Scaffold Accident: Who Should Be Liable for Damages? | Grey Law
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Scaffold Accident: Who Should Be Liable for Damages?

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In the U.S., most work-related injuries and deaths occur in the construction industry. Although construction halted when the country shut down months ago, the dangerous risks are even more prevalent. Employers are eager to start up businesses and make up for the lost time. Employees are ready to get back to work to provide for themselves and family. With the construction industry expected to grow by 15.6% this year, according to Businesswire, that means new construction crews will need proper training. To avoid filing a workers’ compensation claim or retain an accident injury attorney in Los Angeles, everyone on site must maintain a safe working environment.

Common Scaffolds Used in Construction

Of the deaths on a construction site, slip and fall accidents from scaffolds take the lead. Unsafe scaffolding is the source of many personal injury lawsuits by construction workers and their families. Sometimes worker’s compensation limits the number of damages employees can recover if they get hurt at work, especially in these types of accidents. In this article, we further discuss how impactful scaffolding accident cases are outside of workers’ compensation. There are standards your employer must adhere to, should you need to recover more damages and win a lawsuit with the help of a scaffold injury lawyer in LA.

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, six types of scaffolding get used by construction workers.

Systematic Scaffolding

Systematic scaffolding is distinct for its interlocking bars. It is made from steel and used to support heavyweights. Unfortunately, common issues associated with this scaffold involve improper maintenance of the vertical and horizontal interlocking system.

Rolling Scaffolds

Rolling scaffolds get used for small construction jobs. Wheel locks or caster brakes secure the bottom. Most workplace injuries occur when it exceeds weight, causing a collapse. If you were on the other end of the fall, you should consult with a LA construction accident lawyer. We will try to pursue additional damages in court on behalf of a negligent co-worker or site manager.

Tubular Scaffolding

This type of scaffold is older. It is connected by clamps and generally easy to operate, as it has two structural pieces of support. Some construction workers fail to use the toe boards and rails. Unstable scaffolds can cause serious harm.

Single Pole Scaffolds

Pole scaffolds primarily get used by carpenters or painters. One side gets supported by uprights. Heavier pieces contained on this equipment might cause it to topple over or collapse.

Wood Scaffolding

Wood scaffolding is uncommon but still gets used on construction sites. The issues themselves are related to the build. Sometimes product defects lie in the wood, or improper handrails, guardrails, and nail size.

Suspended Scaffolding

This scaffold allows construction workers to suspend overhead on cables or ropes attached to stirrups on either side of the platform. It gets popularly used with high-rise construction jobs. However, without proper precaution, falls are likely to happen. Most of them are deadly.

Scaffold Safety Standards

OSHA has strict regulations on scaffold safety for how it should be built, maintained, and used. In addition to the federal guideline, California has safety orders for what constitutes safe operation. Failure for companies to comply can get used as evidence in a personal injury case. After investigating, a Los Angeles construction accident lawyer would disclose whether it was unsafe to use.

Several OSHA scaffold safety regulations that get violated are:

  • The scaffold should support 4x the anticipated weight.
  • It must never get supported by loose objects, like barrels or loose bricks.
  • Planking should get overlapped by at least 12 inches.
  • Planks should get extended over end supports between 6 to 18 inches.
  • When work is getting done overhead, overhead protection should be provided and used.
  • Materials, tools, and debris should not build upon the scaffold.
  • Shore scaffolds and lead-to scaffolds are forbidden.

Lawsuits From Scaffold Falls

For a successful personal injury lawsuit, construction workers need to prove the defendant had a duty of care to provide safety, breached that obligation, and caused harm. While not every job requires a site manager to exercise this responsibility, the law is complex regarding scaffold injury cases.

In California, an employer may be liable for negligence per “respondeat superior laws.” That means an employee who doesn’t have enough to pay for damages involving a scaffold accident can pursue additional restitution. In this type of liability claim, the victim must prove:

  • The injury got caused because of an employee’s negligence,
  • An employee was acting within the scope of employment when the incident happened.

Even when it comes to scaffolding equipment, the damages recovered initially are limited in a workers’ compensation claim. In some cases, it may be easier to pursue damages because proving negligence is not a requirement. However, there is a chance to take it further. OSHA violations will also get considered as a breach of the duty of care.


The most common types of damages victims may recover are:

  • Medical expenses
  • Loss of wages
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of normal life

To win in court, you must prove your injuries were caused by the defendant’s negligence. For example, if an employee fell off a scaffold and failed to report a worsening back injury, the defendant would not be liable. The fall must have caused it directly to press charges for liability.

If you were injured recently in a scaffold accident, a Los Angeles scaffolding accident lawyer can provide detailed legal advice to help you navigate work-based injuries.

About Grey Law

“When it comes to getting you more, I won’t settle for less.” – David Grey

When you or a loved one got injured due to negligence, carelessness, or wrongful acts of another person, David Grey is ready to help. Seeking compensation or negotiating with insurance companies can be stressful, especially while recovering. Let us do that for you. Our Los Angeles personal injury lawyers are well-versed in several practice areas:

  • Traffic Accidents
  • Premises Accidents
  • Personal Injuries
  • Product Liability
  • Nursing Home Abuse

Why do you need a lawyer for accident compensation? With thousands of lawyers in California, we understand it can be hard to choose legal representation. We have 35+ years of experience and secured millions for our clients. From the time you retain our firm, we build your case. For a free case evaluation and consultation, reach out to us at (323) 857-9500 or email

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