Seeking Compensation After a Scaffolding Injury
Posted on 9th January 2021 at 11:21
Workplace accidents are unfortunately more common than we like to think. Each year thousands of people are injured through no fault of their own. One specific area where we see compensation claims at DSM Legal is following a scaffolding injury.
This sort of accident can happen if you are working on scaffolding, where a trip or fall can leave you with life-changing injuries. It’s not just people on the actual scaffolding itself that are at risk. If you are passing by and scaffolding or debris falls on you it can be equally catastrophic.
The Law Relating to Scaffolding
As you might expect, there’s a certain amount of legal responsibility put on employers that use scaffolding, whether it’s for a small outfit or a larger construction business. Legally this is in the form of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 which means that scaffolding must be erected and maintained to certain specifications. These include:
Putting Up Scaffolding in a Safe Manner
There is a right way and a wrong way to erect scaffolding. This includes making sure that the ground the scaffolding is put up on is suitable and that the components are connected securely to the wall or structure that it is being erected around. The scaffolding will need appropriate access through ladders or staircases and there will be a maximum load and number of people that will be allowed on it at any one time.
Protecting the Surrounding Area
The area surrounding any scaffolding is important. If the structure is erected on a busy street, the scaffolding needs to allow safe passage and have appropriate protection in place. For example, that may include putting up a protective net to prevent falling debris. The scaffolding also needs to be secured when not in use or at night to make sure that no one can climb up.
There should be a supervisor checking that employees are properly trained and that any trainees are not left unsupervised. For complex scaffolding jobs, an advanced scaffolder with appropriate experience and qualifications should be used.
Good Working Practice
Your employer is also responsible for encouraging good and safe practice at all times. That means giving job-specific instructions and providing users with the appropriate safety gear such as hard hats and harnesses where necessary.
When to Make a Claim For Compensation After a Scaffolding Injury
If you have had an accident involving scaffolding, it’s important to get legal advice as soon as possible. The types of accidents we usually see with scaffolding are bone breaks and fractures from slips and falls. Another common accident is being struck by falling debris because not enough protection was put up around the scaffolding.
While it can be difficult to gather evidence once you have had an accident, it will greatly help you claim if you can.
The first thing to detail is what happened during the accident. That includes the location, what time it happened, the circumstances and what were the consequences. If there are any witnesses, you need to have their contact details so that they can confirm what you are saying. You will also need to detail your injuries following the scaffolding accident. These are normally confirmed by a doctor or your A&E department along with any treatment you receive. If you can, ensure that you take photos on your phone of the accident or get someone to do it for you.
In addition to the evidence of the actual accident, you should begin logging important things like loss of earnings and any other financial expenses that you may have incurred because of the injury.
How DSM Legal Can Help
Seeing a solicitor may not be the first thing on your mind if you have recently had a scaffolding accident. There is a three-year period during which you can make a claim, however. Just make sure that you collect your evidence as close to the incident as possible.
There are a couple of things to note when employing the services of a personal injury lawyer. The first is that they should give you your initial consultation and assess your potential claim for free. That’s what we do at DSM Legal.
We also provide a 'no win, no fee' service. That means you are not charged legal fees until your case is settled in your favour and you are awarded damages. The usual method is to take fees as a percentage of the final settlement.
The good news is that you don’t have to find the financial means to take a third party to court because of their negligence. DSM Legal will give you all the support you need and advise on the way forward.
What Can You Claim For?
Any personal injury claim has a number of different focuses. There can be compensation for financial expenses such as when you are put out of work because of your injuries or you want to employ a private physiotherapist to help you recover.
There can be expenses relating to making modifications to your home if the injuries are serious enough that you need, for example, to be in a wheelchair. Finally, there’s the compensation for the psychological damage that the accident may have caused and how that will affect your life.
At DSM Legal we handle a wide range of personal injury cases and have a good track record across the North West. We’re based in Warrington and the first thing you’ll get is a friendly legal professional and an understanding ear to listen to your story. We’ll quickly be able to tell if you have a claim for compensation and outline what the next steps will be.
We’ll help you get the evidence together and present your side of the case. We can also make sure you get the support to recover from your injuries if you need it, including asking for an interim payment if you need immediate modifications to your home or other assistance.
If you have recently suffered a scaffolding accident, contact DSM Legal Solicitors today on 01925 937070 to find out how we can help.
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