What Causes Scaffolding Collapses at Construction Sites?

August 10, 2018 | David Abels
What Causes Scaffolding Collapses at Construction Sites?

Scaffolding is an integral part of many construction sites, elevating workers and materials during construction, maintenance, or repair projects. If you walk around downtown Chicago for just a few minutes, you will almost certainly see scaffolding on dozens of buildings. Unfortunately, when these structures fail, workers can sustain extremely serious injuries, including some that can result in permanent disabilities and long-term medical complications. Fortunately for people who are injured in scaffolding collapse accidents, Illinois law may entitle them to benefits or compensation for their injuries and other losses.

At Abels & Annes, P.C., we are dedicated to helping people injured in and around construction sites recover compensation. We thoroughly evaluate every case we handle and make sure that our clients get the full and fair value of their claim. To schedule a free case evaluation with a personal injury attorney in Chicago, call our office today at (312) 924-7575 or send us an email through our online contact form.

Scaffolding Collapse Accidents Can Occur for a Number of Reasons

Scaffolding can take many different forms, and individual scaffolds can> vary significantly in sophistication and durability. They tend to be temporary structures that constriction companies build very quickly for a specific purpose. Unfortunately, this fact means that they are often built without sufficient planning and care, putting the individuals who work on them and bystanders at a significant risk of injury.

When scaffolding collapses, both workers bystanders can be seriously injured. Here are some of the most common causes of scaffolding collapses in the Chicago area:

  • Poorly constructed scaffolding
  • Scaffolding built with substandard or defective parts or materials
  • Overloaded scaffolding platforms
  • Poor or non-existent scaffolding maintenance
  • Vehicle or equipment collisions with scaffolding support beams
  • Noncompliance with OSHA scaffolding regulations

If you were hurt in a scaffolding collapse accident, you should remember that this is just a partial list of reasons that a scaffold may collapse. In addition, you should also be aware of the fact that the party responsible for the scaffolding collapse may try and deny liability if at all possible. For this reason, you should always have your case reviewed by an attorney to determine whether you can file a claim. At Abels & Annes, P.C., we will review the facts of your case at no cost to you and let you know how we think you should proceed. In addition, we will only collect legal fees from you if we successfully recover compensation on your behalf.

Scaffolding Collapse Accidents Can Cause Extremely Serious Injuries

When scaffolding collapses, anyone on it will almost certainly fall a significant distance, potentially resulting in extremely serious injuries. In addition, the scaffolding materials and any equipment on the scaffolding can cause severe harm to anyone below it. Some of the more serious injuries that people sustain in scaffolding collapse accidents include the following:

  • Broken bones
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Severe lacerations
  • Accidental amputations
  • Crush injuries
  • Facial fractures
  • Concussions
  • Spinal cord injuries

These and other injuries that people can sustain in scaffolding accidents can often leave victims with extensive medical bills, an inability to work, and significant physical and emotional pain and suffering. Additionally, in more serious cases, victims develop long-term problems that affect their ability to do their jobs or even perform everyday tasks like dressing themselves, eating, or getting from place to place. Because of these potentially serious and long-term issues, scaffolding accident victims should speak to a Chicago personal injury attorney as soon as they can to ensure that their legal rights are protected. Remember, time is of the essence in these matters, as waiting too long can result in the loss of critical evidence or the loss of the right to file a claim at all.

Workers Compensation or Personal Injury?

Many injured construction workers are confused as to whether they can file a personal injury lawsuit or need to seek benefits through Illinois’ workers’ compensation system. While it true that, in most cases, workplace accidents victims will need to file a workers’ compensation claim, there are certain circumstances in which an injured worker can file a personal injury lawsuit. Why is this important? Because workers’ compensation claims only provide benefits for victims’ medical expenses and lost income. On the other hand, in a personal injury claim, victims are able to seek compensation medical expenses, lost income, and a variety of other losses—such as physical and emotional pain and suffering and lost quality of life. For this reason, the compensation recovered in personal injury claims tends to far exceed the benefits that are available through workers’ compensation for the same accident.

Here are some of the circumstances under a construction worker may be able to file a personal injury claim after an injury-causing scaffolding collapse:

  • If the negligence of the party who manufactured scaffolding materials caused the accident
  • If the negligence of an independent contractor at the construction site caused the accident
  • If the negligence of a construction site visitor caused the accident
  • If the intentional acts of the injured worker’s employer caused the accident

>Remember, the cause of an accident is not always obvious, so it is in your best interest to speak to an attorney before deciding that your only course of action is pursuing workers’ compensation benefits. If you choose not to, you may be forgoing thousands of dollars in additional compensation.

Injured in a Construction Accident? Call Abels & Annes, P.C., Today to Schedule a Free Consultation with a Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer

If you have sustained injuries in a scaffolding collapse accident, you should speak with a lawyer as soon as you can. You may be able to recover compensation for the losses you have sustained, including your medical expenses, physical and emotional pain and suffering, lost quality of life, and lost income. At Abels & Annes, P.C., our personal injury lawyers in Chicago are dedicated to helping injured victims obtain justice and work hard to secure the highest possible settlement or award in each case we handle. To schedule a free case evaluation, call our office today at (312) 924-7575 or send us an email through our online contact form.

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David Abels


David Abels has carved a niche for himself in the personal injury law sector, dedicating a substantial part of his career since 1997 to representing victims of various accidents. With a law practice that spans over two decades, his expertise has been consistently recognized within the legal community.

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