Ladder Falls in the Workplace

Falling from a ladder is one of the most common types of work accidents, especially in the construction industry. Unfortunately, when a worker falls from heights, the incident can lead to serious injuries, including but not limited to: broken bones, herniated discs, paralysis, head trauma, and even death. These severe injuries can take away a worker's ability to earn money, create costly medical bills and rob the worker of his enjoyment of life and passions. If you've been hurt as a result of a ladder fall on the job, there are certain legal protections that are provided to workers in New York State.

Claiming Workers' Compensation Benefits
After a work-related injury, it's important to seek advice from a work accident attorney to better understand your legal rights. Oftentimes, a worker who sustained an on-the-job injury may claim workers' compensation benefits. Under New York State Workers' Compensation Law, most employers must provide workers' compensation coverage for their employees (WCL §2 and 3). This includes part-time employees working at for-profit organizations (WCL §3 Groups 1-14-a).

Violations Against New York Labor Laws
In certain instances, a personal injury lawsuit may be filed against the people or parties who are legally responsible to provide a safe place to work. For instance, in the state of New York, an injured worker who fell from a ladder may have recourse against the general contractor, the construction site owner, developer, or other entitles when ladder safety regulations have been violated.

There are many rules and regulations in New York that dictate proper ladder safety, including OSHA regulations and those contained in the New York State "Industrial Code". For example, the Industrial Code generally requires that when work is being performed on an extension ladder higher than 10 feet above the ground, that ladder must be secured at both its upper and lower end. Another rule sets forth specific guidelines for the dimensions of wooden ladder rungs, including their proper diameter and spacing. These are just two of many specific regulations that are in place to create a safe environment for workers.

Other laws, such as New York Labor Law Section 240(1), also often apply to ladder safety. The law, which protects certain workers who are hurt after falls, requires construction site owners and general contractors to provide proper protection to workers who are required to work from ladders. When a ladder breaks or collapses or even when a worker falls from an unsafe ladder, the owner and general contractor are often responsible for all resulting injuries under the law, regardless of whether they had any knowledge of the defect.

Sometimes, an injured worker can recover compensation in a personal injury case, even if the ladder involved in his/her accident was not defective at all. This is because the ladder, although structurally sound, may have been unsupported or may have been the wrong safety device altogether. For example, when workers are performing heavy, overhead work with their hands, it is often entirely inappropriate to use a ladder of any kind. In that scenario, a more stable and guarded platform, such as a scaffold or man-lift, is typically safer. Only an experienced law firm can analyze the facts of a ladder fall properly, identify any safety violations that were committed and hold the responsible parties fully accountable for the injuries they caused.

To speak with a qualified attorney with a solid understanding of laws that govern ladder accidents in New York, please call 212-736-5300 today. We offer free legal consultations to injured workers.

Compensation in New York Ladder Fall Cases

Block O'Toole & Murphy has handled a great number of ladder fall cases over the years, and with great success. The firm's record of multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements is a result of our attorneys' extensive knowledge of the laws the apply to ladder fall accidents, and their ability to effectively investigate and prove any and all violations of proper ladder safety.

For example, Block O'Toole & Murphy secured a $5,900,000 settlement for a union bricklayer who was disconnecting a hose while standing on a ladder that suddenly slid out from underneath him and caused him to fall, injuring his wrist, head and spine. The firm argued that the ladder was not properly secured, and the result ensured that the bricklayer and his family will never have financial concerns again.

Another ladder fall case handled by Block O'Toole & Murphy resulted in a $5,500,000 settlement for a 40-year-old electrician, who fell from an aluminum extension ladder after receiving an electric shock. The firm argued, on the worker's behalf, that the ladder was not proper for the electric work involved because it was conductive, and that a fiberglass ladder, scaffold or man-lift would have been more appropriate. The construction site owner defended the case vigorously, but our lawyers prevailed through hard work and determination, securing a settlement that provided comfort to their disabled client and sent a strong message to the owner that they will pay a heavy price for taking shortcuts on worker safety.

Other notable results attained by the firm include:

  • $5,885,000 jury verdict for a worker who fell from a ladder on top of a scaffold
  • $5,000,000 verdict for an electrician helper who fell 12 feet when the ladder he was working on slipped out from underneath him
  • $4,900,000 settlement for a union electrician who suffered a fractured wrist, herniated disc, and RSD/CRPS after he fell from a ladder
  • $4,200,000 award for a plasterer who fell from an A-frame ladder when a rung on the ladder broke as he was descending
  • $3,750,000 settlement for a construction worker who fell 30 to 40 feet from an unsecured ladder
  • $3,500,000 recovery for a plumber's helper who suffered a traumatic brain injury after a ladder fall
  • $3,100,000 settlement for a worker who fell from an A-frame ladder while he was installing a security camera at a Manhattan high-rise
  • $3,000,000 settlement for a carpenter who suffered wrist and head injuries after he fell from a ladder during a renovation project

Ladder accidents may result in very serious injuries. An attorney skilled in litigating ladder accident cases can help you navigate the legal aftermath of a serious work accident.

Free Legal Consultation for Injured Workers

Block O'Toole & Murphy has resolved many multi-million dollar cases on behalf of injured workers. Our attorneys take great pride in helping injured workers and their families, and their combination of compassion, expertise, and hard work have proven successful for clients.

If you want to discuss your case with the ladder accident lawyers at Block O'Toole & Murphy, please call 212-736-5300 or fill out our online Contact Form, and an attorney will reach out to you shortly.

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