This post is also available in: Español (Spanish)
Iron Worker Falls Off Ladder – $3,000,000 Settlement
Claims were filed on behalf of an injured Union ironworker who was installing second floor windows on a 40 foot ladder. While working on the job, the ladder slid out from underneath him and he fell onto a skid of cinder blocks and then bounced off onto the ground. The case involved both a workers’ compensation claim as well as a third party action alleging that negligent construction conditions led to the devastating accident. As a result of the fall, the worker suffered a pulmonary embolism, a femur fracture and other issues requiring counseling. On behalf of our injured client, the attorneys were able to secure a workers’ compensation settlement in the amount of $266,000 and a third party settlement in the amount of $2,750,000 for a total recovery in excess of $3,000,000.
About Ladder Injuries and Falls
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), 43% of all fatal falls in the last ten years have involved a ladder and 81% of all construction work related falls treated in emergency rooms were ladder related as well. In fact, over the span of recent time, more than two million people were injured, at the rate of about 136,000 people each and every year says the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. Clearly, ladders can be hazardous under certain circumstances, but generally, such accidents are often due to either 1) the wrong one being used for the job, 2) it being in disrepair/broken, or 3) it being used improperly. As in the case of the settlement detailed above, another cause may be that the work environment, terrain or construction site conditions make proper use of the ladder dangerous or impossible.
Common Suggestions to Prevent Fall Accidents:
- Maintaining a straight body while working
- Keeping one hand on side rail at all times
- Not attempting to reposition the ladder while on it
- Moving carefully and deliberately while climbing or descending
- Staying centered on the ladder
- Avoiding leaning to one side or overreaching
- Not exceeding the maximum step height
Lawsuits Involving Scaffolding and Ladders
When someone falls from either a ladder or from scaffolding, such a fall may involve a drop of only a few feet, or it may involve a fall of tens or even hundreds of feet to the ground below, resulting in permanent traumatic injuries or death.
Especially in the case of work related accidents, whether in a construction setting or other workers compensation type situations, an experienced attorney will immediately take care to preserve the ladder/scaffolding to avoid it being destroyed or tampered with, and take photos/videos of the accident scene to memorialize the scene for future use in the courtroom. Sometimes, an emergency preservation order must be secured in court to prevent the employer or others from tampering with the evidence. This is very important.
The attorney will also immediately begin to identify which parties may be legally responsible for the injuries that result. The subject of such a lawsuit may include any or all of the following parties, including the scaffolding company, the ladder manufacturer, co-workers, general contractors, subcontractors, building owner or others. As statutes of limitation (time limits) apply to every injury case, the right people or companies need to be properly named in the lawsuit documents in order to hold those parties accountable and responsible. Since 1990, Mitchell S. Sexner & Associates LLC has been helping those harmed by the negligence of others. We can be contacted for a free consultation at 800-996-4824.