Ladder Falls on the Job
Accidents happen, and the burden of accidents that occur when you are trying to do your job should not fall on you. One of the most common types of accidents at work are ladder falls. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) estimates that 164,000 workers are injured in ladder accidents every year, and 300 deaths a year are associated with these accidents. Injuries often include broken arms and legs, spinal cord injuries resulting in paralysis, and traumatic brain injuries. Most deaths and serious injuries are a result of falls of ten feet or less. The incidents are most common in the construction industry, as ladders are most commonly used by construction workers, window washers, painters, electricians, and roofers.
OSHA has released ladder use regulations, but compliance is difficult to enforce. Oftentimes worksites are never reviewed for safety compliance until after an accident has actually occurred. Common causes of ladder accidents include slippery surfaces, broken ladders, poor design, defective safety equipment, improper on-site installation, and negligent use of the ladder. Whatever the cause, workers that are injured on the job are entitled to compensation, even if they share a portion of the fault. Workers compensation is set up as a no-fault system, meaning that all you have to prove is that you were working in your occupational duties when you suffered an injury. You do not have to establish that your employer was at fault, nor do you have to prove that you are not at fault.
When you suffer from a work-related injury you may not sue your employer for negligence. Instead, workers compensation is the proper remedy which pulls from your employer’s workers compensation insurance. This often covers the cost of medical expenses and rehabilitation, lost wages from time taken off from work, lost future earnings, and other settlements for ongoing disabilities. While this protects an employee from the awkward decision of whether or not they should sue their boss, the result is an entire field dedicated to denying valid insurance claims. The insurer may attempt to dismiss the injury as a pre-existing injury. These denials should be fought. Even if you have a pre-existing condition that the work injury aggravated, you are entitled to compensation for that aggravation. Unfortunately, insurance companies often deny completely valid workers compensation claims and take advantage of individuals who do not seek legal representation. We are here to help you avoid this common pitfall. We know your rights, and you deserve a remedy for your injury.
Although you cannot sue your employer for negligence, you may have an additional claim against third party that is not your employer. For example, if the ladder manufacturer acted negligently you could sue separately for further damages. We can evaluate your situation and help you determine if this process is worth going through.
For over 40 years, the Greater Boston Law Firm of Altman & Altman has provided first-rate legal services to accident victims and their families. Our firm has recovered millions of dollars in settlements and jury awards on behalf of our clients. We can help you evaluate your workers compensation claim as well as any third-party claim. The cost of an injury incurred while you were simply trying to do your job should not be a financial burden on you and your family. We will work to ensure that you receive the compensation you are entitled to.
To ask for your free consultation with Altman & Altman LLP, call 617.492.3000 or toll free at 800.481.6199. Our Boston, Massachusetts workers’ compensation law firm is located in Cambridge, and we represent clients all over Massachusetts.