Take a walk around the city and look up: chances are that you’ll see scaffolding. Scaffolds are used by construction workers, window washers, painters, and other laborers on a daily basis throughout the state. And while scaffolds are an important tool for accomplishing work, scaffolds can also be dangerous. If you or a loved one has been involved in a scaffolding accident in Massachusetts, you may have a cause of action to bring forth a personal injury claim for damages. For a free consultation with our Massachusetts personal injury attorney, reach out to Tetzel Law, LLC today.
How Scaffolding Accidents Happen
Scaffolding accidents, including worker falls and scaffolding collapses, may be caused by various factors. Some of the most common causes of scaffolding accidents include:
- Improper scaffold construction/assembly
- Defective guardrails and other fall protections
- Improper worker training
- Lack of use of other safety equipment, such as safety harnesses
- Faulty planking and support
- Wet or slippery surfaces
Who’s Liable for a Scaffolding Accident?
When a scaffolding accident occurs, it’s important that a thorough investigation is undertaken to determine the cause of the scaffolding accident and potential liability.
When a worker is injured on the job, workers’ compensation insurance will almost always apply. Workers’ compensation provides no-fault coverage for medical expenses and a portion of the worker’s lost wages. An injured worker does not need to prove the fault of anyone in order to receive compensation; however, the employer benefits from legal immunity as a result of this. In other words, the employer cannot be held legally liable for injuries and a worker cannot file a lawsuit directly against their employer.
While a worker involved in a scaffolding accident cannot file a lawsuit directly against their employer, they may be able to bring forth a claim against another third party and seek workers’ compensation benefits simultaneously. For example, if the accident was the result of a scaffolding defect, the manufacturer of the scaffolding could be held partially liable for damages. Similarly, if the scaffolding accident was due to the fault of another contractor, a claim may be made against them.
Steps to Take After a Scaffolding Accident
If you’re involved in a scaffolding accident in Massachusetts, the most important thing to do is to seek medical care immediately. If you need an emergency case, you can seek it from any provider—it does not have to be an employer-approved medical provider. You should also provide notice of the accident to your employer as soon as possible to protect your right to workers’ compensation benefits.
Even if you know that you will receive workers’ compensation, it’s still a good idea to hire an attorney. An attorney can represent you during your workers’ compensation claim and investigate your accident to determine whether a claim for third-party liability exists.
Call Our Team Today
At the office of Tetzel Law, LLC, we know that scaffolding accidents are devastating for the workers involved and their loved ones. If you have been involved in a workplace scaffolding accident and have questions about your legal rights, don’t hesitate to call our law firm directly at (617) 742-1700 for your free, no-obligation consultation. You can also send us a message using the contact form on our website.