Working on a ladder might seem like a straightforward task, but ladder accidents are one of the most common causes of workplace injuries. A fall from a ladder can have severe physical and psychological consequences and accounts for an average of 14 deaths per year in the UK.
Falls from a height are the leading cause of fatal and severe injuries at work, and ladder accidents account for around 40% of them. Employers must provide adequate safety training and have appropriate measures in place to avoid such accidents.
If you or a loved one suffered an injury due to the negligence of another party, you might be eligible to make a ladder accident claim. A free consultation with a legal adviser will let you know whether you have a valid claim that you could make using a no win no fee service.
The most common causes of ladder accidents include lack of planning, faulty ladders, inadequate training and personal protective equipment (PPE) not being provided. The most frequent injuries seen after a fall from a ladder are concussions, lacerations, fractures, brain damage and paralysis.
Your employer might be liable for your fall if they did not follow the health and safety measures stated by the Work at Height Regulations 2005. Thus, they would have to pay you compensation for the pain, suffering and financial losses you incurred because of the accident.
Am I entitled to make a ladder accident claim?
If you had a fall from a ladder at work, you might be eligible to make a ladder injury claim if:
- Another party was entirely or partially responsible for your accident
- They owed you a legal duty of care
- You suffered an injury or injuries as a result
- Your accident took place within the last three years
A free consultation with a legal adviser can tell you exactly where you stand. If your case is valid, your solicitor will offer you all the advice and support you need to proceed with your ladder accident claim. They will also help you collect evidence to prove what caused your injuries.
Some things you could do after a fall from a ladder to support your compensation claim include:
- Seek medical attention – your medical records will serve as essential evidence to prove the type and extent of your injuries, treatments received and any long-term effects.
- Take photographs or a video of the accident scene, including the ladder and other equipment used.
- Take photographs of your injuries and keep a diary about your recovery process and how the work accident affected your life.
- If any CCTV cameras were covering the area, try to get hold of the accident footage.
- Get the contact details of co-workers or bystanders who might later give a statement about the events.
- Make sure the accident details are recorded in the company’s accident log book.
- Get copies of working practices, training schedules and inspection reports.
- If your injuries were severe, you should also report the accident to the Health and Safety Executive if your employer has not already done so.
- Keep track of all the expenses and financial losses you incurred due to the ladder accident.
Based on your injuries and any other available evidence, your solicitor will also work out how much money you should be entitled to. Then, they will contact the other side (usually your employer’s insurance company) and inform them of your ladder accident claim. If they admit liability, you can begin to negotiate a settlement.
If your employer denies liability for your ladder accident, your solicitor will issue court proceedings. The negotiations will continue until the trial date, with more than 95% of all claims being settled out of court.
To start your ladder injury claim, speak to a trained legal adviser by calling 0800 678 1410 for a free consultation without any obligation to proceed.
What are the most common causes of ladder accidents?
Ladder accidents account for almost half of all falls from a height in the workplace, despite being preventable. If not used correctly, both leaning ladders and stepladders can cause accidents.
Your employer must take all reasonable measures to keep you from getting hurt while doing your job. Otherwise, they might be liable to pay you compensation in a ladder injury claim.
There are several common causes of falls from a ladder, which include:
- The ladder is too short for the job – this causes the worker to stretch or overreach, which can unbalance the ladder resulting in a fall.
- Lack of adequate training for the job – employers must provide instructions on how to use a ladder correctly. For example, you should always maintain at least three points of contact with the ladder.
- Lack of personal protective equipment (PPE) – under The Personal Protective Equipment at Work (Amendment) Regulations 2022, employers must provide free PPE to all workers, including the self-employed. This consists of fall arrest equipment, boots, gloves and hard hats or bump caps.
- Uneven or unstable surfaces – failing to secure the ladder on the ground may cause you to struggle with balance and the ladder to slip.
- Balancing the ladder at an incorrect angle without proper support – usually, the balancing should be at 75 degrees.
- Using a ladder that is worn, broken or poorly maintained – stiles should always be in good condition, locking bars and rungs should be straight, and it should have anti-slip feet.
