Have you worked on unsteady scaffolding or within an uncertain structure and wondered what would happen in the event of a collapse?
On a daily basis employees are subjected to unsafe or uncertain work conditions. While most days pass without incident, it is possible that unsafe conditions or failure to check conditions could result in injury. When an employee enters a work environment, such as a construction site with unstable walls, injuries from these conditions are covered by workers’ compensation.
The same is true if a working condition looks safe, but it actually dangerous, such as scaffolding that is improperly built or a tent that does not withstand strong wind.
Injury and Lasting Pain from Collapses
Employers are expected to provide a safe work environment. This applies for typical work environments such as classrooms, office buildings, and department stores. It is also required for less traditional work environments, such at the beach, roadsides, and food trucks. When employment requires activity in these less traditional spaces, businesses may construct tents, scaffolding, and other temporary structures.
The collapse of these temporary structures, as well as collapse of shelving or chairs in a traditional workspace, can result in serious injuries for employees, such as:
- broken bones or fractures
- contusions and head injuries
- cuts, scrapes, or lacerations
- loss of limb or dismemberment
- internal organ damage
- loss of consciousness or concussion
- neck or back injuries, and
- spinal cord injuries.
In any environment, injuries incurred during the course of employment or during a work related activity, are covered by workers’ compensation. Even if the activity was in an abandoned building or roadside tent.
Determination of Fault
Frequently, the collapse of a tent, shelf, or scaffolding is the result of employee negligence or misconduct. Employers and insurance companies may use this fact to reject a meritorious workers’ compensation claim. However, fault is often unimportant to a workers’ compensation claim. Even misconduct, such as inappropriate behavior on scaffolding, could be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits.
Timely Reporting an Injury
Every fact pattern involving a collapse will be different, but a New Jersey workers’ compensation lawyer can quickly determine if your case is entitled to benefits under the law. Collapses of equipment or structures are often easier to relate to a place of employment than other injuries. The collapse of scaffolding, a tent, or building provides good evidence that the injury happened during the course of work activities.
However, if an employee suffered disabling injuries, he or she should not delay in speaking with a lawyer and filing a workers’ compensation claim.
Speak with a Qualified Attorney
If you were injured because of a collapsing tent, chair, or scaffolding, and require medical attention or time off work, you may need to file a claim with the Department of Labor and Workforce. For assistance with this process, contact a New Jersey workers’ compensation lawyer. The Law Office of Albert J. Talone can provide a free, initial consultation. Contact us at (856)-234-4023.