A Guide to Claiming Scaffolding Injury Compensation

The following guide covers what you need to know about making a scaffolding accident compensation claim.

Introduction

Data published by the National Access & Scaffolding Confederation (NASC) states that the number of accidents involving scaffolding reported by its members rose 9% in 2014.

Many scaffolding accidents result in injury to the scaffold operator or construction worker using the scaffolding. Some accidents injure innocent passers-by or site visitors.

Work accident claims and occupiers liability claims on behalf of passers-by and visitors can usually be made in each case.

The majority of scaffolding accidents could be avoided with the correct health and safety measures in place. Employers and occupiers who fail in their duty of care to staff, visitors and the public are likely to be liable for injuries that arise out of accidents resulting from these breaches.

Do I have a scaffolding injury claim?

You should be eligible to make a scaffolding injury claim if your injury occurred:

  • in the last three years and;
  • someone else was to blame.

However, there may be other considerations that mean you have a valid claim - even if the above points do not apply to you.

To get an impartial answer, speak to a legally trained adviser on 0800 612 7456.

A short call will confirm whether you have a claim. You will be under no obligation to start a claim with Quittance.

Alternatively you can try our Online Claim Checker.

What if the injury was diagnosed years after the event?

Typically, the dates of the injury and accident are the same. However, some injuries manifest themselves months or even years after the accident or exposure.

In this case, the clock starts ticking on the date of discovery (the date of diagnosis) of the injury rather than the date of the accident.

Read more

Check my claim online

How much compensation can I claim for a scaffolding injury?

The amount of money you could claim for your scaffolding injury will depend on:

  • the extent of your injury, and
  • any financial losses or costs you have incurred.

At the start of your claim, your solicitor will consider the many ways your scaffolding injury has affected your life. Your solicitor will take all of these effects into account to calculate the correct compensation award for you.

This calculation will factor in general damages and special damages.

General damages

General damages are awarded for pain, suffering and loss of amenity (PSLA).

Awards for general damages are set by the Judicial College and published in their guidelines for personal injury awards.

Special damages

Special damages are for financial losses and expenses you have incurred as a result of the accident.

See a list of what you can claim for:

Examples of special damages include:

  • Lost earnings (including future earnings)
  • Medical treatment costs
  • Physiotherapy
  • Travel costs
  • Costs of care
  • Costs of adapting your home or car

Find out what your claim could be worth now

Assessing a claim's value at the outset can be complicated.

If you would like a FREE claim estimate with no obligation to start a claim, call 0800 612 7456.

Alternatively, our compensation calculator will give you an instant estimate of what your claim is worth.

Calculate my injury claim

Caring and sensitive support

Your solicitor will handle your scaffolding injury case from the initial consultation through to the financial settlement. In addition, your solicitor will work with other specialists to help you with:

  • Financial support: interim payments while you are unable to work.
  • Advice: on personal injury trusts, tax and welfare benefits.
  • Coordination: with rehabilitation providers and therapists.
  • Access: to treatment and therapies not always available on the NHS.

Common causes of scaffolding accidents

Scaffolding should be used as a temporary structure to support workers and materials during the construction, maintenance and repair of buildings and other constructions.

When used correctly and within legal requirements, scaffolding is regarded as being a safer alternative to a ladder when working at height.

One of the most obvious dangers involved in the use of a scaffold is working at height. Another significant reason accidents occur is the incorrect assembly of the scaffold by an untrained worker, or the use of damaged or substituted parts. This can lead to collapse, partial collapse or movement of safety rails or boards.

Other causes of scaffold accidents include:

  • Incorrect manual handling of the scaffold
  • Using scaffolding when wet
  • Leaving tools and materials on the scaffold which can cause trip accidents or which could fall injuring someone below

The main types of scaffolding accidents include slips, trips and falls on the same level and falls from height.

These types of accident are responsible for many workplace injuries each year. An object falling from scaffolding is a common cause of injury to members of the public.

Typical injuries

Quittance's panel of injury solicitors have assisted with scaffolding accident claims for lacerations, broken bones, back injuries, neck, head and brain injuries.

In addition to the potentially serious injuries that can be sustained in a scaffolding accident, injured people also sustained other losses, having to pay medical bills and travel expenses and through loss of earnings.

Compensation exists specifically to account for the pain and suffering experienced and for these financial losses.

Legislation protecting workers

There are three main pieces of regulation in place aimed at protecting people from scaffold accidents in a work environment. These pieces of legislation also ensure that negligent parties can be held responsible when accidents do happen.

Work at Height Regulations 2005

Intended to prevent injuries caused by a fall from height, these regulations impose a responsibility on employers to make sure work is ‘properly planned, supervised and carried out by competent people'. Employers should take into account all possible dangers and manage risk.

Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER)

This requires that employers ensure all work equipment is suitable for use. Regular maintenance and inspection should be carried out. Employers should also take appropriate measures to provide adequate safety in terms of both hardware and training.

Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992

Where there are risks to health and safety that cannot be controlled in other ways, these regulations guide the correct provision and maintenance of suitable Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), such as safety helmets, by the employer.

For scaffold accidents which involve members of the public who may have been injured when passing by, different rules apply. If, for example, they were hit by a pole falling which feel from the scaffold, they could sue the company responsible for the scaffold for negligence.