- Access ladders that are shorter or longer than the surface you are trying to reach.
- Using a ladder instead of scaffolding or a lifting device – these should be available if they are a safer alternative for the job.
- Foreign substances such as oil spillages or dirt on the ladder, which can impact the grip.
- Your employer failed to conduct a risk assessment or instructs you to disregard the recommendations of a risk assessment.
- Using a ladder in bad weather – poor weather conditions such as rain, snow or heavy winds may increase the risk of injury when working at a height.
- If you were forced to work with inadequate equipment, in unsafe conditions or without training and had a ladder accident, you might be able to claim compensation.
To find out if you have a valid ladder accident claim, call 0800 678 1410 for a free consultation with a legal adviser. Or, if you prefer, you can enter your details into our online claim form to receive a call back.
Common injuries from falling from a ladder
Using a ladder is an essential part of many jobs, and they are a commonplace item in most workplaces. Although the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and other legislation sets out all the regulations employers must follow to avoid accidents, falls from a ladder are still common occurrences.
Most ladder injuries are due to insufficient training, poorly maintained or unsafe ladders and inadequate protective equipment. Your employer has a duty of care to keep you safe at work, and a failure to do so could make them liable for damages.
When ladder accidents happen, they can have life-threatening consequences, especially if falling from a considerable height. Common injuries from falls range from mild to very severe and include:
- Cuts and bruises – these injuries are not usually dangerous, but when associated with severe injuries, a bruise can lead to life-threatening hematomas. The impact of the fall can also cause severe lacerations that could affect the muscles, tendons and nerves and cause permanent damage.
- Sprains and strains – a fall from a ladder can cause minor to severe muscle, ligament and tendon injuries. These are common falling injuries and may cause pain, swelling, weakness and limited movement. Mild sprains and strains may heal within a week, but severe injuries may take considerably longer and even need surgery.
- Dislocations – trauma from a fall could cause a bone to be forced from its normal position in the joint and usually involves large joints like the hip, shoulder, knee or elbow. A dislocation injury can be very painful and cause swelling, deformity and mobility issues.
- Broken bones – the most common fractures after a fall involve the wrist, hip or ankle but could happen to any other bone. There are many types of bone fractures, such as close, open or complicated, some of which may cause severe complications and need surgery. Usually, it takes at least six to eight weeks to recover from a broken bone, but the recovery time can be much longer in some circumstances.
- Back and spine injuries – a fall from a ladder will usually involve some type of injury to the back, and these may range from bruising and abrasions to herniated disks and spinal fractures. A severe accident may also affect the spinal cord, with devastating effects such as paralysis or loss of bladder and bowel control.
- Head and brain injuries – head injuries after a ladder accident can be as mild as a bump, a moderate concussion, fractured skull bone or severe damage to the brain. Traumatic brain injuries may have severe consequences such as loss of motor skills, speech, vision and hearing or personality changes. A fall from a great height can even be fatal.
- Internal bleeding – a fall from a ladder could damage almost any organ or blood vessel and cause internal bleeding. The most common sources of internal bleeding after a fall are the lungs and abdominal organs such as the liver or spleen. Complications may include shock, organ damage or failure and even death due to blood loss.
- Psychological trauma – unfortunately, ladder accidents can often cause severe emotional trauma, which may lead to lasting psychological damage. Victims may develop anxiety, depression, sleep deprivation and PTSD. As with any other injuries, it is essential to seek professional help if you develop signs of a mental health condition after an accident.
Many of the injuries sustained in a fall from a ladder may result in lengthy recovery periods and substantial financial losses. If your accident was due to the negligent actions of your employer, you might be eligible to make a ladder injury claim. The compensation award aims to protect you financially and offers access to the best medical treatments available.
Is my employer liable for my ladder accident?
In every workplace, employers must comply with the rules dictated by the relevant legislation to ensure the health and safety of employees. A failure to do so could mean your employer is liable for your accident and must pay you compensation if you make a successful ladder accident claim.
