Scaffolding Accident Lawyers in Fort Lauderdale

Falls are the main causes of construction fatalities in the United States. Many of these falls occur in scaffolding accidents. In fact, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reports that falls caused 359 deaths in 2014.

Scaffolding accidents can leave injured workers and pedestrians or surviving family members with high medical bills, funeral costs, and much pain and suffering. In many cases, these injured parties can recover compensation from the party at fault. Call a scaffolding accident lawyer in Fort Lauderdale to discuss your options.

The attorneys at Farmer, Jaffe, Weissing, Edwards, Fistos & Lehrman, P.L. are passionate about helping injured victims or surviving family members get the compensation they need after another person’s negligence caused their injuries. Call us to schedule a free consultation today: 954-524-2820.

Causes and Injuries of Scaffolding Accidents

OSHA has implemented regulations to ensure the safety of those using and dismantling scaffolding equipment. These regulations cover topics including:

  • Amount of weight scaffold should be able to support
  • Which objects can be used to support a scaffold
  • How far planks should extend over their end supports
  • Overhead protection
  • The number of tools and materials allowed on a scaffold at one time

Despite OSHA’s strict scaffolding safety standards, many people still get injured in scaffolding accidents. Some of the causes of these accidents include:

  • Planking or support failure
  • Slip-and-falls
  • Falling debris
  • Poor weather conditions

A person can experience various injuries in a scaffolding accident. These ailments and injuries include:

  • Head or brain injuries (TBIs)
  • Broken bones
  • Neck, shoulder, and back injury
  • Cuts and lacerations
  • Loss of hearing and vision
  • Spinal cord injuries and paralysis
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder

Such serious injuries may require long-term hospital stays, medical treatments, physical therapy, and countless surgeries.

I have been injured in a scaffolding accident. What are my next steps?

Scaffolding accident victims or their families can recover damages from those responsible for their injuries. If your accident occurred while you were on-the-job, you may be able to recover workers’ compensation.

If you are an outside party or a worker, you may also be able to file a claim against one or more third parties to recover additional damages.

Workers’ Compensation

The purpose of workers’ compensation is to provide benefits to employees injured in work-related accidents. These benefits cover medical expenses and a portion of lost wages regardless of fault.

Third Party Lawsuits

Injured parties may file claims and recover damages against third parties that are liable for their injuries. The first step will be determining against which parties to file suit. Potential liable parties include:

  • Construction site owners: Liability will depend on how much control the owner has over the property and the work completed.
  • General contractors and sub-contractors: Liability will depend on whether the contractors provided workers with reasonably safe place to work and followed safety regulations.
  • Manufacturers of defective equipment: A manufacturer can be liable if its defective product caused an injury.
  • Architects, engineers, and designers: The liability of professionals at the site will depend on the duties specified in their contract.
  • Construction company: Employees are not generally permitted to file suit against their employers due to worker’s compensation laws. However, a company may be liable for the injuries of a non-employee, e.g., if another company’s employee on site improperly constructed scaffolding, the company could be liable for any injuries that occur.

Because of the sheer number of people on a construction site at any given moment, determining the liable party can be difficult. We will examine and discuss your accident with construction experts to determine the liable party in your accident.

Filing a Personal Injury Claim

As with every personal injury claim, you must be able to prove the following elements of negligence:

  • Duty of care: You must show that the at-fault party owed a duty of care to keep you safe from undue harm.
  • Breach of duty: You must then prove the at-fault party breached that duty. To prove a breach, you will need to show that the defendant behaved negligently and failed to keep the site safe. For example, if you can prove that a subcontractor erected scaffolding on loose bricks causing you to fall, you have proved breach.
  • Causation: You will have to show that the defendant’s negligence was a direct cause of your injuries, i.e., my injury would not have occurred but for the defendant’s negligence.
  • Damages: Lastly, you will need to establish that you suffered injuries because of the scaffolding accident.

Filing against a manufacturer requires proving a different set of elements. To file against a manufacturer under strict liability, you must prove:

  • The product’s defective nature caused your accident
  • You were using the product the way the manufacturer intended
  • You, or another contractor, did not “substantially change” the product before use.

What damages can I recover if my claim is successful?

If you can successfully prove that another party’s negligence caused your injuries, you can recover damages to help pay for some of your expenses.

You may be able to recover compensation for:

  • Medical expenses (past and future)
  • Lost wages
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Loss of companionship
  • Loss of earning capacity
  • Emotional trauma

Whether you are a construction worker or a pedestrian, if you were injured in a scaffolding accident, you deserve compensation.

The attorneys at Farmer, Jaffe, Weissing, Edwards, Fistos & Lehrman, P.L can assist you with the complicated process of filing a claim and building your case.

The legal team responsible for your case will introduce expert testimony and witness statements, as well as other evidence, to give you the best chance possible to win your case. To schedule a free consultation with a construction accident lawyer, call 954-524-2820 today.