Scaffolding Accident Claims
Scaffolding is commonly used on building sites up and down the country. With the aim of making working at heights safer, scaffolding is used by workers from a whole host of different industries, such as builders, roofers, electricians, decorators and building inspectors.
It is not just building sites where you will find scaffolding. It is used for building and maintenance in residential areas, shopping centres, hospitals and busy high streets. The risk of injury from scaffolding accidents is therefore not just limited to those working on scaffolding, but also those using the surrounding areas.
The National Access & Scaffolding Confederation (NASC) published data that shows that the number of scaffolding related accidents reported by its members increased by 9% in 2014. Many of these accidents are caused by unobserved safety processes or poorly maintained scaffolding that is ultimately unsafe and unfit for purpose.
Employers and scaffolding companies have a duty of care to employees and the wider public to ensure that scaffolding is safe and well maintained to ensure that it is legally viable for use. Employers and occupiers who fail in their duty of care to staff, visitors and the public are likely to be liable for injuries that arise out of accidents resulting from these breaches.
Scaffolding accidents can cause significant injuries to workers and passers-by alike. If you have suffered an injury following a scaffolding accident that wasn’t your fault, you may be eligible to make a claim for compensation. A friendly and experienced solicitor will be pleased to offer you a free initial consultation to assess your case and to determine whether you are likely to make a successful claim for compensation.
Common causes of scaffolding accidents
Scaffolding is used on a daily basis in a safe and responsible manner. In most cases it provides a safer option for carrying out work at height when compared to alternative options such as ladders. But it is clear however, that working at height does bring with it many inherent dangers, which can create the risk of significant injury if the appropriate health and safety regulations are not observed.
Some of the most common causes of scaffold accidents include:
- falling from scaffold towers due to incorrectly constructed or missing guardrails
- slips as a result of using scaffolding in wet conditions
- tripping over tools, wires, debris or other obstructions left on scaffolding
- accidents caused by incorrectly assembled scaffolding
- injuries caused by damaged scaffold boards
- items falling from scaffolding, causing injuries to people below
The injuries sustained by these type of accidents can range from minor cuts and bruises through to life changing injuries such as paralysis and brain injury. In the worst cases, these accidents can even be fatal. Due to these risks, legislation is in place which aims to offer protection to workers by regulating the responsibilities of employers. This includes the following:
- Work at Height Regulations 2005 – Employers that control any activity where working at height is required must ensure that work is properly planned, supervised and carried out by competent people.
- Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER) – under these regulations employers must ensure that all work equipment is safe and suitable for use, including the provision of a regular maintenance programme.
- Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992 – this regulates the correct use and provision of PPE in the workplace, such as safety boots, helmets, etc.
Am I eligible to make a scaffolding accident claim?
In order to have a valid personal injury claim following a scaffold accident, there are three basic requirements that need to be met:
- The accident must have happened within the past 3 year period
- Another person or company must have been at fault for the accident
- You must have sustained a personal injury as a result
If each of the above statements are applicable to your circumstances, it is likely that you would be entitled to pursue a claim for compensation against the party at fault for your accident.
Examples of potential claims may include pedestrians who are injured by falling objects or damaged scaffolding, or workers that have sustained an injury due to poorly maintained scaffolding or unobserved safety measures. Whatever the specifics of your case are, a solicitor will be happy to discuss your accident to help determine if you have a valid claim for compensation. To find out more, simply request a call back or call free on 0800 678 1410.
What will I need in order to make a scaffold accident claim?
In order to make a successful accident claim, your solicitor will need to prove who was responsible for the accident. They will also require evidence of the severity of any injuries you have sustained, and any financial losses you have incurred as a result. In order to do this, the solicitor will work closely with you to gather as much documentation, reports and evidence as possible in order to compile a strong case.
Evidence to support your personal injury claim following a scaffolding related accident could include the following:
- Accident report forms or police reports if applicable
- Information and contact details of the company responsible
- Photographic evidence of the scene and any subsequent damage that the accident caused
- Medical reports that prove any diagnosis or treatment needs
- Receipts for any treatment related costs, prescriptions and travel expenses to medical appointments
- Witness contact details and statements where possible
- Evidence of lost wages from having time off work
Is there a time limit in place to make a claim for a scaffold accident?
In order to be eligible to make a compensation claim for a scaffolding accident, you must initiate proceedings within three years of the date of the accident. If you leave it too late, in most cases you would no longer be entitled to pursue your claim, as it would be considered as time-barred under the Limitations Act 1980.
Solicitors urge clients to commence any work related accident claims at the earliest opportunity to ensure that it is easier to access documents, reports and evidence as well as utilise fresh and recent memories of the accident.
You can find out more information about the time limits for making an injury claim here: How long do I have to make a personal injury claim?
How much compensation will I be able to claim for my accident?
The amount of compensation that you are awarded will greatly depend upon the specific details of your case. The more serious the injuries and losses that you sustained, the higher the award of compensation is likely to be. The compensation amount you are entitled to will take into account the following factors:
- the type and severity of injury or injuries you have sustained
- any loss of wages while you are recovering from your injuries
- future loss of earnings if you suffer long-term injuries that impact your ability to work
- the cost of any medication or medical treatments, such as physiotherapy
- transport costs related to your accident and injury, such as the cost of getting a taxi to and from hospital appointments
An experienced solicitor will be able to offer you a realistic guideline of the likely compensation offer that you should be able to achieve during your initial consultation. Your solicitor will then work closely with you to gather as much evidence and documentation as they can to build a strong case against the negligent party, and help secure you the highest possible settlement award.
Why use a personal injury solicitor?
The personal injury solicitors we work in partnership with are highly experienced and skilled in working on all types of workplace accident claims, including those relating to scaffolding accidents. They can utilise their expert knowledge in order to build the strongest case with the view to achieving the highest compensation offer possible. Furthermore, these solicitors offer a host of benefits to their clients, including the following:
- Free initial consultation with no obligation to proceed
- A no win no fee service, meaning that if for any reason your claim is unsuccessful, you won’t pay a penny
- Solicitors that have experience and knowledge specific to your type of claim
- Local solicitors available at locations throughout the UK
We fully understand and appreciate that many people find the prospect of embarking upon a legal case against another person or company a daunting prospect. If the claim is against the company you work for, it can be even more stressful. However, it is important to keep in mind that you have a legal right to seek compensation if another person or company caused your injury.
If you are not sure about making a claim, and would simply like some advice, friendly legal advisers are just a phone call away. Feel free to call 0800 678 1410 for an informal chat about your accident, where they will be able to answer any questions you may have and can let you know how a solicitor can assist you in accessing the compensation that you rightly deserve.