It’s been well documented that construction workers run a higher risk of injury than virtually any other profession. And by far, the biggest risk of injury for Columbia construction workers is falling. Injuries from falls can occur in a variety of ways, but scaffolding accidents are one of the most common. According to data from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), scaffolding accidents lead to an average of 10,000 injuries and 80 fatalities across the country every year.
Columbia workers who have been injured in an on-the-job scaffolding accident should make sure they understand exactly what steps they should take following an injury to get the compensation they deserve. To learn more about what to do after a scaffolding accident in Columbia, reach out to a dedicated attorney today.
Scaffolding accidents occur in several ways. Some of the most common causes of scaffold-related injuries include poorly maintained or defective equipment, unsafe setup or configuration of scaffolds, failure to provide workers with proper safety gear (e.g., hard hats and harnesses), overloading of materials, excess weight on platform boards, and lack of proper training for workers who will be using the scaffold.
Of course, injuries incurred on scaffolds in Columbia can vary in severity. In some cases, workers may suffer minor scrapes and bruises that require little or no medical attention. In more serious cases – often involving falls from heights of several stories or higher – workers may suffer broken bones, spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, and even death.
After an accident of this nature, there are several steps you should take to ensure you protect your legal rights. These steps include:
Depending on the severity of the injury, the first course of action following a scaffolding accident is to report the incident to your employer or supervisor. Of course, this is not always possible in the case of severe injuries, but if you are able to provide a written report, do so immediately. If you are unable to report the accident right away, Missouri law still provides a 30-day window to do so. Failing to report the accident within this time frame, however, could result in a denial of your workers’ compensation claim.
Make sure to include the time, date, location, and nature of the injuries, in addition to as much detail about the incident as you can remember.
If your injuries are severe, or if you feel pain in any part of your body, seek medical attention immediately. Not only will this help document the severity of your injury and provide treatment for any underlying issues, but it will also create a record of the injury that can be used for workers’ compensation claims. Especially with falls, internal injuries may not be immediately apparent, so having a medical exam as soon as possible is critical.
It’s also important to always keep detailed records of all medical bills, lost wages, and any other expenses related to a scaffolding injury. This includes keeping track of medication costs, travel costs for doctor appointments, etc. Having these records is extremely beneficial when if you do file a workers’ compensation claim.
Once you have sought medical attention and reported the accident to your employer, you can then file a workers’ compensation claim with the Missouri Division of Workers’ Compensation.
Navigating the complex system of laws and regulations surrounding workers’ compensation in Columbia can be difficult and time-consuming. That is why it is essential to have the assistance of an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer who understands workers’ rights and can help you get the compensation you deserve for your scaffolding injuries.
For workers who have been injured in a scaffolding accident or the families of workers who were killed in an on-the-job accident, a skilled attorney can be a critical ally. They will be able to review the details of the case and assist you with filing a workers’ compensation claim. They’ll also be able to advise you on the best course of action for your case.
An experienced lawyer in Columbia will let you know if you have any potential legal avenues outside of a workers’ compensation claim. If it’s determined that an employer violated OSHA safety regulations, or if a third party is liable for the accident, you may be eligible for personal injury damages. These types of cases can be complex, so to ensure that you are getting the best legal representation, it is important to contact a legal team member.
Being injured in a scaffolding accident can be a traumatic experience. In addition to the physical pain and suffering, you may also be facing a long recovery and mounting medical bills.
At The Law Office of Chris Miller in Columbia, our experienced workers’ compensation lawyers can help. We will work to get you the benefits you need and deserve so that you can focus on your recovery. Contact us today for a free consultation and to learn more about what to do after a scaffolding accident in Columbia.