If you are like most people, you probably think of ladders as simple tools. However, when used incorrectly, ladders can be very dangerous. Every year, thousands of people are injured in ladder-related accidents. In some cases, these injuries can be quite serious. So, who is liable when someone falls from a ladder? The answer may surprise you.
In many cases, the person or company who owns or leases the ladder may be held liable for your injuries. This is especially true if they knew or should have known that using the ladder was dangerous but didn’t take any precautions. However, in some cases, you may also be able to hold the person who was actually using the ladder at the time of your fall liable for their actions. It all depends on the specific circumstances of your case.
To learn more about liability in falls from ladders cases, it is important to contact an experienced West Palm Beach slip and fall lawyer. They can help you understand your rights and assess your options moving forward. Keep reading for more information!
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Causes of Ladder Accidents
There are many reasons why someone may fall from a ladder. The most common cause is simply slipping or losing one’s balance. Other causes include:
The Ladder Was Defective
It’s a basic rule of physics: what goes up must come down. But when it comes to ladders, there’s a significant exception to that rule.
If a ladder is defective, it can come crashing down without warning, resulting in serious injuries. Falls from ladders are among the leading causes of emergency room visits, and defective ladders are often to blame.
A ladder may be defective due to faulty materials, poor construction, or inadequate maintenance. Regardless of the cause, a defective ladder is a dangerous piece of equipment that should be avoided at all costs.
When using a ladder, always inspect it for flaws before climbing, and never use a ladder that looks like it could collapse. In the unfortunate case that you or someone you know falls from a defective ladder, seek legal help as soon as possible, as you may be entitled to compensation.
The Ladder Was Not Properly Secured
Ladders must be securely fastened at the top and bottom to prevent slipping or toppling. If a ladder is not secured correctly, it can be hazardous. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for securing a ladder. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
The Ladder Was Not Placed on a Level Surface
Ladders should always be placed on a level surface to prevent tipping. They use blocks or other supports to level the ladder if the ground is uneven. Never try to use a ladder on a slippery or unstable surface.
The User Was Not Wearing Proper Shoes
Shoes with good tread are essential for ladder safety. Wearing shoes with smooth soles or high heels can increase the risk of slipping and falling. Always wear shoes with good tread when using a ladder.
The User Was Not Paying Attention
Climbing a ladder can be dangerous if you’re not paying attention. Always look up and be aware of your surroundings while using a ladder. Don’t use a ladder while distracted, and never try to climb a ladder while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Regardless of the cause, if you fall from a ladder and are injured, you may be able to file a personal injury claim against the person or company that is responsible.
A West Palm Beach slip-and-fall lawyer can help you understand your legal options and pursue the compensation you deserve.
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Liability for Falls from Ladders – Who is Responsible?
If you fall from a ladder and are injured, the first question you’ll likely want to know is: who is responsible? The answer will depend on the circumstances of your accident. Here is a look at some of the potentially liable parties in a ladder fall accident:
Ladder Manufacturer or Distributor
A ladder fall can be a serious matter. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reports more than 500,000 ladder-related injuries yearly, which are the leading cause of emergency room visits for injuries at home.
Many of these ladder falls could have been prevented if the ladder had been manufactured or distributed by a liable party.
Unfortunately, in many cases, the manufacturer or distributor of the ladder is not held liable for the injuries sustained from a fall. This is because manufacturers and distributors often claim they have no control over how the ladder is used once it leaves their hands.
This argument does not hold up in court. Manufacturers and distributors can be held liable for injuries sustained in a fall from a ladder if it can be shown that they failed to warn consumers of the risks associated with using the ladder.
For example, if a manufacturer failed to include instructions on properly using the ladder or a distributor sold a defective ladder, they could be liable for injuries sustained in a fall.
If you have been injured in a fall from a ladder, you may recover damages from the manufacturer or distributor of the ladder. Our experienced West Palm Beach slip and fall lawyers at Fetterman & Associates, P.A can help you investigate your case and determine whether you have a claim.
The Retailer Who Sold the Ladder
You may hold the retailer liable if you purchased a ladder from a retail store and were injured in a fall. Retailers can be held liable for injuries sustained in a fall from a ladder if it can be shown that they were aware of the risks associated with using the ladder and failed to warn consumers.
An example is if a retailer sold a defective ladder or failed to include instructions on properly using it, they could be held liable for injuries sustained in a fall.
If you have been injured in a fall from a ladder, you may recover damages from the retailer who sold you the ladder. A professional West Palm Beach slip and fall lawyer can help you investigate your case and determine whether you have a claim.
Construction companies are liable for falls from ladders if the fall results from negligence on the company’s part.
If a construction company failed to provide a safety net for workers working on a tall scaffolding, and one fell and was injured, the company would be liable for the worker’s injuries.
Likewise, if a worker fell and a construction company did not properly train its workers to use ladders safely, the company would again be liable. For a construction company to be held liable for a fall from a ladder, it must be demonstrated that the company was negligent in some way.
It should be noted that construction companies are not always liable for falls from ladders.
For example, if a worker decided to take unnecessary risks by climbing up to an unsafe height on a ladder and fell and was injured. The construction company would not be held liable.
The worker would instead be held responsible for their actions, similarly if a worker were provided with proper safety equipment and training but still chose to take unnecessary risks and was injured. The construction company would not be held liable.
In both of these cases, it would be the worker’s actions (or inaction) that led to the fall and not any negligence on the part of the construction company.
If you were injured in a fall from a ladder while on someone else’s property, you may hold the property owner liable. Property owners can be held liable for injuries sustained in a fall from a ladder if it can be shown that they were aware of the risks associated with using the ladder and failed to warn visitors of those risks.
If you have been injured in a fall from a ladder, you may recover damages from the property owner. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you investigate your case and determine whether you have a claim.
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What Should You Do If You Fall from a Ladder and are Injured?
First, you should assess the situation and ensure you are safe. If you can, move to a safe place away from the ladder.
If you are bleeding, apply pressure to the wound to try and stop the bleeding. Once you have taken care of any immediate medical needs, it is time to call for help.
If you can, call 911 or your local emergency number. If you cannot call for help, someone else will need to do it for you. Once help arrives, they will take over and transport you to the hospital for further treatment.
In addition to getting medical help, you should contact a West palm beach slip and fall injury lawyer. They will help you understand your legal rights and options and can represent you in court if necessary.
Falling from a ladder can be a very traumatic experience, but with the right help, you can get through it and get the compensation you deserve.
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Talk to a Professional West Palm Beach Slip and Fall Lawyer for Help
Many people are hesitant to climb a ladder because they have heard stories or know someone injured in a fall. However, falls from ladders can result in severe injuries and sometimes even death.
If you have been injured in a fall from a ladder, it is important to understand your legal rights. At Fetterman & Associates, P.A., we are dedicated to helping those who have suffered such injuries get the compensation they deserve. We have years of experience fighting for the rights of slip and fall accident victims and know how to get results. Contact us today for a free consultation and let us help you get back on your feet.