Ladders are helpful tools, but their misuse or placement in unsafe environments can pose significant dangers. In point of fact, each year, thousands of people are injured due to falls from ladders, especially those who work at construction sites and in similar industries.
This is why if you or a loved one works with ladders, you need to know the possible injuries you might sustain and what you can do about them.
To learn more, please continue reading. Alternatively, you can contact the skilled personal injury team of Schwartzapfel Lawyers either online or at 516-342-2200 to schedule your free consultation and/or case evaluation today.
Ladder Injuries In The U.S.
Each year, more than (22,000) people are injured while using ladders across the U.S. Additionally, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that more than (150) people are killed from ladder-related falls each year, with a staggering 65% of those fatalities involving movable ladders.
Sadly, even among experienced professionals and construction workers, ladder injuries are very common. In fact, per the CDC, falling off ladders accounts for 81% of all fall-related injuries in the United States.
In other words, ladder injuries are very common, both in the construction industry and elsewhere.
Possible Injuries From Falling Off A Ladder
Ladder injuries can vary dramatically in terms of severity and associated symptoms. How far you fall, where you land, and other details surrounding your accident can impact whether your injuries are minor, moderate, very dangerous, or even fatal.
Among the most common injuries stemming from ladder-related falls, examples here include:
- Head injuries, such as concussions and other traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Broken bones of the hands, feet, legs, hips, and more
- Spinal injuries, including paralysis
- External lacerations and/or internal bleeding
Thus, it is extremely important to be careful whenever using a ladder. However, even when following safety procedures properly, you can still be injured due to factors beyond your control, such as the negligence or maliciousness of another party.
Why Do Ladder Injuries Occur?
Ladder injuries can occur for many different reasons. For example, a movable ladder might be set up in an unstable spot, causing it to wobble and fall when weight is placed on its rungs.
Alternatively, someone can bump into a ladder while someone is on it, causing it to topple over and leading to injuries by accident. In other instances, movable ladders are provided to construction and other workers, but the ladders aren’t ready for use or aren’t well-maintained. In such circumstances, the ladders can collapse or otherwise break, leading to serious falls and injuries.
If you or a loved one has been injured from falling off the ladder because of the negligence or the actions of another party, like an employer or coworker, you may have grounds for a lawsuit and compensable damages. To learn more now, speak with the skilled team of Schwartzapfel Lawyers by scheduling your free consultation online or calling us directly at 516-342-2200 to discover your legal options today.
Can You Sue Someone For Falling Off A Ladder?
Falling off a ladder and sustaining serious injuries can take quite a toll on your bank account. Once you get medical attention, you might find that medical attention, surgeries, physical therapy, and all other treatments you may need can add up, resulting in serious debts and financial jeopardy.
As such, it’s only natural to wonder if you can sue the at-fault party to help offset medical expenses relating to your injury. To answer briefly, in New York, you can only sue someone for falling off a ladder if the situation meets two (2) requirements.
You Must Have Suffered Compensable Injuries
First, you have to have suffered compensable injuries from your ladder accident. In other words, you can simply fall off a ladder and become a little scared or spooked. You have to have been demonstrably injured from the incident, and those injuries must have incurred serious expenses for you to qualify.
Should you be seriously injured from a ladder accident, this shouldn’t be difficult to prove. You can provide a court or lawyers with records of your medical treatments and bills to show that you indeed had to pay money for your medical treatments, and you only required those medical treatments because of falling off a ladder.
You Must Prove Negligence From Another Party
Second, you have to prove that negligence contributed to or caused your accident. In a legal sense, negligence is provable when:
- Another person or party had a duty of care toward you. For instance, if you are injured in a ladder accident because your employer didn’t provide you with safe equipment, you could show that your employer had a duty of care toward you and your fellow workers.
- The other person and party breached the duty of care toward you. Again, this should be easy to prove if your ladder accident was caused because of the inattention, laziness, or some other negative action on the part of someone else.
- The breach of duty of care led to or contributed to your accident.
- You suffered injuries because of the accident.
As there are a few circumstances where this might apply, consider:
- You’re at a construction site, and you and your fellow coworkers know that the ladders you use to ascend scaffolding are low-quality and dangerous. Despite this, your supervisor tells you to use the ladders anyway, and you suffer injuries as a result.
- You purchase a ladder from a home improvement store, planning to use it to inspect your home’s roof. However, the ladder is incorrectly constructed, so it collapses when you put your weight on it. In this instance, the home improvement store or the brand might be liable for damages.
Note: If you still aren’t sure whether you can sue an at-fault party for your incident-related damages, it’s a good idea to talk to attorneys right away. The right construction accident attorneys should be able to answer any questions you have, provide you with sound legal counsel, and make sure you make the ideal decision for your family, your finances, and yourself.
What To Do If You’re Injured from Falling Off A Ladder
If you have been injured from falling off the ladder, there are a few things you should do right off the bat:
- First, seek out medical attention. Even if you don’t feel exceptionally injured, you might have suffered a latent or internal injury that can worsen over time. As such, receiving prompt medical attention is absolutely critical.
- Next, if you have been injured in the workplace, inform your employer promptly. This is important if you hope to recover workers’ compensation from your employer and their insurance company. If you don’t tell your employer, you could be accused of hiding your injuries, which could also compromise your workers’ compensation benefits.
- Then, if you don’t recover workers’ compensation benefits, you may want to consider filing a lawsuit. Note: In New York, if you recover workers’ comp benefits, you may not be able to file a claim against your employer, even if they were at fault for the incident and you weren’t at fault.
As noted above, you should speak to attorneys as soon as you can. Knowledgeable construction accident, workplace accident, and personal injury attorneys like Schwartzapfel Lawyers can help you collect evidence and properly file paperwork through the appropriate channels when you call us at 516-342-2200 or visit us online today.
Moreover, effective attorneys can tell you what you should do to maximize your financial recovery. For example, depending on the circumstances of your case, it may be wiser to pursue a workers’ compensation claim than a lawsuit.
If, however, you wish to pursue a workers’ compensation claim, please note that you should not accuse your employer of fault. Instead, write down your recollection of events and leave nothing out. Keep all of your medical records, as well, as these will likely prove invaluable when demonstrating the nature of your injuries in the context of New York State law.
Contact Schwartzapfel Lawyers Today
If you or a loved one has been injured due to a ladder fall, you should know that you don’t need to tackle any legal challenges alone. Schwartzapfel Lawyers has helped thousands of New Yorkers just like you recover financial compensation in the aftermath of accidents.
With our help, you may qualify for workers’ compensation or otherwise recover damages for the injuries you sustained in your accident. But you shouldn’t wait, as your window to file a claim and recover financially may soon close forever.
To keep that from happening, speak with a Schwartzapfel Lawyers personal injury pro by dialing 1-516-342-2200 or visit us online to schedule your free consultation today. It will be our honor and privilege to fight — and win — for you!
DISCLAIMER: Nothing on this page should be considered legal advice. You should seek the appropriate counsel your situation requires. For more information, call 1-516-342-2200 now!