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It is often the simplest things that end up causing the greatest trouble. Ladders are no exception. Most of us have used a ladder at some point. Maybe you have used one for a home improvement project, to reach a high shelf, or even to hang your yearly holiday decorations. No matter where you use a ladder or for what purpose, this tool is so basic that it can become easy for people to misuse. This is especially true in the workplace where ladders become an everyday tool to accomplish simple tasks. Falling is a major cause of accidents and injuries in the workplace.
Ladder accidents can cause both minor and severe injuries. This all depends on the height of the ladder, the type of ladder, the workplace environment, and many other factors. After you have suffered a workplace ladder injury, it can feel overwhelming to embark on a legal battle with your employer in order to seek compensation for your injuries. Hiring an experienced attorney can help ease this burden and put you in a position to seek the maximum compensation that you may be entitled to as a result of your injuries.
If you or someone you know has been involved in a ladder-related accident in the workplace, call Zinda Law Group at (800) 863-5312 for a 100% free case evaluation with an experienced ladder accident lawyer.
LADDER ACCIDENT INJURY STATISTICS
According to information from Safety and Health Magazine, ladder-related incidents “kill almost three workers every week and injure more than 50 workers every day in the United States.” Further, The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that “ladder-related incidents led to more than 150 workplace fatalities and more than 20,000 nonfatal injuries in 2015.” Ladder accidents particularly impact construction workers, and BLS found that in 2015, 350 of the 937 construction fatalities were related to ladder falls.
The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) has consistently found that ladder-related citations have been in the top ten most cited workplace violations in their annual report. In 2016, for example, there were 2,625 citations of ladder violations. This put ladder-related accidents into the top seven most cited violations that particular year.
LADDER SAFETY STANDARDS
Although ladder accidents are common, they are preventable. The Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons recommends that employers follow these steps to reduce and prevent ladder-related accidents in the workplace:
- Plan the work to reduce or eliminate the need for using ladders
- Provide alternative, safer equipment such as aerial lifts or supported scaffolds
- Provide properly selected and inspected ladders that are matched to employee weight, task, and location
- Provide proper accessories where necessary to supplement safe ladder use
- Provide comprehensive ladder safety training to employees
In addition to these measures, OSHA has a number of federal standards for ladder safety. These standards largely deal with load requirements, weight recommendations, setup protocol, and other practical measures to ensure workplace safety.
COMMON CAUSES OF LADDER ACCIDENTS
The following are some of the common causes of workplace ladder accidents:
- Improper use, such as standing on the top step of the ladder
- Improper positioning
- Not following weight requirements
- Improper ladder length
- Failing to inspect the ladder before use
- Overreaching, which causes the ladder to tip over
COMMON LADDER-RELATED ACCIDENT INJURIES
Ladders and work environments come in many different forms, so injuries related to a ladder accident can vary greatly in their severity. The list below outlines some of the common injuries that may result from a ladder-related accident, but this list is certainly not exhaustive:
- Bone fractures
- Sprained ankles and wrists
- Cuts and scrapes
- Spinal injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- In some cases, death
WHAT TO DO AFTER A LADDER ACCIDENT
Seek Medical Attention
After a ladder accident in the workplace, the first and most important step you should take is to make sure that you receive medical attention. Your wellbeing should always be the top priority and must come first before you worry about trying to file a claim for compensation. In addition to prioritizing your health, visiting a medical professional to treat your injuries creates medical records that can be used as important evidence when filing a personal injury lawsuit or workers’ compensation claim.
After an accident, especially a workplace accident, it is important to document where the accident happened and any visible injuries. It is important to be able to show your employer and the insurance companies where the accident happened and what damage it caused to you. Injuries can change quickly and the site of the accident may be cleaned up or tampered with. You want to preserve an accurate depiction of what happened as close to the time of the accident as possible.
Speak with an Attorney
Speaking with and securing an attorney who has experience with workplace ladder accidents may help you when filing a claim. Our workplace injury attorneys at Zinda Law Group may be able to help you seek the maximum compensation that you may be entitled to.
Learn More: How to File a Construction Injury Lawsuit
WHO IS LIABLE FOR LADDER ACCIDENT?
After falling from a ladder, there are typically three causes of action that may allow you to file a lawsuit for damages. These three causes of action are that:
- Someone was negligent in handling the ladder,
- The ladder was defective, or
- The ladder was in an unsafe condition
This means that there are a number of people or entities that could be responsible for your injury. Some of the potentially responsible parties include the employer, the ladder manufacturer, the store that sold the ladder, or anyone else who may have contributed to the cause of the accident itself such as a coworker.
However, sometimes you won’t be filing a personal injury claim. Workplace accidents may be handled differently than your typical personal injury lawsuit. When an individual is injured at work, the claim may be handled through workers’ compensation insurance. In these types of claims, the injured party doesn’t need to prove the negligence of their employer. They just need to show that they were injured at work.
LADDER ACCIDENT INJURY LAWSUITS
Ladder-related accidents can go a number of ways. If your accident occurs in the workplace and is deemed compensable, then workers’ compensation insurance may be available to compensate you for your injuries. However, workers’ compensation claims don’t always run that smoothly. If the workers’ compensation carrier decides that your case warrants further investigation, then this may complicate the process. They may need to investigate your version of events or the causal relationship between your injuries in the accident. Other times, insurance companies may find that someone other than your employer was responsible for your injuries.
Regardless of whether your claim is simple, complicated, or somewhere in between, it is in your best interest to consult with an attorney. Litigation can be complex and burdensome. Don’t make it harder on yourself by trying to go through this process alone. Our attorneys at Zinda Law Group have the experience to guide you through the legal process, make recommendations, negotiate with the involved parties, and help advise you on important legal decisions. We want to fight for you and make sure you are being treated fairly after suffering injuries in a ladder-related accident.
LADDER INJURY COMPENSATION
When you are injured after falling off a ladder, you may be able to recover both economic and non-economic damages. These are both compensatory damages that are meant to help make you whole after suffering a serious injury. Economic damages refer to costs like medical bills, loss of income, loss of future earnings, and other expenses that are easily quantifiable. Non-economic damages are less concrete and generally cover costs such as pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life.
Workers’ compensation damages are generally limited to paying for medical expenses and wage replacement when the employee cannot work due to the nature of their injuries.
Learn More: How to Calculate the Value of a Case
CONTACT THE EXPERIENCED LADDER ACCIDENT LAWYERS AT ZINDA LAW GROUP
At Zinda Law Group, we believe that quality representation should be available to everyone. That is why we work on a contingency fee basis. That means that unless we secure you appropriate compensation, then you don’t owe us anything. Call us today at (800) 863-5312 for a free case evaluation. We may be able to help you seek the compensation you may be entitled to as the result of a ladder-related injury.
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