Ladder Accidents In Construction Sites
Many jobs in the construction industry involve performing duties from elevation. Construction workers using ladders or scaffolding are at risk of suffering injuries if they fall from heights. Falls from ladders are some of the deadliest accidents that happen at construction sites. When ladder accidents in construction sites happen, the injured worker may be entitled to workers' compensation benefits. The experienced and compassionate personal injury attorney at The Mark Casto Law Firm understands how devastating and traumatizing ladder accidents can be. Our legal team handles personal injury and workers' compensation cases resulting from ladder accidents at construction sites. We offer a free consultation to clients who call 706-940-4030. Learn more about your legal rights today.
Causes of Ladder Accidents in Construction Sites
There are different types of ladders at construction sites, including straight ladders, stepladders, extension ladders, platform ladders, and others. A construction accident can happen on any type of ladder when someone makes a negligent mistake. Falls from heights are the leading cause of fatalities in the construction industry. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), falls accounted for 401 deaths out of 1,102 total fatalities in 2019. Ladder accidents occur for a variety of reasons. Some of the most common causes of ladder accidents among construction workers include:
- Failure to follow safety guidelines
- Using an inappropriate ladder for a particular job
- Failure to adequately train workers on setting up and using the ladder
- Using a defective, broken, or damaged ladder
- Exceeding the ladder's maximum weight capacity
- Failure to use a personal fall arrest system
- Failure to anchor the ladder properly
- Placing the ladder on uneven ground or slippery surface
Regardless of what caused a ladder accident at a construction site, the injured worker may have options for compensation for their injuries and losses. In many cases, a construction worker can seek workers' compensation benefits.
Guidelines for Safe Use of Ladders at Construction Sites
Construction workers must follow many safety tips when using ladders at work, including but not limited to:
- Inspect the ladder for signs of damages or defects before using it
- Position the ladder properly before climbing it
- Maintain three points of contact with the ladder at all times
- Face the ladder when ascending/descending
These and many other safety tips are designed to minimize the risk of ladder accidents in construction sites.
Injuries in Ladder Accidents
Falls from elevated surfaces such as ladders and scaffolding can result in devastating and life-threatening injuries. Some of the most common injuries associated with ladder accidents in construction sites include:
- Broken bones
- Traumatic brain injury
- Spinal cord injury
- Soft tissue injury
- Back or neck injuries
- Strains and sprains
At The Mark Casto Law Firm, the experienced and knowledgeable personal injury attorney has represented countless victims of construction site accidents throughout Georgia. Our legal team can review the circumstances of the ladder accident and help the injured party understand their options for compensation.
Compensation Options After a Ladder Accident at Work
Depending on the circumstances surrounding the ladder accident, an injured construction worker may be entitled to compensation by filing a workers' compensation, personal injury, or product liability claim. Below are the differences between the three compensation options:
- Workers' compensation. If an injured worker's employer has workers' compensation insurance, the insurance provider may cover the medical expenses and a portion of the last wages suffered by the worker while performing their duties at a construction site. The advantage of filing a workers' compensation claim is that the worker does not need to prove anyone's fault to be entitled to compensation. The downside of seeking workers' compensation benefits is that the benefits may not fully compensate the injured worker for all their losses and damages.
- Personal injury. Seeking compensation through a personal injury claim is more complicated because the injured party must prove another party's negligence. The injured construction worker will need to prove that the defendant owed them a duty of care and the duty was breached due to negligence, which eventually led to the ladder accident, injuries, and damages. If the employer provides workers' compensation benefits, the injured worker cannot sue the employer for their injury. However, they can file a personal injury lawsuit against a negligent third party.
- Product liability. Many ladder accidents in construction sites occur because the ladder is defective. When a defect is the cause of the ladder accident, the injured worker may be able to pursue a product liability claim against the manufacturer, designer, supplier, distributor, and other parties.
When a worker files a workers' compensation claim, Georgia law requires the employer's insurance provider to investigate the claim and submit a report to the State Board of Workers' Compensation (SBWC) within 21 days, according to the official website of the State of Georgia.
A Personal Injury Attorney Can Provide Legal Guidance
Recovering damages after a ladder accident at work is not as straightforward as it might seem. That is why many workers consider hiring a personal injury attorney to receive legal guidance and explore their compensation options. There are many things an experienced attorney can do to support an injured worker throughout their legal case, including:
- Investigate the construction accident
- Determine what caused the ladder accident
- Identify compensation options, including whether or not the employer has workers' compensation insurance
- Determine if any third parties can be held liable for the accident
- Negotiate a fair settlement with insurance companies
- Fight for the compensation to which the injured worker is entitled
- Represent the injured worker in court
The legal issues involved in a construction site accident can be complicated by many factors, including the dangerous nature of the construction site, the ownership of the site, and the number of parties involved.
Contact the Experienced Personal Injury Attorneys at The Mark Casto Law Firm
Injuries suffered by construction workers as a result of falling from a ladder can be severe and debilitating. A worker who falls from heights may not be able to return to work right away. As a result, the worker may deal with burdensome out-of-pocket medical costs on top of lost wages. At The Mark Casto Law Firm, the experienced personal injury attorney has helped numerous construction workers in Georgia recover damages after ladder accidents in construction sites. Consider discussing your options with our legal team today by calling 706-940-4030.