Falls cause thousands of construction site injuries each year and are the leading cause of workplace death. Workers who spend hours on scaffolding are at a much higher risk of such injuries.
It’s the responsibility of contractors, project owners, and project managers to ensure that all established and required safety measures are in place at any site where scaffolding is in use.
If you’ve been seriously injured in a scaffolding accident, you may have the basis for an injury claim that can give you greater future security through your employer’s workers’ compensation coverage or a third-party lawsuit. To learn more, contact the Chicago scaffold accident lawyers at Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates today for a free consultation.
Steps to take after being hurt
The immediate aftermath of a scaffold accident can be overwhelming. Knowing what to do in the first few moments can help ensure that your rights are protected and that your safety is preserved.
1. Call 911
Injuries from scaffold accidents are often severe. If you’ve fallen or have been hit by falling equipment, you should call 911 right away.
2. Take photos or videos of the site where the injury occurred
If you’re able, take photos or videos of the work site before leaving the scene. Be sure to show the scaffolding, any debris or other hazardous conditions, and the exact spot where you were located when the accident happened. This evidence can be critical in a potential lawsuit or workers’ compensation claim.
3. File an official report with the construction company
Let the construction company know what happened. They should have a process to file an official report. This report protects your rights and helps ensure that your medical expenses are paid by workers’ compensation.
4. Collect contact information from witnesses
If anyone witnessed the incident, collect their contact information. Witnesses can provide invaluable testimony to help you with your case down the line.
5. Keep a written or digital record of your experience
While your memory is still fresh, take the time to write down everything you remember about the incident, any conversations you had with coworkers or contractors before or after it happened, and your medical history as it relates to the accident.
6. Visit your primary care physician or specialist
Even if you don’t feel any pain or discomfort following the accident, it’s vital to follow up with a healthcare professional for an evaluation. If the injury worsens in the days, weeks, or even months after the accident, you’ll have a record of your visit to prove that it was related to the scaffold accident.
7. Speak with an attorney
Once you’ve attended to your immediate needs, it’s time to consult a Chicago scaffold accident attorney. A lawyer can help you understand your rights and determine the best course of action, whether that’s filing a workers’ compensation claim or a lawsuit against the negligent party.
Don’t miss the deadline to file your claim
There are two possible deadlines in a scaffold accident case: the statute of limitations for personal injury claims and the workers’ compensation deadline.
In Illinois, the statute of limitations to file a lawsuit against the negligent party who caused your injuries is two years from the date of the accident, however, there are some exceptions that may alter the deadline.
Workers’ compensation claims must be filed within three years of the date of injury. There are exceptions to this rule, however, so make sure to consult with an experienced attorney for guidance.
Possible damages you can claim
The purpose of a personal injury or workers’ compensation claim is to seek financial compensation for the losses you suffered due to the injury, also known as damages. The exact damages you can claim for your scaffold accident will depend on the type of claim you file and the nature of your injuries.
For a personal injury claim, you may be able to seek compensation for economic damages such as past and future medical costs and lost wages. More subjective losses, called non-economic damages, may also be pursued, including pain and suffering, loss of quality of life, and emotional distress.
In a workers’ compensation claim, you’ll be eligible to receive benefits that cover your medical costs and a portion of your lost wages. Non-economic damages usually aren’t available in workers’ compensation claims.
How to find the right lawyer for your needs
The right attorney can make all the difference in the outcome of your scaffold accident case. Before selecting a lawyer, take advantage of a free consultation with a local attorney and ask as many questions as possible. Inquire about the attorney’s experience handling cases similar to yours, and make sure you are comfortable with the lawyer’s communication style. If something doesn’t feel right, it’s time to find another lawyer.
You should also look for a Chicago scaffold accident lawyer with experience in both workers’ compensation claims and personal injury cases. Your case could involve aspects of both types of claims, and you’ll want to be represented by someone who can evaluate the full scope of your case and pursue all available damages.
We’ll fight the insurance company to get you maximum compensation
Most scaffold accidents involve at least one insurance company. These companies have their own legal teams and adjusters who have countless tactics up their sleeves to reduce or deny your claim.
