Whether you’re a construction worker installing crown molding, a teacher hanging posters in the classroom, or a handyman cleaning out a client’s gutters, ladders are indispensable tools that help get the job done. Unfortunately, they’re also responsible for a significant number of accidents that result in between 300,000 and 500,000 injuries and more than 300 deaths each year.
If you were severely injured or lost a loved one in a ladder or scaffolding accident, you could be entitled to compensation. Peterson & Associates, P.C.’s accomplished Kansas City attorneys can help you understand your rights and explore multiple avenues for recovery.
Here’s what you should know about ladder-related accident claims in Missouri and Kansas, including how we can provide the experienced and effective representation needed to successfully navigate the legal process and recover fair damages.
Identifying Causes of Ladder Accidents
Ladder falls are common accidents in the workplace, at home, and elsewhere. These incidents can have a variety of causes, from using a ladder that’s the wrong type or size to overloading it with too much weight. Other causes of ladder accidents include:
- Improper setup (such as at the wrong angle or on uneven surfaces)
- Insufficient inspection or maintenance
- Defective designs
- Manufacturing errors
Scaffolding accidents, which cause more than 4,500 injuries and over 60 deaths per year, have similar causes.
Injuries Associated With Ladder or Scaffolding Falls
When a person falls from a ladder or scaffolding, they can suffer severe and potentially fatal injuries. Serious injuries can also occur if you’re struck by a collapsing ladder or scaffolding, or objects or people who fall from them. These accidents are associated with wide-ranging injuries, including:
- Abrasions, cuts, and bruises
- Fractured or broken bones
- Head, neck, and back pain
- Herniated disks
- Internal organ damage
- Electric shock injuries
- Accidental or surgical amputation
- Concussions and traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Spinal cord injuries (which can result in paralysis that’s partial, total, temporary, or permanent)
The fall in question does not have to be from a significant height to result in major injuries. According to the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA), most serious injury or fatal ladder falls occur from heights of 10 feet or less.
Exploring Your Recovery Options
Injuries like amputations, traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), and paralysis can be life-altering, resulting in a multitude of impairments that require costly, ongoing medical care. Depending on the severity of the injury, you may never be able to return to work or even resume normal daily activities. Our skilled Kansas City legal team can help you explore your options for compensation and recovery.
Workers’ Comp Claims
Were you injured in a ladder or scaffolding accident in the workplace or while otherwise acting in the interest of your employer? You could have grounds for a workers’ compensation claim and be entitled to covered medical care, disability payments, and other benefits. The workers’ comp claims system is complicated; we can help you protect your rights and collect the benefits you’re entitled to. If your injuries were caused by someone other than your employer, we can also help you explore your options for a third-party claim, which can provide a more robust recovery.
Product Liability Lawsuits
Were your injuries caused by a design defect, poor quality materials or construction, or a failure to warn consumers of potential hazards? You may have a product liability claim against the ladder or scaffolding’s designer, manufacturer, or retailer. Recoverable damages can include related medical expenses, lost wages and reduced earning capacity, pain and suffering, and other compensation.
Premises Liability Claims
Did your ladder or scaffolding accident and injuries happen at a business or on someone else’s property? If the business or property owner failed to take reasonable precautions to ensure the safety of visitors, you could have grounds for a premises liability claim. Our team can help you fight to recover compensation for medical bills, wage loss, pain and suffering, and other damages.
Wrongful Death Cases
Was your loved one killed in a ladder or scaffolding fall caused by another person or company’s negligence? Your family could be entitled to compensation for wide-ranging losses, including funeral and burial expenses. While an insurance settlement or financial award can never replace your loved one, it could help defray costs associated with their wrongful death and the unexpected loss of income.