Ladder Accident Lawyer
Ladder fall injuries can occur in several different settings. Construction accidents tend to result in severe injuries since the person has fallen from a significant height.
The impact of the fall can cause severe and permanent job injuries. Exercising due care can help prevent some ladder injuries. Most accidents are not the victim’s fault, and nothing could have prevented the fall.
Whether you were not at fault, or even if you were partially responsible for your accident, you may be entitled to substantial award for your injury.
The Chicago, Illinois ladder and construction accident attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC have a wealth of experience to help victims injured in scaffolding and ladder accidents.
Our personal injury lawyers provide immediate legal advice on recovering damages via workers’ compensation and personal injury claims. Call our law firm at (888) 424-5757 now to schedule a free consultation and case evaluation with our ladder accident law firm.
Ladder Safety Rules from the Government
The Code of Federal Regulations, not OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration), regulates the use of ladders in the workplace (safety equipment rules) that must be followed. While businesses may not be prosecuted for breaking these rules, they can indeed be fined by the federal government.
If the business has not followed an OSHA rule and a worker is injured, that may be the basis for a civil lawsuit where the worker can receive compensation for their injuries.
These rules to prevent ladder and scaffolding accidents include the following:
- The equipment used must be capable of supporting the load
- The equipment must be able to sustain several times the maximum allowable load
- Each step must be capable of supporting at least twenty-five pounds
- The steps must be manufactured to ensure an individual’s foot cannot slide off the rung
- There are minimum distances between the side rails
- The equipment shall be used only for the purpose for which it was designed
These are just a handful of the many regulations that PSHA has about workplace safety. In fact, there is an entire section in the federal rule book about workplace safety.
OSHA, and the Center for Disease Control, frequently cites employers for job safety violations involving ladders. In 2016, ladder safety was the seventh most cited job safety violations leading to work accidents.
In all, the agency reported over 2,500 violations involving a fall in that year. Areas, where OSHA cited employers that involved violations of ladder rules that could cause a work injury, include:
- Workers were spotted using the top rung as a step.
- Workers were carrying dangerous loads up a ladder that were at risk of causing them to fall.
- Ladders were used for purposes other than which they were designed.
- The ladders used had structural defects.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a ladder or scaffolding accident, turn to the attorneys at the law firm of Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers. We can help with a possible legal claim against the person responsible for your injuries.
Our attorneys will check against the causes of ladder incidents, since they are extremely dangerous, and see which apply to your events. Many ladders and the injuries caused by them, even death, arise when the ladder is not what the manufacturer intended or specifically designed.
For example, the top rung may be off balance so as you climb up and put one foot or both feet through the damaged ladder, it fails and you fall.
Where Ladder Accidents and Injuries Occur
Most accidents occur at worksites since construction workers often work with ladders. However, other people can get injured working on a ladder or scaffolding including those working at their home or on a job working in a house or an apartment.
Here are some examples of personal injury or workers' compensation claims involving ladder accidents:
- A work injury when workers in a store or a restaurant are struck by ladders that have tipped over
- Workers can be electrocuted when ladders contact overhead power lines
- Painters who fall when shifting position or as they climb up a ladder
- Concrete masons are injured when ladders collapse under them and fall over
Many of these injuries do not occur because the worker has used the ladder the wrong way. Instead, several other possibilities could be at work, and may be eligible for workers' compensation claims.
Types of Ladder Injuries
Climbing and working at heights can cause severe injury when the person falls to the ground with momentum. When the person’s body hits the ground, whichever part of their body hits the surface is susceptible to a serious and perhaps permanent injury.
Here are some of the common injuries that people suffer from ladder accidents:
- Traumatic brain injuries can impact a person for the rest of their life
- Paralysis, including quadriplegia or paraplegia
- Fractured bones, especially the arms, legs, foot, or even both feet
- Injuries to the neck and back
- Electrocution and electrical burns
- Wrongful death when a worker falls from a high elevation
Statistics About Ladder and Scaffolding Injuries
Climbing and working at heights cause a high rate of workplace injuries and death. The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) published statistics on occupational safety.
