LADDER ACCIDENT ATTORNEY
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) consistently reports that falls are a leading cause of death in the United States. Close to half of those fatalities are from falling from ladders across all age groups and professions. The CDC speculates that the reason for this high rate is that “it’s easy to fall off a ladder.” I imagine it is! Falls from ladders represent 21% of work relates injuries, and 81% of the serious injuries were caused by ladder accident on construction sites. A ladder accident attorney has the experience to help victims of ladder accidents collect the highest amount of compensation possible.
FALLS FROM A LADDER ARE OFTEN PREVENTABLE
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) estimates that epidemic of construction accidents with ladders are the result of the fact that 66% of construction workers are not properly trained in the use of a ladder! They found that 53% of ladders were not secured at the bottom, and 61% were not secured on top. Close to 20% of ladders on construction sites had defects or needed to be repaired. More than half of the construction accidents were from ladders that broke during use! A ladder accident attorney can collect compensation from many sources for ladder accidents on construction sites.
Following these steps on a construction site will greatly reduce the incidence of falls from a ladder:
- Inspect a ladder before every use. Check for cracks, missing screws, missing rungs, dents or areas that look worn.
- Before sure to only use a “leaning ladder” on a dry, flat surface, making certain that the top of the ladder extends more that 3 inches higher than the wall.
- Make sure the ladder is the right height and weight for the job at hand. Metal ladders should never be used near electrical power lines.
- Use safety harnesses and spotters.
CHOOSING THE CORRECT LADDER FOR THE TASK
Proper training of construction workers, supervisors and managers is an essential part of preventing ladder accidents. Knowing which ladder to use is an important part of ladder safety. These are the main types of ladders used by construction workers:
- Extension Ladders
- Single Pole Ladders
- Step Ladders
- Platform Ladders
Another important way to prevent ladder accidents is to minimize the amount of time that is spent on the ladder, by preparing everything possible on the ground before going up the ladder. Do not carry materials or tools while climbing a ladder, make sure to have at least one hand on the ladder at all times. Make sure to only use stepladders with lockable spreaders, and be sore to use plates beneath any ladder where the ground is soft.
TO PREVENT LADDER ACCIDENT, NEVER:
- Work near large voids
- Have more that one worker at a time on a ladder.
FALLS FROM A LADDER CAN CAUSE CATASTROPHIC INJURIES
Falls from a height can cause very severe injuries, including traumatic brain injuries, compound fractures, back and neck injuries including paralysis, burns, and electrocution. Recovery from these injuries can take months or years, and result in partial or full permanent disabilities. That’s why legal help is a must for victims, who will need compensation to get their lives back on track.
COMPENSATION FOR VICTIMS OF LADDER ACCIDENTS
There are many types of compensation that may available for accidents involving falls from a ladder. The best way to find out what applies to your case is to speak to an accident lawyer that is a specialist in handling ladder accidents, sometimes called a ladder accident attorney. If you were in the “course and scope of your employment,” you will likely be able to collect Workers Compensation, but you may also be entitled to an exception that allows you to sue your employer, a claim against a third party or a product liability claim. If you are a construction worker, there are special causes of action that apply especially to construction workers, under Labor Laws 240 and 241. Lawsuits involving falls from a ladder can be complicated, with many overlapping claims. You need a law firm with many years of experience with just this type of case. At Wittenstein & Wittenstein, we’ve been handling ladder accident cases for more than 60 years. Please call us for a free consultation.