Many construction and contracting jobs use scaffolding as an essential part of their project. These scaffolds could be used temporarily or as a long-term solution for reaching high places and assisting construction projects. However, scaffolding could start to come apart over time and potentially lead to a full collapse, injuring workers and passers-by.
If you or a loved one was injured in a scaffolding collapse accident, contact the Rice, Murtha & Psoras today. Our Baltimore scaffolding collapse injury lawyers may be able to help you file a personal injury case for construction injuries, on the job injuries, and injuries from dangerous scaffolding on someone else’s property. For a free legal consultation on your injury case, contact our law offices today at (410) 694-7291.
Common Causes of Scaffolding Collapse Accidents
Scaffolding is manufactured by various companies who use different fittings and designs to serve multiple purposes. Scaffolding is then purchased or rented and used by contractors or construction workers on various projects. Once set up, the scaffolding may be subject to heat, humidity, vibrations, wind, and other environmental factors. Throughout this process, there are a few common points where things can go wrong and cause the scaffolding to collapse.
Design and Manufacturing Defects
If the scaffolding that you purchased or used was improperly designed, joints and other parts could fail, causing a collapse. Accidents caused by problems with the scaffold’s design or manufacturing errors can be extremely frustrating because there is little you can do to prevent an accident. Even when using the scaffolding as intended, you may still face injuries. Typically, the designer or manufacturer of the product is liable for injuries caused by these kinds of collapses.
The team or individual that assembles the scaffolding might not be the only team or person to use the scaffolding. If the person who assembled the scaffolding put it together wrong or failed to properly secure the structure, other workers could be seriously injured. Moreover, passers-by on sidewalks or other areas under the scaffolding could face injuries if the scaffold falls on them. The person who failed to properly assemble the scaffolding could be liable for any injuries this kind of collapse causes. Similarly, their employer may also share responsibility.
Negligent Inspections and Supervision
Once scaffolding is set up, many work crews will leave the scaffold set up for a prolonged time. The scaffolding may not be inspected or checked to see if anything has come loose or compromised the structural integrity. If the people who set up the scaffolding fail to check up on it, they could miss serious flaws that they should have been able to catch with proper inspections and supervision. If this kind of negligence leads to a collapse, the parties who set it up or failed to inspect it could be held responsible.
Weather and Environmental Risks
If the collapse was caused by bad weather, it might be difficult to hold someone responsible for the effects of Mother Nature. However, many environmental factors are predictable. For instance, when setting up scaffolding that will stay up through the summer, it should be expected that wooden parts might swell with the heat and humidity. Similarly, people setting up scaffolding next to high traffic zones or areas with construction equipment should expect additional vibrations that might affect the scaffolding. These kinds of factors should be accounted for in the setup and inspection processes.
While it may be necessary to set up scaffolding on sidewalks or in other places with foot traffic, construction crews should recognize when the area may simply be too crowded for scaffolding. Construction projects may require closing sidewalks or construction areas, and failing to do so could put people at unnecessary risk of scaffolding falling on top of them or tools or debris falling off scaffolding.
Personal Injury Lawsuits for Scaffold Collapses
If you faced injuries because of a scaffolding collapse, you may be entitled to sue the responsible parties to seek compensation for your injuries. In many cases, the party to sue depends heavily on how the accident happened. The scaffolding owner, the people who set up the scaffolding, or the manufacturer is typically responsible for the injuries, and your attorney can help you decide which parties to sue.
When you sue for injuries, you must prove that the at-fault party’s negligence caused your injuries. Instead of proving that they intentionally injured you, proving negligence requires showing that they failed to use the proper care or skill necessary to keep you safe. This could occur when a manufacturer commits errors in the manufacturing process that weaken the scaffolding, when the worker setting up the scaffolding fails to properly tighten or secure the structure, when site supervisors fail to catch loose or dangerous scaffolding problems, or in other instances of dangerous use or oversight.
Once you prove how the accident happened and how the other party is responsible, you must also prove the damages you suffered to get the compensation you need. This typically involves producing medical bills, bank statements, pay stubs, and other records to show the medical expenses you faced, wages you lost, and other financial harms from the accident. You can also claim damages for pain and suffering, but proving these damages usually requires your personal testimony about how the injury affected you and your life.
Call Our Baltimore Scaffolding Collapse Injury Lawyers
Injuries from a traumatic accident like a scaffolding collapse can leave you with substantial medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering that need compensation. No matter how the accident occurred, there is likely a party that can be held liable for the injuries you faced. Talk to our Baltimore scaffolding injury lawyers for help with your case and to schedule a free legal consultation on your case. Our number is (410) 694-7291.