Our Sacramento workers’ compensation and construction site attorneys are regularly asked if an employee can sue an employer for falling from a ladder at work. Some individuals may need clarification when inquiring about filing a lawsuit against their employer for their injury after falling from a ladder. We would like to clarify those feelings of uncertainty here and provide additional information.
A ladder injury can happen from a variety of causes, but mainly these reasons are:
- Someone involved with handling the ladder acted negligently to the safety of those who sustained the injury.
- The ladder was defective or missing a significant safety feature
- The ladder was damaged, or the ladder was in an unsafe condition
Can You Sue Your Employer if You’re Hurt After Falling Off a Ladder at Work?
The short answer is kind-of. Under the Workers’ Compensation Exclusivity Doctrine, an employee cannot generally file a personal injury lawsuit against their employer absent one of the exceptions to the general rule. However, an individual can file a workers’ compensation claim for injuries or death against their employer for their injury after falling off a ladder while at work. They may also be able to file a petition for extra penalties against their employer if the actions of their employer were Serious & Willful.
However, there are other parties involved that you may consider filing a personal injury lawsuit against.
- The ladder manufacturer
- The construction company
- The store that sold you the ladder
- The property owner where the incident occurred
- Anyone that caused the accident
While you do not have to prove negligence in a workers’ compensation claim, in a case outside of workers’ compensation, a plaintiff must generally prove that the following elements were present to have a negligence case in a negligence lawsuit.
- The defendant is responsible for owing the plaintiff a duty of care.
- The defendant breached that duty.
- The breach caused the plaintiff’s injuries.
- As a result of that breach of duty of care, the plaintiff suffered damages
Defective ladders pose a significant safety threat to those who rely on safety features to help protect them from injury. If a ladder defect causes someone to suffer damages, the victim may file a personal injury suit for the defective product. Product liability claims are usually filed under the following circumstances.
- Manufacturing defects
- Design defects
- Warning defects
Premise Liability Law
For construction workers, the conditions of the property or land on which the work is being performed can significantly affect the level of safety of those involved. Suppose a property owner needs to ensure that a ladder or equipment on their property is safe and operable. In that case, they could be sued for damages if anyone is injured using that ladder or equipment. Under premise liability laws, property owners are responsible for keeping their property safe for visitors or warning visitors of potential hazards. Allowing visitors to use unsafe equipment on their property may violate the property owner’s duty of care.
What Damages Can I Recover in a Personal Injury Claim After Suffering an Injury From a Ladder Fall?
In addition to the standard benefits under a workers’ compensation claim, in a personal injury suit, the damages you can recover from an injury sustained while on the job are:
- Lost earnings
- Lost earning capacity,
- Medical bills,
- Future medical expenses,
- Permanent impairment,
- Pain and suffering,
Additionally, some ladder accidents may be fatal. If an individual dies from a ladder accident, there may also be a wrongful death suit filed by the surviving family members of the deceased.
At Sacramento Workers’ Compensation Attorneys P.C., our construction site accident attorneys and workers’ compensation attorneys are frequently asked if an injured employee can sue their employer after suffering an injury while on the job. Including ladder accidents and other damage that workers can suffer while operating within the scope of their work. Our workers’ compensation attorneys have a track record of successfully handling workers’ compensation and construction accident claims. If you’ve suffered an injury while on the job and have doubts about your legal remedies for your situation, you should speak with our team of experts to get the advice you need. To take advantage of your FREE no-obligation consultation, call us at (916) 288-9193 or visit our website at sacramentoworkerscompensationattorney.com to chat directly with one of our attorneys.