Experience With Scaffolding Tragedies
At Rapoport Weisberg & Sims P.C. our skilled trial lawyers represent workers who were injured in scaffolding accidents. We also represent the families of workers who were killed in fatal falls from scaffolding and related workplace incidents. Our attorneys have the resources and skills to help clients obtain maximum compensation. If you or a loved one has been harmed due to a scaffolding accident, call 866-693-3806 or contact us online to schedule a free initial consultation.
Did Your Employer Violate Safety Standards?
The majority of scaffold accidents happen when an individual plank or the scaffold support fails. In addition, many injuries on scaffolds can be attributed to slippery surfaces or falling objects. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and state workplace safety guidelines are very specific about how scaffolding should be used to maintain worker safety. When these standards are ignored, the results can be catastrophic.
We have obtained significant jury verdicts and settlements in a wide range of construction accident cases. These cases are often complex and require thorough investigation and careful preparation. Our law firm uses a team approach and accepts only a limited number of cases to ensure that clients receive the personal attention and care they deserve.
We Help To Prove An Employer’s Negligence
Negligence in manufacturing, constructing, maintaining or using scaffolding can threaten workers’ safety. Proving that negligence was the cause of a scaffolding injury in court requires experience and dedication. We work to identify the negligent party or parties to ensure that they are held accountable for the harm they have caused. Dangerous premises and use of substandard materials cannot be tolerated. By pursuing full compensation for injuries and deaths caused by negligence in scaffolding accidents, you help to ensure greater attention is paid to workplace safety in the future.
Scaffold accident injuries can be severe because victims may fall from multiple stories. These injuries can be permanent and life-altering. If you or a loved one was injured in a scaffold accident injury, you may be entitled to compensation for your lost wages, medical bills, pain, suffering, and other losses.
Having an experienced scaffold accident injury lawyer on your side is important to help you pursue the compensation you deserve. The Chicago injury lawyers at Rapoport Weisberg & Sims P.C. can help explain your legal rights and options during a complimentary consultation. Contact us today for your free case review.
Jobs Where Scaffold Accidents Are More Likely to Occur
The job most directly associated with scaffolds is construction. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reports that 2.3 million construction workers frequently work on scaffolds. OSHA OSHA) reports that falls are the leading cause of death in construction. In particular, scaffold accidents are responsible for 4,500 injuries and 50 fatalities on job sites every year, which amounts to approximately 5 percent of all construction accident deaths, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Besides construction work, other occupations in which scaffolding accidents occur include:
- Iron mills
- Factory workers
- Window cleaners
- Utility workers
Basically, any job that involves heights could involve scaffolds and scaffold accidents.
Common Causes of Scaffold Accidents
Scaffolds can be dangerous, but scaffold accidents are usually preventable because employers must follow safety measures that minimize risk. Some of the common causes of scaffold accidents include:
- Improper assembly or poor construction of scaffolds, such as failing to install bracing property or to firmly affix attachment points
- Weak planking caused by wormholes, splits, or knots
- Defective equipment due to improper design or insufficient manufacturing processes to ensure quality equipment
- Scaffolding that is not secure
- Unstable scaffolding due to too much weight or imbalance weight on them
- Lack of training
- Inadequate fall protection
- Lack of guardrails
- Slippery surfaces
- Falling objects
- Too close to power or utility lines
- Wind, rain, and other environmental factors
- Presence of hazardous substances
- Improper maintenance
- Violation of safety standards
Types of Scaffold Accident Injuries
Scaffold accidents can lead to serious and even deadly injuries. Often, victims fall from considerable heights, which can result in injuries such as:
- Traumatic brain injuries – Construction workers and those in other fields may suffer traumatic brain injuries if they hit their head on a lower level or if a falling object strikes their head.
- Spinal cord injuries – Injuries to the back or neck can result in serious spinal cord injuries, possibly leading to paralysis or other permanently disabling injuries.
- Broken bones – Victims can fracture one or more bones because of the impact with the hard ground beneath them.
- Internal organ damage – Some crush injuries can lead to damage to internal organs, such as the heart, lungs, kidneys, spleen, or liver.
- Death – Tragically, some scaffold accidents lead to the victim’s death.
