Ladders are the cause of a substantial number of job-related injuries. In 2020, 22,710 ladder-related injuries required people to take at least one day off from work. A fall from a ladder can be the source of significant medical and financial setbacks that innocent parties should not bear alone.
If you fall from a ladder while on the job, you could have several options for obtaining compensation and other legal relief. And what gives you the best chance of recovering all legal remedies available to you? Speaking to a knowledgeable attorney.
Anthony A. Ferrante has over a decade of experience as a personal injury attorney who has successfully represented countless New York residents who were wounded by others’ misconduct.
What Kind of Legal Claims Can I File After Falling from a Ladder at Work?
Depending on how your fall occurred, you can file one (or all) of the following claims to recover compensation and other remedies:
- Workers’ compensation—if you suffer an injury arising out of and in the course of your work, you are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits that include wage replacement and medical care.
- Civil lawsuit—if a third party’s negligence or misconduct caused you to fall off a ladder and incur damages, you could sue that party in court to win compensation that covers your financial losses, your pain and suffering, and punitive damages.
- Construction complaint—if your employer does not follow New York’s rules for safe scaffolding and ladders on a construction site and you suffer harm, you can file a legal complaint.
Keep in mind that employees who get hurt on the job generally cannot sue their employers in civil court. Employee victims of workplace injuries have to seek remedies through workers’ compensation. However, if your workers’ compensation injury is partly due to a nonemployer’s misconduct, you can sue the nonemployer.
Now that you know your legal options, let’s take a look at what to do after a workplace fall.
Seek Medical Attention Immediately After a Fall and Follow Your Treatment Recommendations
Even if you fall from the bottom rung, a fall from a ladder could mean broken bones, a head injury, torn ligaments, or a serious sprain. And depending on where you land, you could also suffer severe cuts.
However minor your resulting injuries seem after a fall, you need to seek medical care right away. Receiving an examination and treatment right away increases the likelihood that you will make a full recovery. Also, immediate medical care can help you prove the cause of your injury and the amount of damages a responsible party owes you.
After you receive your initial examination from a healthcare provider, be diligent about follow-up appointments and complying with treatment recommendations. Many injuries can change (and possibly get worse) over time, and you need to keep reliable records of all the harm you have suffered because of your fall. Keeping up with your healthcare appointments and treatments can also help ensure speedy and significant healing.
Report Your Fall to a Supervisor
If you are an employee and not an independent contractor, your workplace fall makes you eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. To obtain these benefits, you need to report your fall to a supervisor right away. And within 30 days of your fall, you must submit a written notice of your job-related injury to your employer.
If you are an independent contractor, you should still report your falling injuries to a supervisor on the site or a property owner because you might have the right to make a claim under a property owner or liability policy.
Collect Evidence Regarding How the Accident Happened
The party responsible for your injuries will likely want to deny or diminish its liability. So, how do you fight efforts that discount your right to legal relief? You fight with good evidence.
You should start collecting evidence the moment after you fall. Gathering the following information regarding your injury can be crucial to proving your case:
- Detailed notes about exactly how the accident occurred (e.g., your position on the ladder, where the ladder was, whether you slipped, whether a piece of the ladder broke, what you heard or felt when you fell, etc.);
- Pictures of the ladder and worksite;
- Details about the ladder, including its duty rating;
- Descriptions of your symptoms after you suffered the injury;
- Medical records;
- Receipts and invoices for related, out-of-pocket expenses;
- Witness information; and
- Employment records.
Some of this information is easier to access on your own, and some information is easier to access with the help of an experienced attorney.
The Best Way to Protect Yourself Is with Attorney Help
Hiring a skilled advocate is the smartest choice you can make when you take legal action against an employer or at-fault party that harms you. And when it comes to experienced advocates in Brooklyn, Anthony A. Ferrante is at the top. Anthony has received several legal honors reserved for only the top 2.5% of attorneys in the State of New York. Anthony has also recovered millions on behalf of injured workers. To schedule a free consultation with Mr. Ferrante, you can contact our office online or call us at 646-450-4110.