Scaffolding is often necessary to complete construction work, such as building new apartments, washing high-rise windows, or restoring historical architecture. However, unsafe scaffolding can pose a serious injury hazard – not only to the workers who are using the scaffold, but also to the pedestrians, cyclists, and drivers who are passing by below. If you were injured after falling from a scaffold, or were hit by a collapsing scaffold or other falling debris, you may have a right to be compensated for your medical bills and other losses. Depending on the situation, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, or could even have cause for filing a lawsuit.
At the Law Offices of Randolph Rice, we have years of experience representing construction workers, pedestrians, and others who were injured in scaffolding or construction accidents. Randolph Rice is an aggressive and effective scaffolding injury attorney who is ready to fight hard for you. To find out whether you could have a personal injury lawsuit or workers’ compensation claim for your scaffold injury in Maryland, contact the Law Offices of Randolph Rice online, or call (410) 694-7291 for a free legal consultation, 24/7.
Causes of Scaffold Accidents
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued federal scaffolding safety guidelines for the construction industry, which are available in OSHA’s report titled “Guide to Scaffold Use in the Construction Industry.” Many scaffolding accidents, in Maryland and elsewhere, are caused by failures to comply with OSHA safety guidelines or other standards for worker protection. For instance, some common causes of scaffolding accidents include:
- Defective safety equipment
- Factors like fatigue or distraction
- Failing to inspect the scaffolding carefully enough or frequently enough
- Improper construction or design of the scaffold
- Inadequate or nonexistent lighting, railings, safety nets, or other safety features designed to prevent accidents
- Inadequate training or supervision
- Overloading the scaffold beyond a safe weight capacity
- Unsafe weather conditions, such as high winds
Common Injuries Caused by Scaffolding Accidents
Most scaffolding accidents occur in one of three ways:
- A worker falls from the scaffold.
- An object falls or slides off the scaffolding, hitting a person below.
- The entire scaffold or a portion of the scaffold collapses, potentially injuring both the workers on the scaffold and the people below.
Depending on how a scaffold accident occurs and at what height, the victim can sustain minor, moderate, or life-threatening injuries. Randolph Rice handles workers’ comp and negligence claims involving injuries of all severity, including:
- Back injuries
- Bone fractures, such as broken ribs or pelvic fractures
- Catastrophic injuries
- Concussions and other traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Cuts, scrapes, and bruises
- Damage to vital organs
- Dislocated joints
- Foot and ankle injuries
- Hand and wrist injuries
- Internal injuries or internal bleeding
- Loss of fingers, toes, or limbs, either in the accident or due to complications of an injury (such as needing to have a leg amputated)
- Permanent impairment or disability
- Puncture wounds and blunt force trauma
- Soft tissue injuries
- Spinal cord injuries (SCIs)
- Torn ligaments
- Wrongful death
Workman’s Compensation Benefits for a Scaffolding Injury in Maryland
Maryland employers are generally required to carry workers’ compensation coverage. With a few exceptions, workman’s comp provides financial benefits to workers who are injured in job-related accidents, such as scaffolding accidents or other construction site accidents. However, several issues can arise with a workers’ comp claim. For example, your claim could be denied by your employer, or by your employer’s insurance carrier. It’s also important to consider the ways that a workers’ comp claim could affect your ability to sue your employer for negligence. Talk to an experienced attorney to make sure you understand your legal options after sustaining a scaffold injury.
Filing a Personal Injury Claim for a Construction Scaffold Accident in Maryland
If you receive workers’ compensation benefits, it may limit your ability to sue your employer for negligent acts. However, you may be able to sue third parties whose actions caused or contributed to your injuries. For example, if the scaffold collapse that injured you was caused by a faulty part or defective materials, you could have a case against parties who were involved in designing and manufacturing those materials.
If you were a pedestrian who was hit by a falling object, rather than a worker who was hurt on the job, you will not qualify for workers’ compensation. However, you may be able to sue the parties whose negligence led to your injuries. You may be able to recover compensation for lost wages, medical expenses, pain and suffering, and other losses caused by your injuries.
Maryland Scaffolding Injury Attorney for Construction Workers + Pedestrians
Whether you were a pedestrian caught in the middle of an accident, or a construction worker who was injured on the job, you should know that you have legal options. If you were injured in a scaffolding accident, talk to Randolph Rice about whether you could have a case. For a free legal consultation, contact the Law Offices of Randolph Rice online, or call 24 hours, seven days a week, at (410) 694-7291.