Despite New York laws protecting workers from unreasonable safety risks, avoidable ladder accidents still happen. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), 161 workers died due to ladder accidents in 2020. Many more individuals suffered injuries requiring medical treatment and time off work.
Working on ladders can be risky even if all safety measures are observed. However, when employers and contractors fail to keep workers safe, the risks of tragic accidents rise. Ladder accidents in New York can impact individuals and their families negatively for years. Injured workers could face lifelong consequences for their health and their finances. However, if you were hurt due to the negligence of another, you could be entitled to damages in addition to workers' compensation benefits.
Where Are Places Ladder Accidents Occur in New York?
Falls from ladders are common in the construction industry. However, workers in many other sectors use ladders daily and can suffer devastating injuries in falls. Ladder accidents can occur in the following industries and others:
- Painting and decorating
- Remodeling and renovating
- Masonry and pointing
- Window cleaning
- Electrical work
- General property maintenance
However, ladder accidents do not only happen in the workplace. Individuals experiencing falls and injuries at home due to a defective ladder could have a case against a manufacturer. Our injury attorneys could handle your ladder accident claim, whether you were injured at home or work.
What are the Causes of Ladder Accidents?
- According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), nearly a third of all deaths in the construction industry are caused by falls from ladders. Common reasons for ladder accidents include:
Using the Wrong Type of Ladder
Falls and other ladder accidents can occur when workers or homeowners use a ladder unsuitable for the task. Standing on the top rung or placing tools on top of the ladder can cause it to topple. Moreover, ladders have a maximum weight. If the weight limit is not observed, the ladder may collapse, potentially causing severe falls and devastating injuries.
Using a Damaged Ladder
Before using a ladder at home or work, look it over for any visible defects or signs of heavy wear and tear. Ladders do not last forever; they must be repaired or replaced if they have significant flaws. Ladders can become a danger to life and limb if they have loose, damaged, or missing rungs or their feet are damaged.
Incorrectly Using a Ladder
Using the wrong type of ladder or using it in a manner that it was not intended for can result in devastating falls and injuries. Common mistakes when working from ladders include:
- Carrying tools while climbing the ladder
- Failing to maintain three points of contact with the ladder
- Leaning away from the ladder while performing work
- Failing to prevent coworkers or passers-by from walking under or too close to ladders
- Working from the top rung of the ladder
- Failing to extend the ladder fully before starting work
- Wearing the wrong type of footwear
- Using the wrong kind of ladder for the job
- Failing to lock or guard doors when working behind them
Failing to Support the Ladder
Workers must ensure that the ladder stands on level, firm, and suitable ground. If this is impossible, they must secure the ladder's base with a wooden frame or platform to prevent it from moving. In some circumstances, another person must hold the ladder, or it needs to be tied up. Countless accidents happen due to unsecured ladders or when ladders are placed on unsuitable surfaces, causing them to slide or topple.
Working in Hazardous Conditions
Construction workers are used to working in all kinds of weather, including New York winters. However, employers and supervisors must evaluate worksite safety in poor weather, such as snow and ice, heavy winds, and other extreme weather events.
High winds can present hazards when working from tall ladders. Moreover, building debris and tools could blow off structures and injure workers on ladders.
While ladder accidents can be common in New York, most are preventable by using an adequate ladder for the job and making the necessary safety checks. If you or a loved one suffered an injury in a ladder accident, you could be entitled to workers' compensation benefits and other damages. The injury attorneys at Michael J. Redenburg, Esq. PC can help you receive what you deserve.
Do You Know Your Rights as a Worker in New York?
New York workers are entitled to a reasonably safe workplace and working conditions. Moreover, workers must receive information about the following:
- Workplace hazards
- Methods to prevent accidents
- OSHA standards applying to their work
Workers' compensation typically covers your medical costs and most of your lost wages if you suffer an injury in a ladder accident. However, it is important to note that an employer must not retaliate against you if you report safety concerns or a work injury. If you get fired for reporting your employer or assisting in another employee's workers' compensation claim, you could have a wrongful termination case and receive compensation.
New York's Scaffold and Ladder Law
New York Labor Law 240, also called the “Scaffold Law” law, protects the rights of those working from scaffolding and ladders. Your employer and other responsible parties must ensure that ladders are safe and well-maintained. The law further requires contractors, site owners, and other responsible parties to provide the necessary safety equipment to keep workers reasonably safe from fall accidents.
