Construction workers need scaffolding to reach the different parts and levels of the building. Unfortunately, working on these raised platforms can sometimes be dangerous and workers can get hurt when it collapses, when objects fall from the platform, or when live electric wires short out on metal structures and electrocute workers. However, despite the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) setting up safety measures to prevent such accidents, some workers still get injured after falling every year. Moreover, non-construction workers such as pedestrians can also get hurt.
If you or your loved one have been involved in a scaffold accident, you may wonder who is the liable party that should provide compensation. Below are some of the sources of compensation for such incidents:
An employer must not only provide a safe workplace but also ensure the workers are using safe tools that are properly maintained. Therefore, construction workers who are injured in worksite incidents can file a claim for workers’ compensation to deal with the medical expenses and disability expenses.
The workers’ compensation system not only protects employers from being sued but also provides financial assistance to injured workers regardless of who is at fault for the incident. Therefore, it is not a must to prove which party was liable in order for the worker to be compensated.
Manufacturers and installers
If the scaffold material was defective thus causing the incident, the manufacturers and installers can be held liable for any subsequent injuries or losses. An attorney can prove the equipment was defective by seeking expert structural analyses and X-rays of the welds. Both injured civilians and workers can file a claim against the manufacturers and installers as long as they are not the worker’s employer.
Property owners have a legal duty of providing a safe working environment. Thus, they can be held liable if a worker gets hurt because of a dangerous condition on the property. Moreover, the property owner can still be held accountable for injuries even if he or she was not aware of the dangerous condition that contributed to the incident.
General contractors, subcontractors, and construction managers have a legal duty of ensuring the construction site is safe for the workers. Moreover, they have the obligation of warning the workers about any hazards in the area. Therefore, if they fail to remedy any existing dangers on the site, they can be held accountable for any injuries or deaths resulting from those known dangers.
Employees from other companies
Sometimes, multiple contractors may work on one construction site at the same time. If one of their employees causes your injuries, you can hold them liable for any resulting injuries and damages.
If you have sustained injuries due to someone’s negligent actions or inactions, do not hesitate to contact an attorney. Acting immediately after the incident will increase your chances of getting the largest settlement possible. This is because your lawyer will analyze whether any party was negligent, whether the negligence contributed to the incident, and collect more evidence before memories of witnesses fades and the scene changes.