The duty owed by companies to the public to prevent injury by falling objects, scaffolding and other hazards, generally comes under the common law ‘duty of care'.

Proving liability in scaffold accidents

If any of the above regulations are not adhered to, an employer may be held liable and made to pay compensation for injuries sustained by the claimant. In order for this to happen, it must be shown that their action or inaction was the cause of the scaffold accident.

Evidence that would help prove negligence includes:

  • Medical reports
  • Witness evidence
  • Photographs of the scene
  • Accident books

Even with evidence, the process of making a claims be complicated. Many site contractors have their own legal team who will look for ways to counter the claim.

The employer may look to prove ‘contributory negligence' in their defence, disputing full liability. They could, for example, argue that the claimant played a part in causing the accident as they were following correct procedures at the time. If successful they would avoid paying the full compensation fee.

For injured members of the public, proving liability can be more straightforward, but negligence would need to be demonstrated in the same way.

How did your injury occur?

The claims process that your solicitor follows will vary, depending on how the injury occurred:

At work

If you are thinking of making a work accident or injury claim, there are some key points to be aware of:

Work Accident Claims - What you need to know

In a public place (e.g. supermarket, pavement)

If you have been injured in a public place, there are some key points you need to be aware of:

Public Place Claims - What you need to know

Other claim types

Find details on another type of claim:

See list of other claims

No win, no fee

Under a no win, no fee agreement, your solicitor agrees that you will have no legal fees to pay whatsoever if your claim is not successful.

No win, no fee guarantee

If you have been injured and it wasn't your fault, our no win, no fee guarantee takes the risk out of claiming compensation for your scaffolding injury.

What do I pay if I win my scaffolding injury claim?

Your injury solicitor will receive a success fee which is deducted from your compensation, after your claim is settled. The solicitor's success fee can be up to 25%. Your solicitor will agree a success fee with you before you start your claim.

What do I pay if I do not win my scaffolding injury claim?

If your scaffolding injury claim is not successful then you will not have to pay any fees.

Read more about how no win, no fee works

How can Quittance help?

Our highly experienced panel of solicitors have an excellent track record of winning work accident claims. Your solicitor will fight for the best possible compensation settlement for you.

If you have any questions, or would like to start a No Win No Fee claim, we are open 8am to 9pm weekdays, 9am to 6pm on Saturday, and 9.30am to 5pm on Sunday.

Call us FREE 0800 612 7456 or arrange a callback:

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Scaffolding Injury FAQ's

Can I claim for someone else?

Yes. In certain circumstances, it is possible to claim compensation on behalf of another person in the capacity of a 'litigation friend'.

If an injured person is either too young or vulnerable, too injured or otherwise unable to claim on their own behalf, their litigation friend can handle the claim process on behalf of the injured person.

The litigation friend will be responsible for communicating with the solicitors, and for making decisions in respect of the claim.

Read more about claiming on behalf of another person.

Can I claim if I was partly responsible for an accident?

You may still be able to claim compensation even if you contributed to your accident or to your injuries.

However, if you were partly to blame (known as contributory negligence), your compensation may be reduced and it may be more difficult to prove liability.

Read more about claiming compensation if you were partly responsible for an accident.

How long will my claim take?

The length of time needed to secure compensation can vary considerably.

For example, straightforward car accident claims can settle in a matter of weeks, whereas complex medical negligence cases can take years.

Injury claims can also take longer if it is not clear who is responsible for your injury, or if liability is denied by the defendant.

Taken from average case times, this table sets out approximately how long personal injury claims take to settle:

Personal injury claim type

Estimated claim duration*

Road accident claims

4 to 9 months

Work accident claims

6 to 9 months

Medical negligence claims

12 to 36 months

Industrial disease claims

12 to 18 months

Public place or occupiers’ liability claims

6 to 9 months

MIB claims (uninsured drivers)

3 to 4 months**

CICA claims (criminal assault)

12 to 18 months**

*RTA and other claims processed through the Ministry of Justice portal can settle faster.
**Official Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) Government agency and Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB) figures.

Read more about how long personal injury claims take.

Will I have to go to court?

Highly unlikely. The vast majority of claims that are settled by Quittance’s solicitor panel are settled out of court.

Only a very small percentage (approx. 5%) of personal injury claims go to court. Generally, only very complex cases, or those where liability cannot be resolved, end up in court.

Cases that do ultimately go to court are held in front of a judge, not a jury.

Read more: Will my injury claim go to court and what if it does?

Will I have to go to a solicitor's office?

No. You will not need visit a solicitor's office. As with most professional services, it is no longer necessary to meet face to face with your solicitor. Personal injury claims are dealt with via email, post and telephone.

Should you need to have a medical, this will be arranged at a medical centre near you or at your GP's surgery.

Read more: Will I have to visit a solicitor's office?

Can I get an interim compensation payment?

If you suffer financial hardship as a result of an injury, you may be able to claim interim compensation payments.

An interim payment is a partial settlement of your claim which is paid before your claim is concluded. The amount you receive in interim payments would then be deducted from your final compensation settlement or award.

Read more about interim compensation payments.

Gaynor Haliday, Legal researcher

About the author

Gaynor Haliday is an experienced legal researcher and published author. She has had numerous articles published in the press and is a legal industry commentator.

Read more about this Quittance Legal Expert