Construction workers who are injured when they fall off of a ladder frequently don’t expect to do more than dust themselves off and get back to work. Victims are shocked when a fall of just a few feet leaves them with serious injuries that require extensive medical care and time off of work.
Unfortunately, 50% of all workers’ compensation claims are denied outright. For those whose injuries keep them from returning to their job, there is the added stress of worrying about lost wages and quickly rising medical expenses. Most of the injuries sustained during a fall off of a ladder require prolonged hospital stays or surgery.
To protect these victims, New York has created the “Scaffolding Law”. Despite its name, this law also covers workers injured in a ladder fall.
What Is New York’s “Scaffolding Law”?
The “Scaffolding Law” is a unique law. Under this law, the owner of the construction company is liable for any injuries that an employee sustains from a fall while at work. Despite it’s name, this law covers falls from or falls due to improperly used:
- ropes, and
So what makes this law so unique? If an accident occurs on a construction site involving a fall, the owner / manager of the construction site must show that they were not negligent, and that all safety standards and precautions were implemented to prevent the fall. This is not the norm – in most construction accident lawsuits, the burden of proof falls on the victim, which means they have to prove that the owner / manager was negligent.
New York implemented this law so that construction company owners / managers would be more likely to adhere to all safety standards set forth by OSHA and so that those whose workers’ comp claims are denied have the opportunity to obtain compensation for their injuries.
Why Isn’t Workers’ Comp Enough?
If approval for your claim is granted, workers compensation will help to recoup some, but not all, of your losses.
Who Is Covered By Workers’ Compensation?
Every paid employee is covered by an employer’s workers’ compensation insurance. Workers’ comp coverage does not extend to:
- Volunteers for nonprofit organizations
- Members of religious organizations performing religious duties, and
- Workers in certain industries – for example, railroad workers have their own coverage under different laws
Does Workers’ Compensation Cover All Of My Expenses?
Workers’ compensation will cover all of your medical expenses after a fall from a ladder. However, coverage only provides compensation for a fraction of your lost wages. It also cannot payout for pain and suffering, emotional trauma, or loss of consortium.
What can be even more surprising is that the majority of construction workers’ compensation claims are denied. For injured construction workers, filing a lawsuit may be their best chance at receiving the compensation they deserve.
Why Should I File A Ladder Accident Lawsuit?
A lawsuit allows the victim to seek damages outside of what workers’ compensation would have provided. In addition to seeking compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, or reduced wages, a civil lawsuit may also provide compensation for pain and suffering, emotional trauma, and loss of consortium.
Injuries Commonly Sustained In Ladder Falls
All it takes is a few feet to create a bone-jarring impact that can cause serious damage to the body. Injuries include:
Bones are the body’s protection for the easily damaged internal organs. When this protection is shattered, pieces of the bone can pierce the internal organs resulting in life-threatening injuries. Even if the internal organs are unaffected, broken bones take months to heal and can require a surgeon to insert screws and plates to stabilize the break.
The impact of hitting the ground, or a fall into an object, can damage the spine and spinal cord. Fractured vertebrae and bruising or trauma to the spinal cord will likely need surgical correction, months of physical therapy, and large amounts of time off of work. If the damage is severe, the victim could be partially or totally paralyzed.
Brain Injury / Head Trauma
Even while wearing a hardhat, a blow to the head can injure the soft brain within the skull. Bruising, swelling, and bleeding of the brain can cause permanent damage and change a person’s behavior, affect their speech, cognitive reasoning, and memory, lead to a coma, or kill them.
Injured workers and their loved ones frequently question if workers’ compensation benefits are enough to help them, or if they should seek compensation via a construction accident lawsuit.
Contact An Attorney About Your Ladder Fall Today
The attorneys at Lipsig, Shapey, Manus, and Moverman P.C. have applied the “Scaffolding Law” to numerous cases on the behalf of our clients. While all cases are different, the following results are examples of compensations we have obtained for clients.
Won for a roofer who fell from an unsafe ladder and fractured his leg, requiring corrective surgery.
Won for a 55-year-old construction worker after he fell from a ladder and fractured his foot.
Settlement secured for a construction worker who fell from an unsecured ladder.
We are here to answer your legal questions after a ladder fall. Our compassionate, knowledgeable, and experienced attorneys have helped countless victims decide what their best options are moving forward.
Contact us today for your free consultation at (888) 930-1447.