Both unsightly and useful, scaffolds help workers access difficult-to-reach areas for construction and renovation. In a bustling city like Chicago that is constantly building new structures or repairing historic ones, scaffolds can be a common sight. However, using scaffolding incorrectly or unsafely can lead to serious injury accidents for workers and the general public.
Construction workers, pedestrians, and others who are hurt in a scaffolding accident may have a legal cause of action. Reach out to a Chicago scaffolding accident attorney at Hale & Monico. During a free initial consultation, we will review the facts of your accident and determine whether you may be eligible for financial damages.
Common Causes of Scaffolding Accidents
Despite their rugged appearance, scaffoldings can be assembled and disassembled quickly. This mobility is both a strength and a weakness; while scaffolding is mobile, it is also not as sturdy as other structures. As a result, scaffoldings may collapse and send people, tools, and building materials crashing below.
Scaffoldings are at risk of failure and collapse if:
- Their wood and metal are too old and worn for continued use
- Too much weight from people and tools is placed on the scaffolding platform
- Workers forget to properly lock the wheels of the scaffold before using it
- There is an uneven weight distribution on the scaffolding, rendering it unstable
- Workers do not correctly assemble and check the scaffold’s integrity before use
There may be more than one contributing factor to a scaffolding accident. For example, a crew may erect an outdoor scaffolding that is too high to withstand Chicago’s infamous high winds.
Identifying the contributing factors that led to your injuries is essential to filing a claim for complete financial compensation. Failing to identify all responsible parties can lead to a lawsuit that brings in less monetary compensation than you need for your injuries, expenses, and losses.
Hale & Monico’s years of experience helping personal injury victims in Chicago enable us to pursue compensation for you from those who caused you harm. Call our office today to learn more about our representation.
Who pays after a Chicago scaffolding accident?
You might be able to receive compensation for your medical expenses, missed work time, and other similar losses if someone’s negligence led to your injuries. Negligence refers to decisions and actions that are unreasonable under the circumstances. If a reasonable person in the same situation would have acted differently, a person is said to be negligent.
Workers who assemble and operate on scaffoldings may be negligent and cause injuries to others. If they are employees of a company, then that company might be liable for paying compensation as well.
For example, the company may be responsible if they failed to train their workers or equip them with the necessary safety gear. If the worker is an independent contractor, a lawsuit would be filed against the worker.
Others may also be responsible for a scaffolding injury incident. The scaffold’s manufacturer might be liable for compensation if they used unsuitable materials to make the scaffolding. Similarly, the manufacturer may be responsible for paying financial damages if they did not adequately test the scaffolding’s performance before selling it.
Beyond workers, construction companies, and manufacturers, others may also be negligent and thus liable for damages. This group may include pedestrians or workers who may have run into or bumped the scaffold.
Also included in this group are rental companies who rented the scaffolding but failed to keep up with routine and expected maintenance.
When the Injury Victim Is Partially Responsible for the Accident
In some scaffolding injury cases, the person injured also acted carelessly and thereby contributed to the accident. You may have bumped into a scaffold that did not have its wheels appropriately locked. In this case, Illinois’s comparative negligence rule would come into play.
As long as the harmed party’s actions were not the primary cause of their injuries, that party may still receive financial damages. Any award they would receive would be reduced proportionally to how much they were at fault.
You can imagine that businesses and manufacturers will emphasize any negligent conduct they believe you committed. Having a strong advocate like the Chicago accident lawyers of Hale & Monico at your side can help protect the amount of your claim against reduction.
Now Is the Time to Speak with a Chicago Scaffolding Accidents Attorney
Once you know you have been hurt in a scaffolding accident, you must take immediate action. Doing so helps prevent critical evidence and testimony from being irretrievably lost. It also ensures that your claim complies with Illinois’s statute of limitations.
When you retain Hale & Monaco’s services, we will take the steps necessary to pursue your compensation claim in a timely manner. Get started by scheduling your free initial consultation with a Chicago personal injury attorney at Hale & Monaco right away.