Workplace accidents and injuries are common through Arkansas. Many injuries occur when workers fall from scaffolding or other high places. Other times, a worker is injured when an object falls from the scaffolding or the scaffolding itself collapses. When these types of accidents occur, the injuries range from minor cuts and bruises to fatal injuries. This is especially the case when the employees do not use proper safety equipment or their employer fails to provide adequate safeguards.
If you or a loved one were hurt in an accident involving scaffolding, it is crucial to have experienced legal representation. Our Arkansas construction scaffolding injury lawyers understand the complexities associated with work-related accidents. Ken Kieklak, Attorney at Law, can help you understand your legal rights and options. To schedule a free legal consultation, call (479) 316-0438.
Types of Scaffolding Accident Injuries in Arkansas
If you or a loved one are a construction worker, you have rights and our Fayetteville, AR personal injury lawyer can help you defend them. Construction sites are often dangerous and your employer is required to comply with strict regulations to ensure their employees’ safety is protected. These regulations, enacted by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), include rules and guidelines regarding the erection of scaffolding. If your employer failed to follow these regulations, it is possible that the required safeguards to protect construction workers from preventable accidents were not in place. It might be possible to hold your employer liable if you suffered an injury because they did not comply with the required regulations.
For example, guardrails or other fall-arrest systems must be in place when an employee works more than ten feet off the ground. Not only must these safety systems be in place, but they must also meet specific requirements.
Scaffolding must be erected properly, including all levels being fully planked and having the capacity to hold at least four times the intended weight. The regulations do not end after the scaffolding is erected. Before and after every work shift, scaffolding should be inspected to ensure its structural integrity.
Scaffolding Accident Injuries in Arkansas – Who Is Responsible?
As stated above, your employer is required to comply with many safety regulations. However, there are many other potentially liable parties to examine when building a workplace injury claim. In most cases, the actual conduct or inaction by a potential party will open them up to liability for a scaffolding accident.
A general contractor is often tasked with coordinating the work at a construction site. If they are looking to lower costs and increase their profits, a general contractor could cut corners or safeguards to speed a job up. Additionally, if a general contractor hires a subcontractor who fails to adhere to the required safety regulations, they both could be held responsible for an injury.
At some worksites, a third-party is contracted to assemble or maintain the scaffolding. If the work is done incorrectly or negligently, the company that erected the scaffold might bear accountability for any injuries.
In some situations, an accident occurs even when an employer follows every safety regulation and guideline. If the scaffolding itself is defective or the installed fall-arrest systems fail to function correctly, the results could be catastrophic. Under these circumstances, it might be possible to hold the manufacturer of the scaffolding or safety equipment liable for your injuries.
Our experienced Arkansas scaffolding accident attorney will thoroughly review the facts and evidence surrounding your injury to determine what parties could be held legally liable. It is not uncommon for more than one party to bear part of the responsibility. When you file a lawsuit, it is critical to include all potential defendants.
Compensation Available for Scaffolding Injury in Arkansas
Under Arkansas law, construction workers who are injured on the job are entitled to monetary benefits through a workers’ compensation claim. By law, an employer is required to carry this type of insurance protection for their employees. Through a workers’ compensation claim, an injured employee could have their medical bills paid and recoup part of their salary without needing litigation.
However, under the workers’ compensation system, an employee is usually prohibited from filing a personal injury lawsuit against their employer. Part of the problem with this system is that an injured employee is not entitled to the same compensation they could be awarded in a personal injury lawsuit, such as recovering for their pain and suffering. Additionally, the income benefit is capped and might not be sufficient if the injury is severe.
Fortunately, there are cases when a personal injury lawsuit is permitted, allowing an injured employee the right to seek both economic and non-economic damages with the help of an Arkansas personal injury lawyer. The prohibition under workers’ compensation does not extend to third-parties. Therefore, if a defect in the scaffolding caused your injury, you are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits and permitted to seek financial recovery from the manufacturer. If your employer did fail to comply with safety regulations or was aware of a dangerous condition concerning the scaffolding, they could still be held liable despite the workers’ compensation system. It is crucial to speak with an experienced Arkansas scaffolding injury attorney to understand your rights and legal options.
Call Our Arkansas Construction Scaffolding Injury Attorney to Schedule a Free Consultation
Every construction worker understands that there are inherent risks involved with the job. However, when those risks are increased by the negligent conduct of your employer or a third-party, they should be held accountable if you suffer a serious injury. Scaffolding accidents often result in catastrophic injuries that impact a victim for years or the rest of their life. Ken Kieklak, Attorney at Law, is committed to helping construction workers who suffered injuries due to preventable accidents. To understand your legal rights, call our Arkansas construction scaffolding injury lawyer at (479) 316-0438 to schedule a free appointment.