Chicago Ladder Accident Lawyer
Ladder Fall Accident Attorneys Working for You in Chicago, IL
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. While exercising due care can help prevent some ladder injuries, many accidents are not the injured’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 financial compensation for your injury.
The Chicago, IL ladder accident attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC have a wealth of experience to help victims injured in scaffolding and ladder accidents.
Our Chicago 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 Chicago ladder accident law firm.
Where Ladder Accidents and Injuries Occur in Chicago, Illinois
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 Chicago 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
- 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 Chicago 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 and legs
- Injuries to the neck and back
- Electrocution and electrical burns
- Wrongful death when a worker falls from a high elevation
How Can I Recover Financial Compensation For Injuries Related to a Chicago, IL Ladder Accident?
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.
Statistics About Ladder and Scaffolding InjuriesClimbing 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
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 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 Chicago, Illinois ladder or scaffolding accident, turn to the attorneys at the Chicago law firm of Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers for help with a possible legal claim against the person responsible for your injuries.
We will help you throughout your case, including if the case goes to trial. Let us put our extensive experience to work to get you the compensation you deserve for your injuries.
Our Chicago, Illinois attorneys from our law firm will perform a comprehensive case review to ensure you receive adequate workers’ compensation benefits and other monies to pay for your ongoing hospitalization costs and medical bills.
The Value of a Chicago 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 in Chicago.
Plaintiff Verdict for $1,804,696 (2019) – A construction worker stood on top of a ladder placed on top of the scaffolding. The equipment shifted, causing him to fall to the ground. During the fall, he suffered unspecified personal injuries.
The lawsuit claimed that it was negligent in placing a ladder on top of the scaffolding and that the employer was negligent by failing to provide the proper work equipment. Approximately half of the jury's verdict was for pain and suffering.
Plaintiff Verdict for $3.5 million (2018) – The plaintiff claimed that he fell from a shaking ladder. There were no witnesses to the fall, but the plaintiff was found in pain sitting next to a ladder and stating that he fell.
At trial, the plaintiff claimed that he was on the second to the top rung of a 12-foot ladder at the time of the fall, although the ceiling was only nine feet high. Still, the jury found the defendant liable for the injuries.
The plaintiff suffered injuries to his wrists that required a fusion as well as lumbar injuries that necessitated physical therapy and injections.
Plaintiff Verdict for $4.8 million (2018) – A worker standing on an aluminum stepladder fell to the ground when the stepladder collapsed when one of the legs bent inward. During the fall, the plaintiff suffered serious injuries to his dominant arm, which will cause him to lose the use of that arm for the remainder of his life.
The lawsuit was filed against equipment manufacturers, claiming that the product was defective. Three-quarters of the damage award was for future damages.
Settlement for $2.75 million (2018) – A sheet metal mechanic working on a renovation project was removing ductwork from the ceiling when a piece of the ductwork hit him and knocked him eight feet from the ladder to the floor.
His injury attorney said he suffered a closed head injury, traumatic brain injury, and lumbar and cervical herniations. The lawsuit claimed that the defendant was negligent because they should have provided adequate fall protection that would have kept the plaintiff from falling off of the equipment to the floor.
Plaintiff Verdict for $3.5 million (2018) – The plaintiff, working as a delivery driver, was climbing a ladder to unload produce from a truck when it collapsed. He suffered injuries to his neck, back, and knees that required surgery.
The company typically gave the plaintiff a machine to unload the product. However, on this occasion, he was given only a ladder and told to do his job. The lawsuit claimed that it was inadequate for him to do his job, creating a hazardous condition.
Settlement for $12 million (2018) – A construction worker at a demolition site stood on a fixed ladder that was attached to the side of a rollaway container. Due to his injuries, the plaintiff was unable to testify about what knocked him off of the ladder, but he fell 15 feet to the ground.
He suffered traumatic brain injuries that required a feeding tube and a catheter. The settlement’s high cost was because of the plaintiff’s extensive injuries, who now required around-the-clock care.
Before both sides agreed to a negotiated settlement, ongoing litigation was necessary to decide whether the plaintiff, as a driver, was covered by the labor laws and entitled to judgment.
Settlement for $1.575 million (2018) – According to the lawsuit document, the plaintiff attempted to climb a ladder to board a yacht that was not firmly connected to the vessel but was instead based on the wet gravel. When climbing, the plaintiff fell and struck the asphalt surface.
The plaintiff injured his hip in the fall and required surgery, and was still suffering ongoing pain. The lawsuit alleged that the defendant was negligent because the climbing equipment was not secured. After the accident, the marina replaced the equipment with a rolling safety ladder.
Plaintiff Verdict for $6,689,094 (2018) – The plaintiff was on a ladder on top of scaffolding installing sheetrock tape at a construction site, when the scaffold collapsed. The plaintiff fell ten to fifteen feet to the ground, suffering tears to both his knees and his shoulder in the fall.
The plaintiff claimed that he would not be able to work in the future and could not enjoy sporting activities. The court found as a matter of summary judgment that the defendant was liable for the fall, and the only matter at issue in the trial concerned his damages.
Plaintiff Verdict for $7 million (2018) – this wrongful death claim involved a man descending a ladder drilling holes into a building for a vent fan, falling 12 feet to the ground below. He died several days later from his injuries.
