understand who exactly is liable for maintaining the site’s safety in order to proceed with your case.
- You need to prove that the defendant failed to uphold this duty. Once you’ve established who is responsible for the safety of the construction site, you must prove that they did in face breach their duty of safety.
- You need to demonstrate that the defendant’s breach of duty caused your injuries. Finally, you must show that your injuries are a direct result of the breach of safety. If you have a preexisting back injury, fall from a collapsing scaffold and claim that your fall caused the injury, it’s unlikely that you can make your case. Despite the fact that the defendant breached their duty resulting in the collapsed scaffold, this did not cause your injury. If, however, your fall exacerbate your injury, you should be able to receive appropriate compensation.
Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer to Represent You
Negotiating personal injury claims in scaffolding accidents and other construction-related injuries can be tricky. In order to ensure the best chance for you to get the compensation you deserve, contact an experienced personal injury lawyer from McMahan Law Firm to represent you. Our team of professionals proudly serves the Chattanooga, TN area, and we’ll be proud to assist you with your case.