Scaffolding is often set up as a semi-permanent fixture while construction is being done on a building. Many Philadelphia buildings with scaffolding could have the scaffolding stay for months or years while the construction work is completed. In the meantime, scaffolding often produces serious risks to construction workers themselves as well as passers-by, residents of the building, and those who work inside or nearby.
If you or a loved one was injured in a scaffolding collapse or otherwise sustained physical injuries because of scaffolding, talk to an attorney today. The Philadelphia scaffolding injury attorneys at The Reiff Law Firm represent injury victims and their families in lawsuits against negligent construction companies and renovators. For a free consultation on your case, contact our law offices today at (215) 246-9000.
Types of Scaffolding Accidents
Many scaffolding accidents and injuries occur in only a few different ways. First, many scaffolding accidents involve a collapse, where someone on top of or underneath the scaffolding is seriously injured by the collapse. Scaffolding collapses can be caused by poorly designed or malfunctioning scaffolding that collapses under the weight of its users or falls apart after remaining set-up for a long period. These accidents can cause serious injuries or death for people trapped under the collapsing scaffolding as well as workers on top of the scaffolds. Falling from a great height or being struck by falling scaffolding can cause traumatic brain injury, broken bones, amputation, impalement, spinal cord injuries, or instant death.
Second, scaffolding accidents can involve falls from the scaffolding. The construction workers who use the scaffolding at many sites have safety lines and other precautions to prevent them from falling off. However, some construction firms or contractors may not require the use of these and other safety equipment like helmets. This means that if someone falls from scaffolding, they could suffer serious injury or death when they hit the ground. There is also a possibility that the design of the scaffolding itself could be a problem during a fall if the victim becomes tangled in the bars, causing further injury from dislocated joints or broken bones.
The last common scaffolding accident involves things falling from scaffolding. Many scaffolds are set up on sidewalks so that foot traffic can still proceed underneath the construction. This means that the area may be an active construction site, but that the sidewalk is not considered a “hard hat zone” and is not fenced or roped off to prevent entry. If a construction worker slips and drops a tool, a piece of construction material, or another item, the falling object could cause serious injury to cars, pedestrians, and others below. In many cases, this can cause head and brain injuries and may kill via blunt force trauma. Failing to set up a net or other fail-safes to catch falling items or people can be a serious sign of negligence.
Suing for Scaffolding Injuries in Philadelphia
In most scaffolding injury cases, there is a limited number of parties involved. At most, a scaffolding case usually involves the owner of the property where the scaffolding is set up, the manufacturer of the scaffolding, the construction firm or workers using the scaffolds, and the victim of the case. In some cases, who to sue is clear – but in others, suing a combination of the parties may be best.
Scaffolding accidents may be caused by negligent setup. This usually places the blame on the party who erected the scaffolding. If there is a construction firm or contractor using the scaffolding, this may make the accident their fault. If the building owner has their own staff using the scaffolding, it may be the building owner’s fault.
If the scaffolding is weak, poorly built, or patently dangerous, it may be the manufacturer’s fault. In some cases, products are manufactured with design flaws or manufacturing defects that make the product unreasonably safe. Scaffolding is not immune to this problem, and collapses may be caused by negligent manufacturing.
The most likely culprit in a scaffolding accident is the group using the scaffolding. This may be the building owner’s own staff or hired construction workers. In either case, they may have failed to inspect its safety, may have allowed it to become weak, may negligently handle items that fall, or may have done something else to cause injury. In most cases, these workers can be sued alongside their employer. This means you can usually sue the construction firm or contracting firm who hired negligent construction workers that allowed you to be injured. If you work for these firms or were a third party, you may be able to sue.
Our Philadelphia Scaffolding Injury Lawyers Can Help with Your Injury Case
If you or a loved one was injured or if a loved one was killed in an injury involving collapsing scaffolding or objects falling from scaffolding, talk to an attorney today. You may be entitled to substantial compensation for serious injuries, which can pay for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other expenses. For a free consultation on your case, contact the Philadelphia scaffolding injury attorneys at The Reiff Law Firm today at (215) 246-9000.