Scaffold Accident in Houston Lawyers
Despite the known dangers of working on a construction site, it can be difficult to receive fair compensation in the event of a scaffold accident in Houston. Texas is famously business-friendly and as such, its laws are not as advocatory as some other states when it comes to workers’ rights, which can make liability difficult to assign, and compensation difficult to come by.
The Houston construction accident lawyers at Grimes & Fertitta understand the legal complexities and emotional difficulties involved in any personal injury case and are here to share some expertise.
Types of scaffolding and other construction-related accidents
Construction sites are dangerous and complex ecosystems where anything can happen. There is a significant inherent risk that many specialists go to great lengths to mitigate, but slip-ups still happen. Unfortunately, accidents on construction sites (and their aftermath) have always been a reality that workers have borne the burden of. Some of the most common types of scaffolding accidents are:
- Scaffolding collapses are often the most serious and involve multiple people. Faulty scaffolding often results from not following OSHA safety regulations.
- Debris falling from scaffolds, often tools, construction materials, or pieces of the scaffolding itself, is a common cause of head trauma or even death.
- Electrocution often occurs when a structure is erected too close to power lines or other electrical wiring, or when welding and not following OSHA safety regulations.
- Falls from scaffolding are among the most common construction site accidents despite requirements for fall protection in the form of guardrails and safety harnesses.
All of these types of accidents can result in serious bodily harm for which one should pursue a personal injury claim, but serious workplace injuries are hardly ever cut and dry. Representation is essential in the event of a scaffolding collapse, or any other construction site accident, especially in the great state of Texas, where workers’ compensation is optional.
Safety regulations and limitations
Working on or around scaffolding is dangerous, which is why OSHA safety regulations regarding scaffolding are exhaustive, specific, and strict. You may have a much stronger case if you believe any of the rules have been violated, but here are some important ones:
- Each scaffold and scaffold component shall be capable of supporting, without failure, its own weight and at least 4 times the maximum intended load applied or transmitted to it.
- Each scaffold platform and walkway shall be at least 18 inches (46 cm) wide.
- Debris shall not be allowed to accumulate on platforms.
- Makeshift devices, such as but not limited to boxes and barrels, shall not be used on top of scaffold platforms to increase the working level height of employees.
- Each scaffold platform and walkway shall be at least 18 inches (46 cm) wide unless protected from fall hazards by the use of guardrails and/or personal fall arrest systems.
- Scaffolding must be inspected before each work shift and after any occurrence that could affect the structural integrity.
While not all workplace accidents require legal intervention, know that it is your legal right to consult an attorney to ensure that you are getting the justice that you deserve. The fallout from fatal industrial accidents is often complicated and emotionally taxing, but you do not have to go through it alone.
When can you sue for personal injury?
Wondering when to sue for personal injury? When filing construction accident claims in Texas, one should be aware that the statute of limitations is usually two years after the incident. This period is shorter in reality, because seeking workers’ compensation shortens the window to just one year, with a requirement that you report the injury within 30 days.
It is incredibly important to get your representation involved from the moment you are injured to ensure that you navigate the early part of the process correctly.
Liability and compensation
Liability in construction accident claims can be difficult to assign, as there are many parties contributing to the safety of a construction site. Depending on the nature of the accident, liability could be assigned to an employer, another contractor, or even a manufacturer.
If your employer has workers’ compensation insurance, and you wish to claim benefits through insurance, liability might not apply to your claim. However, the state of Texas is unique in that it does not require private employers to furnish workers’ compensation insurance, and many employers elect not to.
Workers’ compensation covers a portion of the cost but does not account for the accident’s effect on your ability to find work moving forward or for your pain and suffering. Even if you plan on pursuing workers’ compensation, which can be a great option if your employer offers it, it doesn’t hurt to receive counsel from a professional work injury lawyer in Houston, like those at Grimes & Fertitta.
Injured in a scaffold accident in Houston? Grimes & Fertitta will fight for you.
If you or a loved one has been injured at your workplace in a scaffold accident in Houston, the personal injury experts at Grimes & Fertitta can help. Our team has decades of experience in personal injury law, and in fighting for our clients to get what they deserve.
If you believe that your or a loved one’s injuries were caused by the negligence of your employer or a third party, contact Grimes & Fertitta today to request a consultation, or give us a call at 713-224-7644.
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