Should You Contact a Lawyer After Falling Off a Ladder
Written by AskTheLawyers.com™ on behalf of Richard Richardson with Siegal & Richardson.
Falling off a ladder always can result in serious injuries. According to the World Health Organization, 300 fatalities occur in the U.S. every year due to falls from ladders, mostly from heights of only 10 feet or less, and upwards of 160,000 emergency room visits each year are caused by ladder-related injuries. These injuries can occur in a myriad of ways, but whenever the injury occurs at work or due to a defect with the ladder itself, it may be possible to pursue compensation for the resulting damages.
Injuries associated with ladders and ladder-falls include:
- Spinal cord injuries (SCIs)
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Head injuries
- Collapsed lungs
- Wrist and arm fractures/breaks
- Leg and pelvis fractures/breaks
- Rib fractures/breaks
While some of these injuries may be less severe than others, any of them can result in expensive medical bills and lost wages, not to mention severe distress. SCIs and TBIs often result in long-term or permanent damages and life changes, and they can even be fatal. It’s important to exercise extreme caution when using a ladder, regardless of the height.
It’s a good idea to contact a lawyer after being injured in a ladder-fall after one or both of the following:
- The ladder itself was unsafe.
Like any product, a ladder has the potential to be defective or unsafe. However, not all products put the user at risk of severe bodily harm or death. If an injury is sustained due to a ladder malfunction or falling from the ladder, you may have a claim against the manufacturer of the product. Ladder manufacturers are required to meet certain design and manufacturing standards to ensure reasonable safety for users. Some signs that a ladder may be defective include a lack of safety instructions, no rubber feet to help the ladder stay in place, inadequate stabilizing arms, and more. If a fall or other injury occurs due to a ladder’s malfunction, it’s important to reach out to a product liability attorney to discuss your situation. These attorneys typically offer free consultations and work on contingency, which means you don’t have to pay for their services unless and until they win your case.
- The ladder injury happened while on the job.
According to the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors, ladder falls are the leading cause of death on construction sites; however, construction sites are not the only workplace that uses ladders. Employers are required to provide reasonable protection and enforce adequate safety measures to protect their workers in all scenarios, including while using ladders. If a ladder injury happened on the job due to a lack of safety oversight, poorly maintained equipment, or negligence from the employer or another worker, the injured worker may be eligible to file a workplace injury claim. Similarly, if the injury sustained in a workplace ladder accident was severe and cannot be covered by workers’ comp benefits, you may need to explore additional methods of recovery. Like product liability attorneys mentioned above, workplace injury attorneys typically offer free consultations and work on contingency, so that injured workers and their families can focus on healing and recovery rather than worrying about another expense.
To learn more about ladder-related injuries or for help filing a claim, reach out to a workplace injury or product liability attorney depending on where the injury occurred.