Ladder Safety Injury Lawyers in Austin
Almost everyone has a ladder in the basement or storage shed. Maybe the humble ladder’s familiarity causes people to underestimate its propensity to contribute to dangerous accidents. Whatever the reason, the United States Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) estimates that ladders cause nearly 25,000 serious accidents and 36 fatalities each year . Most of these accidents occur because people do not set up ladders correctly or because they use the wrong type of ladder for the job.
Ladder accidents that occur at workplaces are particularly concerning since the federal government mandates that workplaces follow OSHA safety regulations. OSHA reports that incidents of workplace injuries and fatalities have decreased steadily since 1992. However, the federal government’s General Accounting Office (GAO) found that this decrease is not accurate. According to the GAO , OSHA relied on workplace self-reporting of incidents. When the GAO investigated, they determined that workers as well as businesses underreported workplace accidents.
Workplace ladder accidents are not limited to construction sites. In fact, almost every workplace has a ladder of some kind on site. And ladder accidents can be very serious. A falling person’s impact with the floor or with hard ground can cause broken limbs. Complicating matters, if a person tries to prevent the fall by grabbing at nearby structures, loose objects or even the ladder itself may tumble on top of the fallen worker, causing additional external and internal injuries. Finally, if a falling person hits his or her head on a hard surface, a concussion could require immediate treatment.
Those who are injured on the job may be eligible for workers' compensation. Workers’ compensation is an insurance program that employers are required to have. The most important thing an injured person can do to ensure proper recompense for a workplace accident is preserve all evidence immediately following the accident. For example, take pictures of the scene from several angels, preserve any physical evidence and document injuries.
Although those who sustain injury at work are entitled to workers’ compensation payments, insurance companies are notoriously difficult to work with. If you need help obtaining your workers’ compensation benefits, you may find that speaking with an attorney who specializes in workers’ compensation cases is a helpful first step.
People who have been injured in the workplace may also wish to consider how a personal injury lawsuit may help them meet financial obligations stemming from the accident. Personal injury cases seek to recover compensatory damages. A compensatory damage award’s purpose is to compensate from any monetary loss that the accident caused. For example, medical bills add up quickly, and lost time at work causes a loss of income that can be just as devastating as a stack of bills.
In some situations, personal injury lawsuits seek to recover damages for other losses, such as pain and suffering or emotional distress. If you have suffered from a ladder accident in the workplace, you may benefit from discussing your situation with a qualified and interested Austin Personal Injury attorney.