San Jose Scaffolding Accident Attorneys
According to Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) data, scaffolding accidents at construction sites account for 80 deaths annually and over 10,000 injuries. All told, 900 construction related fatalities occur every year, according to OSHA, so this means that scaffolding accidents alone account for nearly 10% of all construction deaths.
How do these accidents happen? Who can be to blame? And what can you do if you got hurt on a construction site or if you lost a loved one to a fall?
Common Causes of Scaffolding Accidents
The planks and supports that protect workers can fail for a variety of reasons, including inclement weather (such as ice or frost forming on the planks), poor maintenance and installation, and the failure of the plank material itself.
Construction workers generally don't work in a vacuum. They use painting machinery, cranes, and cleaning equipment while up on scaffolds. Also, construction work may be going on simultaneously on different parts of the site. If a person above you drops a bucket of tools or accidentally spills paint, you could lose your balance and fall off the scaffold.
Harness and Safety Support Failures
Defective safety equipment and harnesses - or poor installation or maintenance of these devices - can cause or contribute to scaffolding accidents.
Problems with Training, Supervision or Collaboration
Construction is inherently dangerous work. But those dangers can be managed with good safety protocols. If your supervisor failed to provide you with good instructions about how to operate machinery, for instance, he or his company can be liable for injuries and damages.
Other X Factors
Myriad factors can make scaffolding work dangerous, instigate a fall, or exacerbate injury sustained in a fall. For instance, say you inhaled paint and tar fumes at a construction site over a long day. This pollution could impede your judgment and lead you to take risks that you might otherwise not take and thus provoke a fall or other scaffolding accident.
What should you do in the wake of an injury?
Your first step should be to get proper medical help. Even if you don't feel "that injured" after a fall from a scaffold, it's better to be safe than sorry. After all, construction accident victims often enter in a state of "shock" after the fact, and thus may be unaware of the extent of the damage.
An experienced Northern California construction site accident lawyer can determine how and whether to hold certain parties responsible for your lost wages and future wages, reduced earning capacity, medical and therapy bills, loss of consortium, and pain and suffering. An attorney may identify a diverse group of defendants, including: the subcontractor who set up the scaffolding; the general contractor; and the entity who exposed you to the toxic chemicals that caused you to lose your judgment and fall of the side.
Obviously, in the wake of your trauma (or your family's trauma), you will be tied up dealing with medical care and emergency logistics. But don't neglect your potential legal action. In California, a statute of limitations may apply to your case, meaning that, if you wait too long before making a claim, you will lose your right to do so.
Look to the Silicon Valley construction site accident attorneys at Caputo & Van Der Walde, LLP to design and execute a strategic claim on your behalf. The firm takes Northern California construction accidents and scaffolding accident cases on contingency, and you can get a free and thorough case evaluation just by calling (877) 862-6288.