Injuries Caused by Scaffolding Accidents
Protecting the Rights of Injured Workers in Pennsylvania
Scaffolding accidents cause approximately 60 fatalities and 4,500 injuries each year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reported that in 2017 there were 3,288 scaffolding violations, making it one of the ten most commonly cited workplace safety violations. Scaffolding accidents are common on construction sites. According to OSHA, 2.3 million construction workers (65 percent of the construction industry) work on scaffolds.
In a BLS study, 72 percent of workers injured in scaffolding accidents said the cause of their accident was planking or support giving way, slipping or being struck by a falling object. This indicates that employers may not be adequately referencing OSHA safety standards, which specifically address scaffolding hazards and provide safety checklists to ensure compliance with industry standards.
The Philadelphia work injury lawyers at Larry Pitt & Associates, P.C. have represented workers injured in all types of scaffolding accidents, including those caused by:
- Improper installation
- Inadequate or unsecured load-bearing planks
- Inadequate employee training
- Lack of inspection
- Lack of fall protection
- Falling tools, equipment or debris
Workers’ Compensation Benefits
Generally, workers who are injured on the job are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits under the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act (the Act). Under the Act, employers are required to have workers’ compensation insurance to provide employees with medical and wage replacement benefits in the event that they are injured at work or contract an occupational illness. The workers’ compensation system is no-fault, meaning that workers may receive compensation for their injuries regardless of who was at fault for the accident.
However, workers’ compensation benefits are limited, and may not cover all of a worker’s losses. Personal injury claims afford injured workers more options for compensation, such as pain and suffering. Therefore, an injured worker may decide to pursue a personal injury claim in addition to their workers’ compensation claim.
When a party other than the employer is at fault for an employee’s injuries, the injured worker may be entitled to additional compensation. Unlike a workers’ compensation claim, which requires no proof of fault, a personal injury claim requires the accident to have been caused by the third-party’s negligence. Whereas employers are protected from being sued by workers for workplace injuries because they are covered by workers’ compensation insurance, third parties are not, and may therefore be held liable under a third-party personal injury claim.
In the construction industry, there are many third parties who may be held liable, depending on the circumstances of the accident, including:
- General contractors
- Property owners
- Scaffolding equipment manufacturers
- Scaffolding installers
Scaffolds are often owned by third-party leasing companies. If those companies improperly erected the scaffold or violated OSHA regulations, their negligence may warrant a third-party personal injury claim. Other circumstances that may give rise to a third-party claim is when a scaffold has a defect in its design, when a subcontractor negligently constructed scaffolding, or when a property owner does not remove hazards from the premises.
If you were injured at work due to the negligence of someone other than your employer, you may be entitled to additional compensation. Workers’ compensation benefits only cover medical expenses and wage replacement; a third-party claim may provide you with compensation for noneconomic damages such as pain and suffering. At Larry Pitt & Associates, P.C., we can help determine all potentially liable parties in your case, so you can recover the maximum amount of compensation possible for your injuries.
Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Larry Pitt & Associates, P.C. Provide Skilled Representation to Those Injured in Scaffolding Accidents
If you were injured in a scaffolding accident, contact a Philadelphia workers’ compensation lawyer at Larry Pitt & Associates, P.C. We can help you gather all necessary documentation for your workers’ compensation claim and determine whether there is any evidence of negligence that may warrant a third-party claim. We proudly represent injured workers throughout Pennsylvania, including those in Berks County, Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, Montgomery County and Philadelphia County. To discuss your case, all us at 888-PITT-LAW or complete our online contact form.
Our legal team provides skilled representation to those residing in and around Abington, Ambler, Ardmore, Bala Cynwyd, Bensalem, Clifton Heights, Crum Lynne, Darby, Downingtown, Doylestown, Drexel Hill, Essington, Folcroft, Glenolden, Haverford, Havertown, Holmes, Kutztown, Lansdowne, Media, Merion Station, Morton, Narberth, Norristown, Norwood, Philadelphia, Prospect Park, Quakertown, Reading, Roxborough, Sharon Hill, Upper Darby, West Chester and Wynnewood.