When you choose us to handle your scaffold accident case, we’ll present a strong legal argument to prove liability and damages, so the insurance company has no choice but to offer you full compensation. If they refuse, we aren’t afraid to escalate the matter to trial.
Parties who may be liable for your injury
Liability isn’t required in workers’ compensation cases, so if you’re filing a claim through this system, you won’t have to prove that any party was negligent. However, if your case qualifies for a personal injury claim, we’ll need to identify all of the parties who may have contributed to your injury.
Depending on the circumstances, this may include:
- Property owner or tenant
- Scaffold manufacturer or installer
- General contractor or construction company responsible for the project
- Company responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of the scaffolding
Sometimes, multiple parties are liable for the same injury. If this is the case for your scaffold accident, we’ll pursue every potential liable party to make sure you receive the highest possible compensation for your claim.
How our attorneys prove liability
After we determine who may have caused your injury, we’ll need to prove that each party acted negligently. This is a detailed process that involves carefully gathering evidence, including any relevant documents and witness statements. In doing so, we’ll look for safety violations, as well as proof that a party knew about a hazard but failed to act.
We’ll then show that the liable party owed you a duty of care and that their negligence led to your injury. With this evidence in hand, we can provide a compelling argument for why the defendant is liable for your damages.
Advocates for scaffolding accident victims
You don’t have to live in fear that mounting medical bills, lost income, lost earning potential or the stress resulting from your injury will leave you with an uncertain future. If others have told you that you “have no case,” ignore them.
Our firm has decades of experience with construction injury cases and have helped our clients achieve over $1 billion in settlements and jury verdicts. We will quickly help you gain insight into where you stand through a no-cost consultation.
Speak with our trial lawyers to get an accurate assessment of your case. We have the resources to investigate, document and pursue your claim with the professionalism and precision that you deserve. You’ll never be asked to pay for our help until after our Chicago construction accident lawyers have won your case.
Scaffold negligence in Chicago
No one would intentionally create hazards for workers. There are many ways that negligence in installing scaffolding can lead to a serious risk to worker safety – and dangerous or deadly accidents that were entirely preventable. Well-established safety measures include the following:
- The scaffolding must be properly fastened. Bolting, bracing, or other techniques must be employed to ensure that the scaffolding does not sway. Any equipment or devices used in this work must be in appropriate working order.
- The scaffolding must be appropriately rated for the weight that it will bear. The normal standard is that scaffolding is strong enough to support four times the maximum weight that will be placed on it.
- A safety rail must be in place. For all scaffolds manufactured or put into service after January 1, 2000, the top rail must be between 38 and 45 inches in height.
- Safety lines, harnesses, or other equipment necessary to ensure working safety in the specific setting must be provided.
- All those who will be working on the scaffolding must receive appropriate safety training.
This is not a complete list of safety measures. For example, a major cause of scaffolding injuries is scaffolding planks giving way.
No matter what led to your injuries, you can trust our team of litigators to pursue the maximum in compensation – as you deserve. If you have lost a loved one in a tragic scaffolding accident, our Chicago scaffolding injury lawyers are here to help you seek justice for what occurred.
Cost of hiring a Chicago scaffolding accident lawyer
We understand the financial strain that scaffold accidents can place on victims and their families. That’s why we offer a completely free consultation to help you understand what to expect from your construction accident claim.
We also work on a contingency basis, meaning you won’t owe us anything unless we win your case. This arrangement makes it possible for those who need it most to access quality legal representation.
Why hire Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates
Chicago construction accident attorneys with Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates have secured more than $1 billion in settlements and jury verdicts for our clients. Our success is due to a combination of hard work, dedication to justice, and over 350 years of combined experience.
We handle every case with care and compassion, making sure that our client’s rights are respected and their voices heard. We take on the biggest companies and their insurance providers, putting our extensive resources to work in pursuit of the compensation you deserve.
Our Chicago scaffolding accident lawyers are here to help
Our experienced team of attorneys at Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates can evaluate your case at no cost. If you have been seriously injured, or you have lost a treasured family member in a scaffolding accident, our scaffold accident lawyers will protect your rights and interests. We will pursue the maximum in compensation for you. Contact us at (800) 985-1819 to schedule a free case evaluation today.