When a scaffolding or a ladder collapses at a work site, injuries often occur. The severity of these injuries can alter or even destroy a person's life, which is why it is so important to understand your legal rights in these situations. First of all, you should know how often these injuries occur, what kind of problems they might cause, and who is to blame. This can help you sort out your rights should you decide to pursue a lawsuit.
How Often Do These Injuries Occur?
Falls from ladders and scaffolding are perhaps the most common occupational hazard. The Centers For Disease Control And Prevention reported in 2011 that 43 percent of all fatal falls over the last decade involved ladders, with 81 percent of all fall injuries in the construction industry being caused by a ladder or scaffolding failure.
What Kind Of Problems Does This Cause?
Sometimes, falls from a ladder or scaffolding may result in only minor injuries that are easily treated. Sadly, broken bones may also occur, and while these may be reset and repaired, it is possible that a severe enough injury could result in amputation.
Unfortunately, if you fall on your head, it is possible that you might suffer from spinal cord injuries that could leave you partially or even completely paralyzed. Traumatic brain injuries are also possible, which could cause severe mental handicaps or debilitating emotional problems. Even worse, is the risk of death. As mentioned above, 45 percent of all fall deaths are caused by falling off a ladder or scaffolding.
Who Is To Blame?
When scaffolding or ladder collapses and you are injured, and immediate investigation should be launched by legal authorities. Something wrong happened here and it is important to identify how and where it happened. For example, if your supervisor was ignoring OSHA regulations by using substandard support material for the scaffolding, they are likely to blame for the injury.
However, if the scaffolding or ladders were installed or otherwise used improperly by you or your fellow co-workers on the collapsed ladder or scaffolding, you might be held accountable. All ladders and scaffolding must be inspected before use, and if this step is skipped or performed poorly, the inspector is at fault.
The truth is that these types of cases are very difficult and emotionally troubling for many people. Trying to pin down who is at fault often takes extensive research and may delay your case. Contact a construction accident injury lawyer if you or anyone you love has suffered an injury like this. It could help make all the difference between losing and winning.