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Can You Get Compensation After Falling off a Ladder on a Construction Site?

Statistics provided by the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) show that falls from ladders and stairways during construction lead to approximately 25,000 injuries and 36 deaths per year nationwide. About half of the injuries are serious enough to warrant days off from work, clearly reminding us what we likely already know: ladders can be dangerous.

What are my rights?

If you are injured by falling off a ladder on a construction site, you may be entitled to compensation. New York law and OSHA regulations place many safety requirements on employers whose employees operate at heights, such as on ladders or scaffolding. Although workers compensation laws provide injured workers with the right to claim compensation to cover medical bills and lost wages, the benefits available under workers compensation often do not provide full compensation for your losses. However, depending on the circumstances, your right to compensation from a ladder injury may extend beyond the compensation available under workers compensation coverage:

  • Defective design or manufacture. If your injury stems from a fault in the design or manufacturing of the ladder, you may be able to sue the manufacturer of the ladder under products liability law.
  • Inadequate safety. If the property owner or contractor did not abide by safety requirements while the ladder was in use, and those failures led to your injury, New York law allows you to seek compensation directly from your employer or the property owner, in addition to also allowing for a workers compensation claim. This may help you recover for your non-economic losses, such as pain and suffering and lost wages not covered under workers compensation. Safety failures could include providing the wrong type of ladder for the purpose, or providing a ladder that had not been maintained correctly.
  • Workers compensation. An action for compensation does not prevent you from simultaneously making a claim for workers compensation, which covers all of your medical costs associated with your injury, and benefits to cover part of your lost wages.

A lawyer can help

If you have been injured on a construction site, it is important to speak to an experienced Long Island construction site accident attorney. Your remedies may extend well beyond workers compensation, and thorough investigation into the scene of the accident can help uncover causes of action to get you the compensation you deserve.

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