Construction workers and pedestrians near job sites have the right to be safe and protected from accidents. Unfortunately, every year, innocent victims become seriously injured in scaffolding accidents. Working on scaffolding is one of the most dangerous jobs a person can have. Failure to follow safety guidelines can result in dangerous or even deadly scaffolding accidents.
When construction companies or third parties fail to ensure that the work environment is safe, victims can suffer catastrophic injuries, including traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries. If you or your loved one has been injured in a Dallas scaffolding accident, the skilled attorneys at Rochelle McCullough are here to help. Contact Rochelle McCullough to schedule a complimentary, no-obligation consultation and learn more about how we can protect your rights.
Common Causes of Scaffolding Accidents
Most scaffolding accidents are preventable and could have been avoided by following state and federal safety regulations. While there are many different reasons these types of accidents can occur, some of the most common causes of scaffolding accidents are:
- Dangerously designed scaffolding
- Failure of the scaffold planking to support weight
- An object falling from the scaffolding
- Lack of guardrails
- Failure to equip scaffolds, such as missing toeboards
- Improper use of scaffolding due to lack of training
- Poorly maintained scaffolding or poorly supervised scaffold workers
- Extreme weather conditions, such as severe wind or heavy rain
State and Federal Safety Guidelines on Construction Sites
Due to the dangerous nature of construction sites, including those with scaffolding, state and local regulatory agencies have implemented strict guidelines for installing and operating scaffolding. Employers are required to take the following measures to protect employees and pedestrians from preventable injuries and deaths:
- Install and maintain appropriate guardrails
- Install a canopy or net to catch any objects that fall from the scaffolding
- Use the proper fall-arrest system
- Ensure workers have safe, well-fitting scaffolding safety gear, such as helmets
- Block off areas underneath scaffolding to prevent pedestrian injuries
- Respect scaffolding weight limits
- Avoid overloading scaffolding with extra equipment, materials, or personnel
When contractors and developers fail to follow state and federal safety guidelines, they can be held liable when their negligence causes injuries to employees or other third parties. Victims of scaffolding accidents may be able to hold them financially liable through a personal injury lawsuit.
Falling Off Scaffolding
Construction workers can also become injured in slip and fall incidents when the scaffolding is slippery or there is debris or other objects on the scaffolding makeing the worker trip. Slip and fall incidents can lead to the worker falling all the way off the scaffolding and suffering more severe injuries.
The types of injuries caused by scaffolding accidents depend on the cause of the accident. For example, when a construction worker falls from the scaffolding, they can suffer catastrophic injuries like traumatic brain injuries or spinal cord injuries, especially if they are at a great height when they fall. In addition to suffering serious physical injuries, victims can also suffer psychological trauma after being involved in a scaffolding accident.
Objects Falling Off Scaffolding
Traumatic brain injuries are also common when an object falls off scaffolding and hits someone below. In most cases, workers carry objects or tools while working on the scaffolding. It’s crucial that these objects are secured properly because if they fall off the scaffolding, even objects that are small and lightweight can cause serious head and brain injuries, lacerations, puncture wounds, or disfigurement. When large items fall off a scaffolding, they can cause crush injuries that require amputation or other surgery.
If the scaffolding itself is defectively designed, improperly constructed,, or not inspected and maintained regularly, it can collapse. When scaffolding collapses, victims both on the scaffolding and below it can suffer serious injuries.
Workers’ Compensation for Scaffolding Accidents
Proving liability in scaffolding accidents can be complicated. For example, suppose you were working for your employer when the accident occurred. In that case, you will likely be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits for your medical expenses and a portion of your wages. However, if you accept workers’ compensation, you must sign an agreement saying you will not bring a lawsuit against your employer.
If your employer’s negligence or intentional behavior led to the accident that resulted in your injuries, signing away your right to sue may not be your best option. Before you agree to accept workers’ compensation benefits, it can be beneficial to discuss your case with an attorney. Pursuing a personal injury lawsuit against your employer may be the best strategic option to recover the full and fair amount of compensation you deserve.
Who Is Liable for Scaffolding Accidents?
Determining liability is one of the first steps in recovering compensation in a construction accident. When you work with the attorneys at Rochelle McCullough, you can rest assured that we will thoroughly investigate your case, gather evidence, and determine which party or parties are liable for your injuries. Depending on the facts in your case, one or more of the following parties may be liable for your damages:
- The general contractor
- The manufacturer of defective scaffolding
- Vendors or outside contractors who assembled the scaffolding
- Outside contractors responsible for the maintenance of the scaffolding
- Other third parties who contributed to the accident
Damages Available in a Scaffolding Accidents Cases
When pursuing a personal injury lawsuit, plaintiffs can obtain economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages include damages for current and future medical bills, the cost of rehabilitation, ongoing care, and physical therapy. Plaintiffs can also obtain compensation for lost wages and the loss of future earning potential if they have suffered a disabling injury. Non-economic damage include damages for emotional distress, physical scarring and disfigurement, and pain and suffering.
Reach Out to a Dallas Scaffolding Accidents Attorney
The Dallas construction accident attorneys at Rochelle McCullough have decades of experience advocating for those hurt because of dangerous worksite conditions. If you have been injured in a scaffolding accident in Dallas or elsewhere in Texas, don’t hesitate to contact Rochelle McCullough for a free consultation. We will answer your questions, help you understand your legal options, and advocate for the best outcome in your case. Our clients only pay attorneys fees once we obtain compensation for them.