Employer Responsibilities Regarding Scaffolding
OSHA imposes various rules that employers must follow to minimize the risk of scaffolds and protect workers on the job. Some employer responsibilities related to scaffolding include:
- Employers must properly train employees on how to assemble, erect, disassemble, move, and operate scaffolds.
- A competent person must examine scaffolds and inspect components for defects before each shift and after any event that may adversely affect their structural reliability.
- Employers must have a qualified individual train employees on how to recognize potential hazards associated with them and how to minimize these hazards.
- Guardrails must have a height between 38 and 45 inches
- Employers must provide personal fall arrest systems.
- Scaffolds must be erected at least ten feet from power lines.
- Employers must provide safe access at all levels of access.
- Planking must be sufficient to support its own weight and at least four times the weight of the intended load.
- Steps and landings to the scaffold must be stable and have level footing.
- Any items used with scaffolds such as ladders and ropes must be in good working order.
Who Is Responsible for Scaffold Accidents
There are various parties who may be responsible for scaffold accidents, including the following:
Employers are responsible for maintaining a safe workplace and following state and federal safety guidelines. They can be held responsible for scaffolding accidents caused by their negligence.
The company responsible for constructing the scaffolding on a job site where others are using the scaffold may be responsible for the injuries caused by improperly assembled or maintained scaffolding.
General contractors may be responsible for the project site and any accidents that occur on their watch.
Property owners are responsible for maintaining safe premises. If they fail to keep the property safe and someone is injured on it, they may be responsible for the accident.
Scaffolding Rental Company
Some construction companies or other industries use scaffolding they rent from a company. If that equipment was defective or improperly maintained, the scaffolding rental company may be responsible for the accident.
When scaffold accidents are due to defective products, the parties that designed, manufactured, or sold them can be held responsible for the resulting damages.
An experienced personal injury lawyer from Rapoport Weisberg & Sims P.C. can review your case and determine all potentially liable companies.
What Damages Can I Recover in a Scaffold Accident
Scaffold accidents can result in severe injuries that result in significant medical expenses and time out of work. Potential damages in scaffold accident cases could include:
- Hospitalization, surgery, emergency medical treatment, rehabilitation, and ongoing treatment
- Lost income and employment benefits
- Reduced earning capacity if the injury prevents you from returning to your same line of work
- Pain, suffering, mental anguish, and emotional distress
An experienced personal injury lawyer can review your case and determine the compensation that may be available for it.
What Can I Do If My Loved One Died in a Scaffold Accident?
If your loved one died in a scaffold accident, you may be able to file a wrongful death case. Illinois’ wrongful death law allows the personal representative of your loved one’s estate to file a claim if their death was due to the “wrongful act, neglect, or default” of another. The personal representative acts on behalf of the family and seeks compensation to pay them for:
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Lost income and inheritance
- Grief, sorrow, and mental suffering
- Any other damages the court deems fair and reasonable
What Is My Scaffold Accident Case Worth?
Every personal injury case is different. If your case is a workers’ compensation case only, you will be limited to the damages available under the workers’ compensation system. However, many scaffold accidents involve the negligence of a party other than your employer. If you have a claim against a third party, you can seek compensation for the full extent of your damages.
The potential value of your case can be affected by factors such as:
- The type and severity of your injury
- Whether the accident resulted in permanent disabilities
- How the accident affected you
- Who is responsible for the accident and their relationship to you
- The defendant’s actions
- The strength of the evidence you have regarding liability and your damages
How Can a Scaffold Accident Injury Lawyer Help Me?
If you were injured in a scaffold accident, you will want to focus on your health and recovery. An experienced Chicago scaffold accident injury lawyer can investigate the accident, determine all parties who are responsible for your accident, and seek fair compensation on your behalf. We can also interview witnesses who observed the accident, photograph the accident scene, and gather additional evidence to support your case. We offer a free case review, so there’s no risk to learning more about your legal rights and how we can help protect them.
Contact a Chicago Scaffold Accident Injury Lawyer for Legal Assistance
If you were injured in a scaffold accident, the Chicago injury lawyers at Rapoport Weisberg & Sims P.C. are here to help. We can review the circumstances surrounding your case and explain your legal options. We can also answer any questions you have and guide you through the claims process. Contact Rapoport Weisberg & Sims P.C. for your free case review.