Anyone can fall from a ladder — construction workers, stock clerks, warehouse workers, homeowners, etc. Ladder fall accidents can cause serious, life-altering injuries. Workers and others that have been injured in a fall on Long Island should discuss their legal options with a ladder fall accident attorney on Long Island at Goldstein and Bashner. You might be able to recover lost wages, medical bills, and other expenses.
Call our office today at 516-874-4362.
Why do ladder fall accidents occur?
Many factors make ladders dangerous. Many people do not understand or use proper safety measures around ladders, and being positioned high above the ground makes for devastating falls.
“Injuries from ladder falls can be severe but are preventable,” explains the CDC. Employers can help prevent ladder fall accidents by:
- Allowing workers to do as much work as possible on the ground.
- Providing safe alternatives to ladders, e.g., aerial lifts, strong scaffolds, and platforms. Providing fall prevention systems (e.g., harnesses, netting, etc.)
- Inspecting the ladders for defects or weaknesses and replacing as necessary.
- Providing adequate ladder safety training and information for employees.
Workers and others who use ladders should do their part to prevent mishaps, as well. They can:
- Pay attention and adhere to safety standards;
- Place the ladder correctly on a stable, even surface;
- Only use a ladder for its intended purpose and avoid overloading;
- Double check that extended ladders are locked correctly;
- Wear slip-resistant shoes while using a ladder; and
- Use a spotter.
Can I recover damages for a ladder fall accident?
Your legal options for recovery following a ladder fall accident depend on the circumstances. If you fell on the job and are an employee, you can file for workers’ compensation benefits, which will pay for your medical expenses and a portion of your lost wages.
If your fall was not work-related, you may still be able to recover damages if negligence (not your own) was involved. For instance, if you fell because of a manufacturing defect, you can sue the manufacturer. If you fell on a friend’s or family member’s property, you may be able to file a claim with his/her homeowner’s insurance company. Family members of those who died from ladder fall injuries may qualify to file a wrongful death claim for recovery.
Determining liability and obtaining damages can be tricky with ladder accidents. Our team works with accident reconstruction experts to determine how and why an accident occurred.
How much is my injury claim worth?
The value of your claim depends on the severity of your injuries. Moderate injuries might entitle you to several thousand to hundreds of thousands of dollars, whereas a catastrophic injury like spinal cord damage or a traumatic brain injury might entitle you to millions.
When you work with Goldstein and Bashner, we will carefully assess your case and calculate the value of your damages. If you win your claim, you can obtain compensation for various losses and expenses including:
- Medical and rehabilitation expenses
- Physical and occupational therapy
- In-home care
- Loss of wages, loss of promotion, loss of benefits
- Household services
- Disfigurement and loss of use of a body part
- Home and vehicle renovations to accommodate your disability
- The emotional and psychological effects of your injuries
- Lost quality of life
CAUTION: Avoid the mistake of rushing to settle a claim before you fully understand your injuries and future needs. Once you accept an offer, you cannot go back and ask for more later if your condition worsens or you need more time off work to get better. Run any offer by us before making any decisions or signing any paperwork.
Is there a time limit on filing a claim on Long Island?
Yes. You have three years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury claim in New York (two years for wrongful death). Waiting past the deadline nullifies your right to pursue a claim.
Workers’ compensation claims have shorter time limits. You have 30 days from the day of your accident to inform your employer about the accident. You can inform your boss orally, but in writing is preferable. Keep a copy of the accident report for your records. You also have two years from the time you fell to file a claim with the Workers’ Compensation Board, although you certainly should not wait that long. The sooner you file, the sooner you can start collecting benefits.
Do I need an attorney to pursue compensation for a ladder fall accident?
When your ladder fall injuries are serious and/or the other party is denying liability, it is ill-advised to try to handle a personal injury case on your own. Claims handled by attorneys often have a higher success rate and result in much larger settlements than those filed by victims themselves. Some workers qualify for both workers’ compensation and a third-party liability claim, but because they are not aware of it, they wind up missing out on the opportunity to collect additional funds.
It is a good idea to have an injury attorney at least review your claim confirm liability and advise you on how to proceed to recover maximum compensation.
Contact Goldstein and Bashner today for a no-obligation consultation to discuss a ladder fall accident in Long Island. The call is free: 516-874-4362.