Scaffolding Accident Lawyer in Raleigh, NC
Many construction sites require the installation of scaffolding to reach high levels of structures that are being built, renovated, or painted. When properly erected, scaffolding provides workers safe access to difficult-to-reach work locations, a stable working platform, and temporary storage for tools and materials needed for tasks.
Nationwide, the U.S. Department of Labor estimates that 2.3 million construction workers work on scaffolds. North Carolina cities such as Raleigh, Greensboro, Fayetteville, Wilmington, and Charlotte have numerous multi-story and high-rise buildings. Constructions workers, painters, window cleaners, and maintenance workers routinely work on and around scaffolding. They may suffer substantial injuries or fatal injuries if the scaffolding collapses and they fall from dangerous heights.
When workers are injured in scaffolding accidents in North Carolina, they deserve workers’ compensation benefits without any delay. If a construction company has neglected safety rules and regulations in the installation or use of scaffolding at a construction site, in some cases, the contractor or subcontractor may be held financially liable for workers’ injuries in a personal injury lawsuit. An experienced Raleigh scaffolding accident lawyer can help you evaluate your legal options.
The workplace injury attorneys of Hardison & Cochran in Raleigh, N.C., help construction workers, other injured workers, and the families of workers who have lost their lives in scaffolding accidents. Hardison & Cochran is included in the latest edition of Best Law Firms compiled by U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers® in the area of workers’ compensation law. Let a Raleigh scaffolding accident lawyer investigate the accident that injured you and explain the proper steps that you can take to rebuild your life. We do not charge a legal fee unless we win compensation for you. Contact us today if you or a loved one of yours has been hurt in a scaffolding accident.
Causes of Scaffolding Accidents
Scaffolding accidents cause approximately 4,500 injuries and 50 deaths every year, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. A scaffold that is overloaded or not properly installed may collapse.
The common causes of scaffolding accidents include:
- Improper scaffolding construction
- Planking giving way
- Lack of guardrails
- Working slipping
- Scaffold failures at attachment points
- Overloading scaffolding
- Scaffolding collapse
- Inadequate fall protection
- Inadequate work safety rules
- Being struck by falling objects
- Weather conditions such as rain, high wind, or ice
Common Injuries in Scaffolding Accidents
Falls from scaffolds can cause many types of substantial injuries, such as:
- Broken bones
- Leg and ankle injuries
- Knee injuries
- Back injuries
- Shoulder injuries
- Internal injuries
- Soft tissue injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal injuries
Substantial injuries in a scaffolding accident may require one or more surgeries and rehabilitation and put you out of work for weeks or months during your recovery. As an injured worker, you will need to take advantage of all the financial resources available such as workers’ compensation medical benefits, and wage replacement benefits.
If your employer disputes your right to workers’ compensation benefits, you should speak with a workers’ compensation attorney to get a clear understanding of your rights. North Carolina requires most employers to have workers’ compensation insurance to provide benefits to full-time and part-time employees injured on the job.
A scaffolding accident lawyer can help you seek all the workers’ compensation benefits available by law and evaluate whether you also may be entitled to pursue a personal injury claim against a party other than your employer. Workers’ compensation rules typically prevent employees who receive workplace injury benefits from suing their own employer over a work-related accident. But you may have a right to hold accountable another contractor who caused a scaffolding accident.
Who Is Liable for a Scaffolding Accident?
A scaffolding accident may be caused by negligence on the part of a construction contractor or another at-fault party, defective equipment, or unsafe conditions. A personal injury lawsuit or wrongful death lawsuit may be filed when the circumstances of a scaffolding accident support legal action. Those who may be named as defendants in scaffolding accident lawsuits include the following:
- General Contractor
- Property owner
- Scaffolding rental company
- Scaffolding manufacturer
Why Hire a Scaffolding Lawyer?
A scaffolding accident can be complicated to resolve. Multiple companies may have been active on the work site and may have different accounts of who was at fault. One vendor may have installed scaffolding at a job site for use by another company. Determining what really happened requires a thorough investigation.
