The Occupational Safety and Health Administration estimates that as many as 65% of construction workers use scaffolds on a day-to-day basis. Indeed, these structures are vital tools to construction sites throughout Maryland.
However, when they fail and workers are injured or killed, it's understandable for victims and their loved ones to consider taking legal action.
The Maryland Injury Guys are an experienced team of lawyers with experience managing scaffolding accident claims. Whether it's a workers' comp claim or a civil lawsuit, our legal professionals can help victims to stand up for their rights and fight for the compensation they deserve.
Contact us now for a free consultation.
Scaffolds are temporary structures constructed during the building, renovation, or maintenance of buildings of many different shapes and sizes. They help laborers to get up to required heights and remain there relatively comfortably for as long as is necessary to complete specific tasks.
The two main factors that result in scaffolding injuries or death are heights and the temporary nature of the structures.
As mentioned, scaffolds help workers reach areas they wouldn't otherwise be able to access; these areas are often tens of feet up above the ground. Whenever any individual is working above the ground, there is always the possibility for them to fall and suffer severe injuries.
The temporary nature of scaffolds speaks to the fact that these structures are constantly being built up and torn down. There are a lot of pieces that have to be assembled and properly secured for scaffolds to be safe. When they are being built up, torn down, or in transit, critical pieces necessary for assembling scaffolds safely may be lost. With pressures to ensure projects are completed on time, construction workers may err and chose to build scaffolds that are missing critical pieces. In the past, bypassing standard procedures and ignoring safety guidelines has led to many accidents
Aside from heights from falls and improper builds, scaffolds are also at the root of other construction injuries.
For instance, it's very common for tools and other debris to fall from a scaffolding structure onto unsuspecting workers below. Construction site employees are required to wear hardhats at all times, though these protective devices only go so far in preventing injuries.
The materials that make up scaffolds can also wear down and ultimately give way. Regularly, the wooden planks used as platforms on scaffolds can break and cause workers to trip, slip, or fall, resulting in a variety of injuries.
Lastly, one must always consider the hazard posed by negligence. Careless workers can cause others to suffer severe injuries or death, whether the victim is working on top of, or simply near, scaffold structures.
Scaffolding accident injuries can be just as varied as the worksites on which they are found. Accordingly, the types of physical injuries that can occur are also quite varied, however, they often include:
Even more frightening is the fact that victims rarely suffer just one of these injuries. Often, the physical trauma is so extensive that the victim passes away, even when emergency responders are able to reach and treat them soon after the accident.
We've discussed the genuine risk for personal injury under which workers put themselves every day they work on or around scaffolding. It also goes without saying that along with the numbing physical pain and emotional trauma also come substantial medical costs. Indeed, treating scaffolding accident injuries is very expensive, even when victims survive their ordeal and are able to return to work.
When it comes to compensation for damages, victims of scaffolding accidents are generally bound by the same limitations that apply to all victims of workplace injuries. This is to say, they must rely on the workers' comp system to approve their benefits.
Workers' comp claims are often misunderstood. Individuals filing for workers' comp rarely understand that they are undergoing a legal process and, ultimately, a negotiation with the insurance company responsible for paying out the claim. Insurance providers will often try to decrease or outright deny workers' compensation benefits even when a claim is genuine. It shouldn't come as a surprise - every dollar they pay out is one dollar less from their bottom line.
Scaffolding accident lawyers, such as the team at Maryland Injury Guys, know what it takes to fight and win against the insurance company. In fact, simply by hiring a lawyer, you are already likely to receive a higher settlement offer. This is because insurance companies comprehend that attorneys will fight tooth and nail for every bit of compensation that their client deserves. Therefore, they save time by putting forth their best offer sooner in the process.
In most cases, a scaffolding accident lawsuit is not possible. More specifically, this type of lawsuit cannot be filed by an employee against their employer. Employees must always resort to the workers' comp system.
Yet, if the accident and resulting damages were caused by a separate entity also present on the construction site, such as a separate contractor or even a defective tool, then it may be possible to file a personal injury lawsuit following a scaffolding accident.
Unsure whether you're eligible for a claim or lawsuit after a scaffold accident? Contact our team now via our 24/7 helpline or the form on this page to learn more about your legal rights.
An attorney will never be able to tell you the dollar value of a case before it is litigated; however, they can explain how they would handle the case and how this strategy has worked for them in the past. Speak with our lawyers now, for free, to get a better understanding of your rights and the standing of your case given your circumstances.