In addition to filing a New York workers' compensation claim, injured workers could have a personal injury claim against those responsible for providing a safe work environment. You could have a legal case against third parties, such as:
- A general contractor
- A sub-contractor
- The construction site owner
- The developer
An Attorney Can Help You Learn About Your Rights
Knowing your next best steps can be challenging if you get hurt in a ladder accident. However, as you could have various options to receive compensation, consult with an experienced ladder accident attorney as soon as possible after you get hurt. Experienced lawyers can analyze your accident, determine your legal options, and help you recover what you need to get your life back on track.
What Are Types of Injuries in Ladder Accidents in New York?
Ladder fall accidents can lead to significant injuries that could keep you off work and require ongoing medical treatment. In some cases, a severe ladder injury can be life-changing. Injuries can include:
- Sprains and strains
- Head and brain injuries, such as traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Spinal cord damage and paralysis
- Neck injuries
- Back injuries such as herniated discs
- Broken bones
- Loss of function or limbs
- Emotional trauma
If you or a loved one suffered a significant injury at work, protect your rights and seek legal advice as soon as possible, as you could have several options for recovering the settlement you need.
What Are Your Next Best Steps After a Ladder Accident Injury?
If you got hurt in a ladder accident in New York, you could be entitled to workers' compensation and other damages, depending on the facts of your accident. However, to protect your rights to compensation, consider taking the following critical steps:
Seek Medical Help Immediately
If your injuries are severe, coworkers or supervisors must call for emergency medical assistance. However, even if you feel fine after your ladder accident or experience minor symptoms, seek medical advice as soon as possible. Some injuries, such as traumatic brain injury, herniated discs, and others, can have a delayed onset.
Moreover, if you intend to file a workers' compensation claim or lawsuit after your injury, a medical report is vital evidence proving your injuries and medical expenses.
Report The Accident to Your Employer
It is critical to report your ladder accident to your manager or employer as soon as possible and fill in an accident report. Ask for a copy of the report for your records. The best way to record your accident is by filing an accident report with your employer. However, if that is not an option, write down exactly what happened and provide a copy of your notes to your personnel department, supervisor, or employer. By reporting your accident in writing, you create a paper trail, which can be helpful if you file a personal injury claim later.
File a Workers' Compensation Claim
New York workers' comp is a no-fault system. Therefore, you will most likely be eligible for benefits even if the ladder accident was partly or wholly your fault. Benefits you could receive from the program include:
- All necessary medical expenses for your work injury
- Wage replacement payments of up to two-thirds of your regular weekly wage
- Rehabilitation, such as physical therapy
- Ongoing care needs
- Vocational benefits
- Cash payment for a permanent disability or disfigurement
- Death benefits for the family of a worker killed in a ladder accident
Contact a Ladder Accident Injury Attorney
Most injured workers could use help figuring out their best next steps after a work accident. If you struggle to get the benefits you deserve from workers' compensation or have a legal claim against a third party, a seasoned attorney could give you the best chance of receiving what you deserve. Experienced injury lawyers can be your shoulder to lean on. We could help you fight a complex or denied workers' compensation claim and file a lawsuit on your behalf, if necessary.
Could I File a Personal Injury Lawsuit After a Ladder Accident?
Depending on the circumstances of your ladder injury, you could file a personal injury lawsuit and recover compensation. If your employer is covered by workers' compensation, and you are eligible for benefits, you are typically barred from suing your employer, although there can be exceptions.
However, workplace accidents can occur due to the negligence or recklessness of a contractor, developer, property owner, or another party. If your accident occurred due to another's fault, you could have a legal claim. Michael J. Redenburg, Esq. PC is here to help you learn about your rights and options. We can determine whether you have a case and move forward with a lawsuit.
Which Damages Could I Receive With a Lawsuit?
If you suffered a severe injury in a ladder accident in New York, you could be entitled to damages, such as:
- Medical expenses and future healthcare costs
- Ongoing care expenses
- Loss of wages
- Modifications of the car and home
- Household assistance
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- Pain and anguish
- Emotional trauma
- Loss of a limb or limbs
- Reduced life enjoyment
If your loved one died in a ladder accident, you could qualify for a wrongful death lawsuit and receive compensation. Close relatives and dependents of the decedent could receive burial and funeral costs, medical expenses before death, awards for loss of companionship, and other damages. An attorney at Michael J. Redenburg, Esq. PC can assess the worth of your claim and fight for justice and compensation for you.
Contact Michael J. Redenburg, Esq. PC for Help Now
Attorney Redenburg knows the devastating consequences of ladder accidents on individuals and families. We understand the full impact of a severe injury on your physical, emotional, and financial health. If you suffered a significant injury or lost a loved one in a New York ladder accident, we could help you recover adequate compensation.
If you have been injured in a NYC Ladder Accident, contact the personal injury lawyers at Michael J. Redenburg, Esq. PC and get the wheels of justice spinning for you. Call 212-240-9465 now!