Who is Liable for Scaffold Accidents?

Who is Liable for Scaffold Accidents?

Scaffold accidents account for a large number of construction site injuries. Construction workers are at risk for falls from elevations, collapsing scaffolds that are not built properly, and heavy tools and construction materials that are dropped from scaffolds. The parties that might be liable for injuries caused by scaffold accidents include the injured worker’s employer, the scaffold installer or manufacturer, managers, the general contractor, or other subcontractors at a worksite, and the site owner or developer.      

The Los Angeles construction accident attorneys at Ellis Injury Law know that liability in each scaffold accident is determined by the specific facts of each case. When we represent injured construction workers in a scaffold accident case, we make it our mission to scrutinize those facts, to analyze scaffold failures with the guidance of construction industry experts, and to hold liable parties responsible for the full measure of an injured construction clients’ damages.    

When is an employer liable for a scaffold accident? 

Under OSHA rules, a construction worker’s employer must provide a workplace that is free from serious known hazards, and must verify that employees have and use safe tools and equipment that have been properly maintained. In California and elsewhere, employers must also carry workers’ compensation insurance to cover an injured employee’s costs and expenses after a scaffold accident or any other work-related injury. Workers’ compensation benefits will reimburse medical bills and provide disability payments regardless of an employer’s negligence. 

When is a scaffold installer or manufacturer liable for a scaffold accident? 

Manufacturers and installers that provide defective scaffolding will be liable for the injuries that are caused by accidents related to the defects. Proof of a defect might involve, for example, X-rays of welds and expert structural analysis and of how the scaffold was erected at a construction site. In Southern California, an injured construction worker that is filing a lawsuit against a scaffold installer or manufacturer should confirm that his or her LA construction attorneys have the technical knowledge and expertise to comprehend scaffold failures and to explain those failures in layman’s terms to a jury.    

When are construction site owners or managers liable for a scaffold accident? 

Under premises liability standards, construction site owners and managers are responsible for damages that arise out of injuries on their property when they fail to make a reasonable effort to maintain a safe environment on that property. Site owners that know about a poorly-erected or dangerous scaffold but do nothing to remedy the dangers will be liable for an injured party’s damages that flow from those known dangers.   

What other parties might be liable for a scaffold accident? 

Scaffold accidents can occur when someone falls off of a scaffold, a scaffold collapses, live electrical sources short out on metal structures and injure workers that are on the scaffold, and when tools or construction materials fall from a scaffold and injure a party that is at a lower level. Each of these scenarios presents different fact patterns that a construction lawyer will analyze to determine whether any parties were negligent and if that negligence was the direct and proximate cause of the injury-causing accident.  

An injured party’s lawyer will be better able to do that analysis in the first few days after a scaffold accident before witness memories fade and the construction site changes and evolves. Because of this, every person who is injured in a scaffold accident should not hesitate to contact a construction attorney after the accident. Acting quickly can make a significant difference in an injured party’s ability to recover the largest available damages award. 

Contact Ellis after you have suffered injuries in a scaffold accident 

The Ellis Injury Law accident and injury attorneys represent injured construction workers and other parties in Southern California that have suffered injuries in scaffold accidents. We understand the dynamics of construction sites and the multiple parties that interact at those sites, and we have experience in sorting out which of those parties may be liable for scaffold accident injuries.   

Please see our website or call our Los Angeles offices directly for a no-fee conference with one of our scaffold accident lawyers. If you retain us and we accept your case, you will not be charged directly for our services and we will earn our fees entirely from the damages that we recover for you.