Fort Worth, TX Scaffolding Injury Lawyer
Construction workers and people passing through construction sites open to the public can be entitled to compensation for accidents and injuries involving scaffolding. Typically, these injuries only occur when there is something wrong with the scaffolding or it is not being used safely. These injuries can often be blamed on the construction site and the companies or contractors that operate it.
If you were hurt working as a construction worker because of faulty scaffolding or lacking safety protocols, you could be entitled to sue the site operator. A lawyer can help you understand whether workers’ compensation rules limit you from suing or whether you can sue an employer directly. Injured passersby can also sue for unsafe premises in many cases.
For help with your potential claim, call The Queenan Law Firm’s Fort Worth scaffolding injury lawyers. We can help with scaffolding fall and collapse cases, as well as other injuries involving scaffolding. For a free case consultation, call (817) 476-1797.
Common Ways that Scaffolding Accidents Common in Fort Worth
Scaffolding accidents tend to involve either falls from the scaffolding, collapses that injure people on top or underneath the scaffolding, or items that are dropped or thrown off scaffolding. These accidents most commonly affect people who use scaffolding as a part of their job, such as painters, contractors, and other construction workers. Scaffolding is often used over sidewalks or in heavily trafficked spaces like building lobbies, potentially causing injury to other people who just happen to be walking through the open construction site. In any case, these three categories of injury tend to lead to lawsuits that are handled in different ways:
Falls from Scaffolding
When construction workers fall from scaffolding in Fort Worth injury cases, it is typically because there was some sort of safety issue at the construction site. These injuries could be caused by something as reckless as another person intentionally shaking the scaffolding as a prank – which could allow you to sue that person – and potentially sue any employer they work for. Otherwise, falls could occur when site supervisors fail to enforce rules for safety lines or because other contractors or workers left tools and materials as tripping hazards on the scaffolding. Unsafe premises like this could lead to lawsuits against the site operator, especially if there were OSHA violations or other safety violations.
One reason that scaffolding could collapse is because it was manufactured wrong. If design errors or manufacturing mistakes caused the scaffolding to be unsafe, the manufacturer could be responsible for any injuries the collapse causes.
Scaffolding collapses can also be caused by unsafe setup or upkeep. If the site operator set up scaffolding without the proper care or diligence, they could be liable for any injuries suffered in a collapse. Scaffolding can also collapse if it is hit by something that is being handled negligently. For example, a truck bumping into the scaffold or improperly stacked building materials falling into the scaffolding could cause it to collapse.
Dropped and Thrown Objects
Safe scaffolding setups sometimes require netting to prevent tools and debris from falling off the scaffolding and hitting people below. Similarly, workers might need to use tool straps to prevent tools from slipping out of their hands and falling. Additionally, everyone working below a scaffolding setup should likely be required to use hard hats. Failing to provide this safety gear at a worksite is often the supervisor or site operator’s fault. This could allow victims to sue.
If the worksite was dangerous but it was still open to the public to pass under the scaffolding, that could also be negligent. Site operators are legally required to take steps to prevent injury to passersby, to a certain degree. Dropped or thrown debris injuring a passerby often means this duty was violated, and that victim can sue the worker or the site operator, depending on how the worker was employed at the site.
Suing for Scaffolding Injuries in Fort Worth, Texas
In many cases when people are injured by scaffolding falls, scaffolding collapses, or objects dropped/thrown from scaffolding, they can sue one of the responsible parties listed above. However, some rules restrict lawsuits, and some situations make it difficult to tell whom to sue.
Workers in Texas often cannot sue their employer for injuries if they are covered under workers’ compensation rules. However, most employees can opt out of workers’ comp. in Texas when they start their job, keeping their right to sue. Independent contractors can also typically sue because they would not be covered by workers’ comp. anyway. However, this is not the case for employees of contractors – they still need to opt out to sue.
In many cases, the individual who makes a mistake or handles something negligently will be liable for the injuries they cause. This means you can sue that person and anyone else who helped cause the accident. However, their status as an employee or an independent contractor might once again factor in. If they work for a construction company or a contractor as an employee, that employer might be liable for the employee’s mistakes and accidents. If they are a contractor, that rule usually does not apply and you have to sue the individual who injured you.
In some cases, third-party defendants are also responsible. For example, if a driver crashes into the scaffolding at a construction site, that driver could be sued. Similarly, scaffolding manufacturers are third parties that can be sued for injuries from manufacturing defects. These third-party defendants can be sued even if workers’ comp. would otherwise prevent you from suing.
Call Our Fort Worth Scaffolding Collapse and Injury Attorneys
For a free case consultation on your scaffolding accident case, call The Queenan Law Firm’s Fort Worth, TX scaffolding injury attorneys today. Our lawyers can take your case, determine whom to sue, build your case, and file to get you the compensation you need. For a free case consultation, call (817) 476-1797 today.