I Fell From a Scaffolding While on the Job. Can I Sue?
If you fell from scaffolding while on the job, depending on the circumstances under which your accident occurred and whether or not your employer offers worker’s compensation, you may be able to sue your employer or a third party who was involved in your accident.
What if My Employer Does Not Offer Workers’ Compensation?
If your employer does not offer workers’ compensation, you should contact an experienced workplace injury attorney to handle your claim. If you are badly injured on the job, you employer may scramble to offer something like workers’ compensation and demand that you see a company doctor. You have no obligation accept their offer of compensation or see their doctor.
Texas is unique in that it does not require employers offer workers’ compensation. The caveat is that if an employer who does not offer workers’ compensation is determined to be even 1% at fault for an employee’s injuries, they are liable for any and all resulting damages.
Thomas J. Henry has the resources and experience to help prove your construction accident case. Our workplace injury lawyers will begin handling your claim immediately and request a temporary restraining order (TRO) to ensure any evidence is preserved. Thomas J. Henry also has access to leading industry experts who can help analyze evidence, inspect possible workplace violations, and provide compelling testimony to a judge or jury.
Our construction accident experts include:
- Workplace safety compliance experts
- Industrial accident reconstruction experts
- Premises maintenance experts
- OSHA consultants
- Safety equipment experts
- Ladder experts
- Occupational and environmental health experts
- Hazardous chemicals experts
- Process safety management experts
- Physicians, psychical therapists, and other healthcare professionals
- Fire and explosion investigators
What If I’m Already Receiving Workers’ Compensation? Can I Still Seek Additional Damages?
Workers’ compensation is a benefits program employers provide to workers to pay for hospital and medical expenses associated with on the job injuries. Workers’ compensation also provides disability payments while an employee is unable to work. Workers’ compensation covers most injuries, even those caused by the employee’s own negligence, but there or instances in which a workers’ compensation claim can be denied. These include:
- Self-inflicted injuries
- Injuries suffered while an employee is committing a crime
- Injuries sustained by an employee while not on a job
- Injuries suffered by an employee acting in a manner that violates company policy.
While workers’ compensation typically precludes an employee from filing an personal injury lawsuit, Texas law does allow the employee to sue any other parties involved in the accident. In the instance of a scaffolding-related injury, this can include manufacturers of potentially defective products, a co-worker who committed a negligent or reckless act, or a non-employee who contributed to your injuries.
Are Scaffolding and Fall Injuries Common?
Roughly 4,836 worker deaths and 2.9 million non-fatal workplace injuries and illnesses are recorded in the United States every year. Among the most common causes of death and injury in the workplace are falls, slips, and trips.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) estimates that falls, slips, and trips result in 16.5% of all recorded fatal workplace injuries. This makes falls the second most common cause of death in the workplace, exceeded only by transportation accidents.
Additionally, fall protection and Scaffolding are consistently among the top three most frequently cited standards by Federal OSHA.
What Should I Do if I’ve Been Injured in a Scaffolding Accident?
If you have been injured in a scaffolding accident, there are a few things you can do to help secure workers’ compensation as well as strengthen any claim to additional recoveries you may have.
- Seek medical attention. Before anything else, you should seek treatment for you injuries. Understanding the extent of you injuries is not only important to making a full recovery, but will also help you gauge how much that recovery is going to cost you. If you do not feel completely comfortable with the company doctor, go to your own physician for a second opinion.
- Report your injury. Workplace injuries need to be reported in a timely manner. Also, keep you supervisor or manager up-to-date on any subsequent developments. If your doctor has diagnosed an injury that was not immediately evident at the time of your initial report, let your supervisor know.
- Get a written repot of the accident. Your employer must take a report of the accident. You are entitled to a copy as well. Do not let your employer deny you a physical copy of your report for your own records.
- Identify witnesses. If someone witnessed your accident, get their information. You may need to refer back to their account of the incident later.
- Take photos. Take photos of the area, including any tools or equipment that may have played a role in the accident.
- Write an account. You will likely be asked to make statements about you claim multiple times. Having a detailed account that was written while the accident was still fresh in your mind can help keep your statements concise and accurate.
- Contact an attorney. Even if you plan on going through workers’ compensation, contacting an experienced attorney can help ensure you are receiving a fair amount. Thomas J. Henry offers free consultations to all injured victims. Our attorneys are available 24/7 – seven days a wee