Personal Injuries Caused by Scaffold Accidents
According to the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) 2.3 million construction workers, or 65% of all construction workers, work on scaffolds frequently. Unfortunately, working on scaffolds is extremely dangerous work, and each year over 4,500 construction workers suffer personal injury scaffold accidents, and over fifty workers die each year.
Falls are the most likely accidents to cause wrongful death in construction accidents in Massachusetts as well. According to the Massachusetts Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health, in 2007, nineteen workers died after falling, and most of the falls were from ladders, scaffolds, or girders.
Few will forget the scaffolding accident that claimed the lives of three people in Boston in 2006. According to a Boston Globe report, workers for Bostonian Masonry were dismantling scaffolding at an Emerson College dorm project. The scaffolding collapsed because it had not been properly attached to a crane. Two workers fell 14 floors down onto Boylston Street and died. Meanwhile, the construction platform fell onto a Honda sedan, killing the young doctor behind the wheel.
OSHA later cited Bostonian Masonry for eight violations of safety standards and announced the company faced $119,000 in fines.
In addition to wrongful death, scaffolding accidents can cause severe fractures, head injuries, scarring, and disability. Often the medical bills will be large, and there may be a long period of disability and lost wages. Worker's compensation may pay for some of the medical bills and lost earnings, but worker's compensation cannot adequately compensate an injured worker for permanent losses and disability arising from a serious scaffold accident.
Scaffolds are highly regulated by the Federal and state governments. The illustration below, from the OSHA website, depicts some typical types of scaffolds. Other details about the design and regulation of these scaffolds can be found at the website.
What To Do If You Have a Scaffold Accident
Our attorneys are experienced in representing workers who suffer personal injury or wrongful death as a result of scaffold, ladder, and other construction accidents. Immediate investigation and preservation of evidence is often a critical element in proving a personal injury case involving scaffold accidents. Investigation involves examination of the scene while the evidence is fresh. It may be necessary to get court orders to preserve evidence. Prompt investigation of witnesses is also important.
After a construction accident, it is also critical to establish contact with the investigating authorities, such as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
It is also essential that you get prompt medical attention for your personal injuries if you are injured in a scaffold accident. If you were injured while on the job, then you should be entitled to workers' compensation benefits.
Choose a Qualified Scaffold Accident Lawyer
The lawyers at Breakstone, White & Gluck, P.C., are experienced in working with top experts and getting the best compensation for victims injured or killed in scaffold accidents. The attorneys at our firm handle cases from initial investigation, through trial, and, if necessary, all appeals. We will work hard to get you the best results.
If you have been injured in a construction accident and wish to speak to a lawyer, please call us at 617-723-7676 (or toll free at 1-800-379-1244), use our contact form. Get your free legal consultation today from Breakstone, White & Gluck, P.C.
Because the Massachusetts Statute of Limitations applies to these cases, victims have a limited timeframe in which to file their case. If you feel you have a construction site accident case, it is vital that you act immediately to protect your rights.
We look forward to helping you.