The lawsuit claimed, among other things, that the defendant did not provide a safe working environment, failed to train employees properly, and gave the construction workers a defective ladder to use. The judge did assign the decedent 20 percent of the liability for the accident and reduced the award, although the estate was still permitted to recover for the death.
Settlement for $1.195 million (2018) – The plaintiff was a restaurant worker walking past the kitchen when an eight-foot ladder leaning against a wall fell and struck her. She suffered a lumbar herniation and tears to her shoulder. The defendant was liable for the injury, even though the plaintiff was not a construction worker.
The jury found the defendant liable after an extensive fact-finding investigation over who left the ladder at the restaurant. The case was settled before the damages part of the trial.
Settlement for $1 million (2017) – The plaintiff worked for a subcontractor at a real estate construction site. Some portions of the work required construction workers to reach ceilings that were 15 feet high.
The plaintiff was allegedly directed to place a ladder on top of the scaffold held in place while the plaintiff worked. Although the plaintiff believed it to be dangerous, he complied with the directive.
Plaintiff Judgement for $14,346,574 (2017) – The plaintiff worked for an HVAC company and was standing on an elevated deck. He tripped over a ladder that was allegedly left at the site by the defendant. He fell from the elevated deck and suffered serious injuries that left him a quadriplegic.
The lawsuit claimed that the defendant was negligent by leaving work equipment scattered around an elevated deck and by having a deck that lacked safety or guard rails.
Settlement for $3.3 million (2017) – The plaintiff was an electrician who was cutting through metal heating pipes suspended from the ceiling. A large section of the pipe suddenly swung down, causing the plaintiff to be knocked off from his ladder and fall to the ground.
In the fall, the plaintiff suffered a traumatic brain injury that left him with numerous cognitive defects and several fractures. The lawsuit claimed that the defendant should have had fall arrest equipment that would have prevented the plaintiff from falling.
The defendant contended that there was fall arrest equipment, but the lawsuit alleged that there was nowhere to tie that equipment. The plaintiff claimed that he would not work again and that he suffered ongoing pain after the accident.
Plaintiff Verdict for $2,434,000 (2017) – A home inspector surveying the roof of a home stepped from the roof onto a 17-foot ladder when it shifted, causing him to fall twelve feet to the ground. He suffered severe injuries, including an L2 burst fracture (spinal cord injury) and spinal hematoma which required multiple surgeries.
The lawsuit was filed against the equipment manufacturer, claiming that its design did not allow it to remain stable when the equipment was fully extended, leading to broken bones.
The lawsuit also claimed that the defendants breached their express warranties because many of the representations made about the ladder were not true.
Construction Workers Ladder Accidents FAQs
Our Chicago, IL injury lawyers know that many families have unanswered questions on filing workers' compensation claims involving ladder fall accidents using the justice system. A Chicago attorney answered a few of those questions below.
Contact our law firm today at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone call) to schedule a free initial consultation to discuss third-party compensation and workers' compensation benefits. We are here to help clients in Chicago, Illinois, and nationwide.
What Injuries Can You Get from Falling off Ladders?
Most ladder accident victims suffer severe bone fractures, including broken backs, broken bones, and fractured pelvis injuries. Other severe problems include head injuries, traumatic brain injuries, broken vertebrae, and deep cuts and lacerations.
How Do You Not Fall off Ladders?
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 stepladder.
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 and hold the climbing equipment can maximize safety when the worker climbs up and down a ladder.
Where Do Most Ladder-related Injuries Occur?
The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) stated that over 40% of all deaths from falling in the last ten years involve ladder accidents at construction sites, buildings, and residential structures. The data shows that businesses with the fewest workers had the highest fatality rates.
According to statistics involving emergency room visits, nearly half of all fatalities occurring on ladders, lifts, and scaffolds involved head trauma. Nearly all non-fatal ladder accidents involved injuries to the lower and upper extremities.
How Many People Die from Falling off Ladders per Year?
Statistics by the CDC reveal that in 2017, over .5 million individuals were treated in the United States emergency rooms from height-related accidents. Of these, about 300 individuals died from the fall.
The data shows that approximately $24 billion the spent every year on the cost of ladder accidents due to medical expenses, liability costs, legal fees, lost work, pain, and suffering.
How High Can You Climb a Ladder without Fall Protection?
According to OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration), employers are not required to have their construction workers use fall protection on any ladder under 12 feet tall. This regulation was changed in November 2018 to prevent an injury from a fall accident in the construction industry at apartment complexes, construction sites, and residential homes.
Before the new regulation was enforced, building codes required the construction industry to install and maintain a ladder cage at twenty feet tall and higher on all commercial buildings, including apartment complexes.
Can You Survive a 20 Foot Fall?
Most ladder accidents involving falling from twenty feet or higher usually end in an emergency room visit. A fall from twenty feet up can result in severe traumatic brain damage, head lacerations, and unconsciousness<
However, victims landing on their side might increase their chance of survival but might experience life-altering organ injury, spinal cord damage, or broken ribs.
Consult With a Chicago Ladder Accident Lawyer Today
Let the personal injury attorneys at the law firm of Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC in Chicago, IL 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 Chicago, IL 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 Illinois 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 Chicago, Illinois 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.