In 2017, nearly 1,000 workers were killed on the job on construction sites. Of these fatalities, roughly 40 percent of them resulted from falls on the job.
A sizable part of these workplace fatalities involved falls from heights.
Here are some relevant statistics about injuries involving scaffolding and ladders:
- Climbing injuries are on the increase. In the ten years leading up to 2016, the number of people injured in ladder accidents has risen nearly 50%
- The Bureau of Labor Statistics says that half of all ladder accidents occur when people are attempting to carry something while climbing
- About a third of ladder injuries/scaffolding injuries involve fractures
- Two-thirds of injured workers by a fall were not adequately trained in their usage. An employer must train employees who use ladders in the course of their jobs
- Around one in five ladders that were involved in accidents had some sort of defect
- Over 50% of the ladders that were involved in fall accidents were not secured at the time of the accident
How to Avoid Ladder Related Injuries?
OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) provides guidelines on accident safety, reminding construction workers to never stand on a ladder's top two rungs. Additionally, the employee should not step on any of the top four rungs of any metal, fiberglass, or wooden step ladder.
Construction workers are required to maintain three points of contact with all types of ladders all the time. For ultimate safety, using a partner to steady a rung and hold the climbing equipment can maximize safety when the worker climbs up and down a ladder. This will help ensure points of contact are met too.
Serious injuries can arise if a defective ladder breaks like a head injury or other serious injury. Common causes of ladder issues arise when exceeding ladder's weight capacity, not on firm ground or level ground, incorrect placement, damaged ladder, and more.
The Value of a Ladder Accident Injury Case
While many factors contribute to the value of your fall-related injury case, such as medical expenses, lost income, pain, and disability, the cases below will hopefully give you some insight into how juries, lawyers and insurance companies value these cases.
While these cases can be instructive, they should not be conclusive in valuing your particular situation. Serious injuries, even fatal falls, can occur on a metal ladder.
The extension ladder should always be on firm ground, not uneven or soft ground. You should also check the ladder breaks, ladder's rungs, ladder's weight capacity, step ladder placement, and more.
How Can I Recover Financial Compensation for Injuries Related to Worn or Damaged Ladders?
To receive compensation for a falling accident, another party must be at fault in some way. Their actions must have caused your injuries.
Here are some ways that others can be at fault for the accident that has injured you or a loved one.
- The ladder manufacturer can be found liable for your injuries in a product liability lawsuit if the equipment is defective. Also, the store that sold it can be held liable.
- An employer can be held responsible if they do not provide adequate fall protection on the job.
An employer can also be responsible if they simply provided employees with ladders to do a job when they should have given the workers safer and more viable means of reaching heights.
- Employers ordering workers to use climbing equipment unsafely, such as placing it on top of a scaffold, could be held accountable for the victim’s injuries.
Consult With a Ladder Accident Lawyer Today
Let the personal injury attorneys at the law firm of Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC help you with your ladder injury workers' compensation case and lawsuit.
Call us today for a free consultation to discuss your case and begin the process of filing for workers' compensation benefits or a personal injury lawsuit involving a third-party, including subcontractors, equipment manufacturers, and others.
Contact our law firm today at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone call) or schedule a free consultation through the website contact form. Our attorneys have experience and a successful track record in providing maximum compensation for our clients.
Our law firm accepts all workers' compensation and personal injury cases on a contingency basis to avoid any upfront payment until we have secured financial compensation on your behalf. All discussions with our law firm remain confidential through an attorney-client relationship.
Please do not send sensitive information to our law firm through voicemail, email, text message, or the contact form on our website.
Our personal injury attorneys currently represent clients in various practice areas, including vehicle crashes, medical malpractice, nursing home neglect, premises liability, product liability, harmful medications, workers’ compensation benefits, and wrongful death.
Set up an attorney client relationship to discuss your workplace injury, the leading cause or common causes of ladder accidents. These may involve incorrect placement, ladders human error operation (i.e. incorrect use), level ground issues, etc.