According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) more than 2,000 people die in the construction industry every year. The leading cause of fatalities in this industry is falling from scaffolds. Consequently, unsafe scaffolding lawsuits are common in the construction sector. When you are a victim of a scaffold accident, who is to blame for the injuries and how can you pursue compensation? Below is a brief outline of safety standards in scaffolding and how you can seek recovery for damages through a personal injury claim.
Scaffolding Safety Standards
Scaffold safety standards are set and regulated by OSHA. The agency is the authoritative body that controls how to construct safely, use and maintain scaffolds. Different states and private entities may also pass their scaffold safety standards. Infringement of any of these published standards or regulation can serve as evidence in a personal injury lawsuit involving the use of an unsafe scaffold. Some of the most commonly violated OSHA scaffold safety standards include;
• A scaffold should never be supported using loose objects
• A scaffold should support at least four times the projected indispensable weight
• Planks ought to be extended over their end supports between six and eighteen inches
• All planking ought to be overlapped by twelve inches
• Shore and lean-to scaffolds are not allowed
• Overhead protection ought to be provided when there is work going on
• Debris, materials, and tools should not be placed on a scaffold unnecessarily
Filing a Scaffolding Accident Lawsuit
To successfully sue for damages resulting from a scaffold fall, you must prove that;
• The defendant had a duty to provide for your safety
• The defendant violated the said duty, and
• Due to the violation, you got injuries
The Duty of Care – To prevail in your case, the defendant must have an obligation to make sure that you are safe. The party to sue may vary from one state to the other, but typically, any party that is involved in providing, moving and maintaining scaffolds owes you a reasonable duty of care and can be held responsible for scaffold accident.
Violation of Duty of Care – Any breach of scaffold safety standards set by OSHA amounts to a violation of the duty of care. Also, a violation of any other safety standard acceptable to the industry or advocated by experts is regarded as a breach of the duty of care.
Proving Injuries – It is critical that the injuries sustained occurred due the defendant’s negligence. Otherwise you will have no insurance claim. In other words, you cannot file a scaffolding accident lawsuit in you sustained your injury elsewhere. However, if the fall aggravated the condition of an already existing injury, you can recover some amount of damages. Just like any other form of personal injury claim, the most common types of damages in a scaffolding accident case include:
• Loss of normal life
• Medical bills
• Lost income
• Pain and suffering
Involving a Personal Injury Lawyer For Compensation
Scaffold accidents lawsuits can be complicated particularly when proving that the defendant owed you standard care and was negligent. As such, involving a PI lawyer will help you build a strong case and by extension increase your chances of winning as well as getting a fair settlement amount. If you are contemplating about filing a scaffolding injury case, contact a personal injury lawyer in your area today and book a free consultation session.