Deaths in the construction industry are more common than in almost any
other career or industry in the nation, with the leading cause of these
deaths being falling. When someone falls and gets hurt on the job, usually
workers’ compensation kicks in to cover the injury. However, this
limits the amount of financial compensation you can receive.
In certain circumstances of gross negligence or where workers’ comp
doesn’t apply, you may be able to file a personal injury claim to
collect on damages from the incident. Learn all about scaffolding accidents,
when you can file an injury claim, when workers’ comp kicks in,
and how a personal injury attorney is important.
Scaffold Accidents and Safety
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA, publishes minimum
safety guidelines for preventing accidents on scaffolding. These include
minimum support weight of four times the expected weight a scaffold will
hold; a requirement that scaffolds not be supported by barrels, loose
bricks or the like, and overlapping planking of minimum 12 inches and
end support extension of 6 to 18 inches.
In addition, if work is being performed above, head protection must be
available. Sites may not use lean-to or shore-style scaffolding, and under
no circumstances should tools, materials or debris stack up on a scaffold.
Finally, many states, municipalities and even specific companies may have
standards that are even more stringent than those published by OSHA. Violation
of these standards, no matter how strict, could be cause for proving negligence.
Workers’ Compensation vs. Negligence
Usually when someone is hurt at work, they are covered by workers’
comp insurance. This form of insurance makes sure that when you can’t
work due to an injury, your medical bills are paid and you’re covered
for a portion of your lost wages.
It does not require proving negligence or fault in any way. To collect,
get seen by a doctor right away, inform your supervisor as soon as possible
and file an incident report. Keep detailed records and follow every step
and procedure you’re advised to follow.
There are special and unique circumstances where you may be able to file
an injury claim as opposed to workers’ comp. These are rare, but
always require you to prove that someone on the site was responsible for
keeping you safe, that they violated that responsibility, and that failure
caused you to get hurt.
How to Know if You Have a Case
Again, circumstances where an injury claim can be filed are rare, and require
specialized legal knowledge and help to achieve. Any time you’re
hurt on the job, whether it’s scaffolding accidents or otherwise,
you should seek the services of a knowledgeable attorney. A lawyer can
advise you how best to pursue your case, and about the damages you may
be eligible to collect.
If you’re in California, the lawyers at Dunnion Law have many years
of experience in dealing with avariety of injury cases, including workers’ comp and slip-and-fall accidents. Just give
us a call today or drop us an email for more information and to set up
a consultation about your case at no charge.