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Who bears responsibility for your fall from scaffolding?

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Perhaps you are a brick mason working on the façade of a new residence in West Los Angeles. You were working near the roofline when the scaffolding collapsed and you fell, breaking both your wrist and your shoulder.

How did this happen and where does responsibility for your injuries lie?

A common accident

According to the Center for Construction Research and Training, falls represent the number one cause of construction worker fatalities. Roof, ladder and scaffolding falls are the most common. You have worked for the same company for more than a decade, and this is your first experience with major injuries. The scaffolding collapsed when a dump truck owned by another company backed into it.

Worksite hazards

Construction workers, no matter their trade, face risks each day. Many kinds of heavy equipment and tools pose hazards. Added to the danger involved with working at heights, this can make the job site a very dangerous place. Occupational Safety and Health Administration data shows that injuries occur to one in 10 construction workers every year, and OSHA provides guidelines that are meant to keep workers safer. There are also state and federal regulations developed for the same purpose because negligence or carelessness can lead to serious injuries or death.

Further actions

You took a bad fall from the equivalent of a second-story height, and you are lucky to be alive. However, your injuries required surgery and you will have to spend months in physical therapy. Through your employer, you are eligible to apply for workers’ compensation, which will cover your medical expenses and lost wages. Because another company owns the truck that backed into the scaffolding you were standing on, you might also file a third-party claim to address the pain and suffering you are experiencing. Explore your legal options and know that you deserve full and fair compensation for the injuries you suffered.

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