Whether at home or in the workplace, ladders are an important tool that allows for work to be performed at height. Yet while ladders may be a common sight in a workplace, ladders are also a common cause of injury and death. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 500,000 people in the U.S. are treated for ladder-related injuries, and about 300 people die from ladder-related injuries annually. While those who work in construction, maintenance, and repair are at the greatest risk of experiencing a ladder-related injury, anyone could get harmed, especially when a defective ladder is involved. Here’s a look at defective ladder injuries in Massachusetts and your rights if you’ve been harmed—
Types of Ladder Defects
A ladder may be distributed to a consumer with a design, manufacturing, or labeling defect. Some common types of ladder defects include:
- Improper balance—the ladder does not stand flatly and evenly, increasing the risk of a tip-over accident.
- Weight restrictions that are unmarked.
- Improper labels regarding slippery surfaces, use, etc.
- Cracks or damages.
- Poor weight-bearing capacity, resulting in the ladder breaking while in use.
Types of Injuries Caused By Ladder Accidents
When a defective ladder leads to an accident, the person involved could suffer serious—or even fatal—injuries. Common types of injuries that result from ladder-involved accidents include:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Broken bones
- Soft tissue injuries
- Back and neck injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
Who’s Liable for a Ladder Injury?
Liability for a ladder injury depends on many factors, including where the ladder injury occurred, what the person injured was doing at the time of the injury, whether or not the victim was acting in the capacity of an employee, and the negligence of any other parties, such as the ladder manufacturer. If the injury was caused because of a ladder defect, then the manufacturer of the ladder could be held liable if the victim can prove that a defect existed and that the defect was the proximate cause of harm. If the accident happened at work, the victim may be able to file a workers’ compensation claim for damages. And if the accident occurred on the property of another and was the result of an unsafe property condition, the owner of the property could be held liable if the victim can prove that the owner knew or should have known of the condition, yet failed to remedy it in a reasonable amount of time. If you’ve been hurt, it’s important that you seek medical care, report the accident to your supervisor (if injured at work), and call a lawyer immediately.
Get Help with Your Defective Ladder Injury Claim
Being involved in a ladder accident could result in catastrophic injuries that change the course of your life. If you were using the ladder properly and according to guidelines at the time the accident occurred, you may be able to bring forth a claim for damages against the at-fault party. At the office of Tetzel Law, our personal injury attorneys can investigate your claim to determine fault and liability and represent you throughout the negotiations process. To learn more about your rights and how our personal injury attorneys can help, call us directly today. Reach us at (617) 742-1700.