Can You File a Lawsuit for a Ladder Injury?

Individuals often sustain various types of injuries as a result of mishaps with a ladder. Ladder accidents can occur in various locations, including a private residence or a work site. If you or someone you care about has sustained a ladder injury, you may be able to file a lawsuit depending on the circumstances surrounding the incident.

Can You File a Lawsuit for a Ladder Injury?

Workplace Ladder Injuries

Many workplaces use ladders regularly. Actually, any workplace can use a ladder, but some industries are much more likely to involve workers sustaining ladder injuries, especially construction jobs.

Workplaces are fairly strictly regulated, particularly by federal authorities. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has strict requirements related to ladder safety in the workplace. According to OSHA, falls from ladders lead to numerous injuries and fatalities each year. Workers have rights under the law, and understanding these can help determine if a lawsuit can be filed.

In most cases, workplace injuries, including those from ladder accidents, are covered by workers’ compensation. This insurance provides benefits to injured workers regardless of who was at fault. However, accepting workers’ comp benefits often means you cannot sue your employer for the injury.

There are exceptions where a lawsuit might be possible, such as:

  • If the injury was caused by a defective ladder, you might have a product liability claim against the manufacturer.
  • If a third party (not your employer or a co-worker) is responsible for your accident, you might sue the third party directly.

Ladder Injuries on Other Types of Property

Ladder accidents are not confined to workplaces. They can happen at homes, stores, or public buildings. In such cases, different legal principles come into play:

Property owners have a duty to keep their premises safe. If your ladder injury occurred due to unsafe conditions on someone else’s property, you might have a premises liability claim. This requires proving that the owner knew or should have known about the dangerous issue and failed to correct it or warn guests about it.

The homeowner’s insurance might cover your injuries if the accident occurred at a private residence. This can be a straightforward way to recover costs without a lawsuit, but it depends on the insurance policy terms.

If the incident occurred on business or government property, filing a claim may be more challenging. Even though businesses and government entities likely have insurance to cover injuries that happen on their premises, the reality is that the insurance carriers will likely put up a fight from having to pay out compensation. 

Defective Ladder Claims

Sometimes, the ladder itself is the problem. If a design flaw, manufacturing defect, or inadequate safety warnings led to your injury, you might have a product liability claim.

Manufacturers, distributors, and retailers have a legal obligation to ensure their products are safe when used as intended by the consumer. If a ladder failed due to design or manufacturing issues, or if there were inadequate instructions or warnings, you could file a lawsuit against the company responsible for the ladder. 

In defective product cases, preserving the ladder as it was at the time of the accident is crucial. Photos of the scene and the ladder, medical records, and witness statements can strengthen your claim. Defective ladder claims could fall under the personal injury theory of strict liability, which means the injury victim does not have to prove that the retailer, manufacturer, or distributor was negligent. They only have to show that the ladder was used as intended and that the defect caused the injury.

Do You Need Help From an Attorney?

You may need to work with an attorney in order to recover compensation after a ladder injury occurs. Personal injury claims involve extensive investigations into the incident. A Nashville personal injury lawyer can help conduct a complete investigation into your ladder injury claim, help obtain any evidence needed to determine liability, and handle all communication with other parties involved in your case.

When Do You Need to File Your Ladder Injury Claim?

Understanding when to file your letter injury claim can be challenging. The overall personal injury statute of limitations in Tennessee requires that most claims lawsuits get filed against the alleged negligent party within one year from the date the incident occurs. However, there are various exceptions to this rule, and we encourage you to speak to your attorney about the time frame is related to your particular claim.

We do want to mention that the time frames for reporting workplace injuries and making claims against government entities are different than the one-year statute of limitations. Generally, these claims must be reported much sooner in order for the claim to be successful. An attorney can help ensure that your claims get filed on time.

What Type of Compensation is Available for a Tennessee Ladder Injury Claim?

Ladder injury victims in Tennessee may be able to receive various types of compensation if their claim against another party is successful. This can include both “special” and “general” damages.

Special damages, often referred to as economic damages, will help provide compensation for a ladder injury victim’s calculable losses. By examining receipts or bills that the victim receives after the incident occurs, medical bills, lost wages, property damage expenses, and various out-of-pocket expenses can be calculated and demanded of the at-fault party.

General damages, sometimes referred to as non economic damages, help give ladder injury victims compensation for their physical, psychological, and emotional pain and suffering caused by the incident.

The total amount of compensation letter injury victims and Tennessee receive will vary depending on a multitude of factors related to their claims. This includes but is not limited to, the initial severity of the injury, how long it takes the injury victim to recover, whether or not there was any shared fault for the latter incident, and more. Insurance carrier policy limitations could affect total payouts as well. 

To gain a better understanding of how much compensation you may be able to receive for your situation, speak to your attorney today.