Scaffolding accidents can result in extremely serious injuries or even death. Because falls from a great height pose a risk to those who use scaffolds in construction or other industries, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has strict safety requirements for the use of scaffolds.
Unfortunately, those regulations do not always prevent serious accidents from occurring, especially when standards are neglected. Compensation may be available to those who suffered from a scaffolding accident in the form of workers’ compensation as well as a third-party claim.
A Boston scaffolding accident lawyer could assist in many ways, from calculating future needs and evaluating settlement offers to filing workers’ compensation claims and any lawsuits that may be necessary. Consulting with a skilled construction accident attorney who is familiar with scaffolding accidents is often a good way to begin taking legal action.
What Are the Causes of Scaffolding Accidents?
Construction sites and other settings use three main types of scaffolds: those that are supported from a framework below, those that are suspended from above, and those supported by a “man-lift” or hoist-type device. All of these types of scaffolds can be dangerous to workers.
Workers can be injured when they fall from a scaffold, when the scaffold collapses, by making contact with power lines, by being struck by an object falling from a scaffold, or many other scenarios. Scaffolding accidents often result in serious injuries to the back, neck, or head, which can cause long-term disability or even death.
Parties Who May Be Held Responsible
Many parties may bear responsibility for a scaffolding accident. If the accident was caused by the nature of the work conditions, the accident will likely be covered by workers’ compensation insurance. Employers are required to have workers’ compensation insurance to protect workers injured on the job.
It is not necessary to prove that an employer was at fault to recover benefits from workers’ compensation insurance. However, in most cases, injured employees are not permitted to sue his or her employer for damages and are limited to the benefits provided through the workers’ compensation program.
If another party was at least partially to blame for the accident, it may be possible to file a lawsuit against that party. For instance, if the employer bought scaffolding from a manufacturer who cut corners and used improper materials or insufficient fasteners, the manufacturer could be sued for providing a defective product under product liability laws.
In this instance, the injured employee could receive both workers’ compensation benefits from the employer and monetary compensation from the manufacturer.
Types of Workers’ Compensation Benefits
Under the Massachusetts workers’ compensation system, employees injured on the job may be entitled to receive different types of benefits. They may receive incapacity benefits, which pay a percentage of their wages to make up for income lost while an employee is unable to work. They may also receive medical benefits to cover the cost of past and future medical care.
If the injury causes a permanent loss of bodily function or permanent disfigurement, workers may receive a one-time payment for that loss. And, if a scaffolding accident results in death, the family may receive compensation for burial costs and benefits for survivors and dependents. If you would like to know more about the benefits available to injured workers, reach out to a seasoned Boston scaffolding accident lawyer.
Get Help from a Boston Scaffolding Accident Attorney
A serious injury or death caused by a scaffolding accident can place a tremendous impact on a family. Pursuing legal action may place extra stress on a family, but could be a solution to any financial concerns your family has as a result of the accident. A dedicated Boston scaffolding accident lawyer could help you pursue legal action by handling paperwork, answering you and your family’s questions, and advocating on your behalf so you can focus on healing.
An experienced attorney could also advise you on which types of claims you could pursue to obtain a fair amount of compensation. For a free consultation, call today.