Many scaffolding accidents involve negligence on the part of a business or individual that installed the scaffolding improperly, failed to inspect the scaffolding to be sure it was secure, or failed to provide training and fall protection gear to workers. Workplace safety violations frequently occur in these cases.
The benefit of hiring a scaffolding accident lawyer is that the lawyer will be well-versed in North Carolina’s scaffolding regulations and the applicable laws that apply to the accident. The lawyer can determine whether one or more parties violated work safety regulations and should be held financially liable for the accident.
A scaffolding accident may cause significant injuries and generate high medical bills. Seeking full and fair compensation will require determined advocacy. A knowledgeable injury lawyer can prevent an insurance company from pressuring you to accept a settlement that is far less than you deserve. If you don’t have a lawyer, you will be at the mercy of an insurance adjuster, who will try to pay the lowest amount possible to close your claim. A lawyer can advocate for your rights while you focus on your health and recovery.
What to Expect When Working with a Scaffolding Accident Lawyer
- Initial Consultation —A lawyer will get meet with you in person or by phone to review the details of the accident and assess whether you have a cause of action. If the lawyer believes you have a valid workers’ compensation claim or personal injury claim, the lawyer will offer to handle your claim on a contingency fee basis. If you decide to hire the lawyer, you’ll sign a retainer agreement.
- Investigation— The lawyer will investigate the accident to gather evidence of who was responsible for installing and inspecting the scaffolding and how the accident occurred. The investigation may take a number of months. After identifying who is financially liable, the lawyer will seek to determine the insurance policies available to provide compensation. The lawyer may hire expert witnesses to discuss how the at-fault party failed to fulfill its duty to provide a safe workplace and prevent accidents.
- Negotiation — After gathering evidence to show who was at fault and calculating your medical expenses and financial losses related to the accident, your attorney may seek to negotiate a settlement that provides the compensation you need to move forward without the burden of medical debt.
- Litigation — If the insurance provider refuses to offer a reasonable settlement, a scaffolding accident lawsuit and litigation may be necessary to provide the best chance of securing fair compensation. Your attorney will present your case to a civil jury and request that the court compel the at-fault party and their insurer to provide just compensation to you for the injuries you sustained due to the negligence of others.
How To Prevent Scaffolding Accidents
The North Carolina Department of Labor guidelines for the safe use of scaffolds include the proper design of the scaffolding, training of workers who will work from heights, and the correct use of fall protection.
- Proper design. The scaffold should be capable of supporting its own weight and at least four times the maximum intended load to be applied to the scaffold. It may be necessary to consult an engineer about complex scaffolding systems. They should be fully planked and equipped with guardrails, mid rails, and toeboards.
- Training personnel. Training should include a review of the specific scaffolding system and its proper use, as well as the fall protection installed on the scaffolding, particularly guardrails, and the proper selection of personal fall-arrest equipment.
- Providing fall protection. Employers must ensure that workers have the appropriate safety equipment, including fall protection for workers on scaffolds higher than 10 feet. Depending on the type and height of scaffolding, this may include a hard hat and full body harness, with a lanyard, rope grab, an independent vertical lifeline, and an independent lifeline anchorage.
Construction companies and scaffolding vendors should have established guidelines for the proper erection, use, and dismantling of the scaffolding.
Talk to Our Scaffolding Accident Attorneys for a Free Consultation
The workers’ comp attorneys at Hardison & Cochran in Raleigh, N.C., have the knowledge and skill to help you pursue all the compensation available after a scaffolding accident. Our attorneys will help you obtain all the workers’ compensation benefits available by North Carolina law. We also will help you pursue a personal injury lawsuit if our investigation determines that someone other than your employer was at fault for the scaffolding accident. Additional compensation may be available by filing a lawsuit.
Contact Hardison & Cochran at 800-434-8399 to speak with a scaffolding accident lawyer in Raleigh, N.C. You’ll receive a reply within 24 hours because we take scaffolding accident injuries seriously. Call us today.