Every day, construction sites across Seattle and Tacoma hum with activity, a testament to the region’s robust economy. Amid this hive of activity, a familiar tool – the scissor lift – plays a vital role in hoisting workers and materials to heights. However, while these devices are undeniably useful, they also introduce an often overlooked danger that can have life-altering implications: the scissor lift accident.

Understanding Scissor Lift Accidents

Scissor-lift accidents are tragically more common than one might think. According to the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries, a concerning number of these accidents have been reported across Seattle and Tacoma in recent years. Scissor lift accidents can occur due to various reasons, including equipment failure, operator error, or hazardous working conditions. Injuries from these accidents can range from minor to severe, with some even leading to fatalities.

  • Equipment Failure
    • A prevalent cause of scissor lift accidents is equipment failure. This can be due to mechanical faults, electrical malfunctions, or hydraulic system failures. In some cases, this is a result of inadequate maintenance or poor design. Failures can lead to workers being unexpectedly thrown from the lift or trapped by its mechanisms, leading to serious injury or even death.
  • Operator Error
    • Another significant cause of accidents is operator error. The misuse of the scissor lift, improper training, or operator negligence can lead to accidents. For example, an operator might drive the lift on unstable ground, causing it to tip over. Similarly, if a lift is extended beyond its safe limit, it can become unstable and collapse. Overloading the lift with excessive weight is another common mistake that can lead to tragic accidents.
  • Hazardous Working Conditions
    • Working conditions significantly impact the safety of using scissor lifts. Poorly lit areas, uneven or unstable ground, extreme weather conditions, or proximity to electrical power lines are all environmental factors that can contribute to accidents. Furthermore, working in areas with high traffic, both pedestrian and vehicular, can increase the risk of collision and subsequent injury.

The injuries resulting from these accidents can vary significantly in severity. Minor injuries can include bruises, sprains, and minor fractures. However, severe injuries are unfortunately common and can include serious fractures, spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, and in the worst cases, fatalities.

Given the diverse array of causes and the potential for severe injury, it’s crucial to have a thorough understanding of your rights and the legal avenues available to you. A seasoned Seattle construction site accident lawyer can provide the necessary guidance and advocacy in these situations.

Washington State Laws and Workers’ Compensation

The laws in Washington state are designed to protect workers involved in a scissor lift accident. Under Washington State Law RCW Title 51, injured workers are entitled to workers’ compensation, which covers medical expenses, lost wages, and in some cases, damages for pain and suffering. However, securing these benefits can be a challenging process, often requiring the expertise of a Seattle construction site accident lawyer.

Consulting a Washington Personal Injury Attorney

Experiencing a scissor lift accident in Seattle or Tacoma is a distressing event. Not only must victims grapple with physical injuries, but they also face the challenge of securing the rightful compensation.

Despite the legal protections in place, victims of a scissor lift accident often find themselves navigating a complex legal system while recovering from their injuries. This is where the expertise of a Washington personal injury attorney becomes invaluable. Craig Swapp & Associates specializes in representing clients involved in construction accidents. They have extensive experience in interpreting and applying the laws effectively, ensuring their clients receive the compensation they deserve.

Craig Swapp & Associates has a renowned accident lawyer in Seattle and an impeccable record in representing victims of scissor lift accidents. Our knowledge of Washington state law and understanding of the local construction industry provides a powerful advantage in securing fair compensation for our clients. With an attorney’s guidance, you are not alone in your fight for justice.

Written By: Ryan Swapp     Legal Review By: Craig Swapp