When working with ladders, the Work at Height Regulations 2005 sets out duties employers must follow to make sure working conditions are as safe as possible. The guidelines state that:
- Any work at height must be adequately planned and organised
- Workers should be competent in their role or supervised by a competent person
- Employers must carry out risk assessments and instruct workers accordingly
- The equipment used should be appropriate for the job and in good condition
- When necessary, employers must provide free PPE such as fall arrest equipment and anti-slip footwear
- Any fragile surfaces must be noted and highlighted to employees
- Ladders should be well maintained and regularly inspected
- Weather conditions should be considered when working outside
- Make sure ladders are the right size and workers do not need to overreach
Your solicitor will ask you three central questions to determine whether your employer may be liable for your fall from a ladder:
- Did your employer carry out a risk assessment and adhere to the safety recommendations?
- Was the ladder or any other equipment you received safe and adequate?
- Did you receive enough training and instructions for the job?
If you can answer no to any of these questions and have evidence to support it, your employer will likely have to pay you compensation in a ladder accident claim.
Even if your employer was responsible for your injuries, you might feel uncertain about taking legal action and how this could affect them and your job. However, it is important to understand that most employers must take out compulsory insurance to cover any personal injuries to employees, so they will not be left out of pocket.
Also, they cannot sack you or give you a hard time if you make a ladder injury claim against them. You are entitled to pursue compensation for your damages and are protected against unfair and constructive dismissal under employment law.
For a free consultation with a legal adviser, call 0800 678 1410. They can let you know if you may be eligible to make a claim and can answer any questions you may have.
How much compensation could I claim for ladder fall injuries?
How much compensation you might receive after a fall from a ladder depends on several factors, such as the type and extent of your injuries, how they affected your life and the financial losses you incurred as a result.
Your solicitor will evaluate how your ladder accident affected different aspects of your work and daily life and calculate a suitable compensation settlement. In every personal injury claim, you can recover two types of damages:
Special damages awarded for financial losses and expenses, such as:
- Medical expenses like medication, diagnostic tests, interventions and hospital stays
- Lost wages incurred during recovery
- Loss of earning capacity, if you cannot return to work
- Modifications to your home and vehicle to accommodate a disability
- Mobility aids
- Travel costs to and from medical visits
- Costs of care and assistance with day-to-day life
General damages awarded for subjective, non-pecuniary losses, which may include:
- Physical pain and suffering
- Psychological trauma and mental anguish
- Loss of prospects and enjoyment of life
- Loss of consortium or companionship
- Reduced quality of life
- Reduced life expectancy
- Loss of amenities, such as inability to pursue a hobby or social event
- Scarring and disfigurement
Special damages are calculated by summing up all your financial losses and expenses. It is not that straightforward to assess an economic value to general damages, but the Judicial College publishes guidelines that courts and solicitors refer to when calculating compensation awards.
According to their guidelines, you could receive:
- £9,110 – £30,090 for significant facial scarring caused by a laceration injury
- £6,680 – £19,390 for severe laceration scars on the body
- £2,090 – £10,670 for a mild sprain or strain injury to the back
- Up to £11,730 for an ankle sprain with full recovery within a year
- Up to £6,680 for a minor strain injury to the neck with recovery within 3-24 months
- £3,370 – £10,750 for strain injuries to the hip and pelvis with complete recovery within two years
- £5,630 – £16,380 for a fractured forearm
- Up to £8,740 for moderate wrist fractures with recovery between 1-2 years
- £11,730 – £42,710 for ankle fractures leading to minor disability and increased risk of osteoarthritis
- £22,340 – £37,070 for moderately severe knee dislocations resulting in ongoing discomfort or pain
- £22,130 to £30,910 for moderate back injuries that need surgery and cause mild disability
- £85,4700 to £151,070 for severe spinal cord injuries causing disability and paralysis
- £12,210 to £37,760 for a fractured skull and a related concussion
- £1,880 to £10,890 for a minor brain injury with recovery within a few weeks
- £264,650 to £379,100 for very severe brain damage leaving the victim in need of full-time care
- £3,950 – £8,180 for mild PTSD with full recovery within two years
To find out more about the potential value of your ladder accident compensation claim, call 0800 678 1410 for a free consultation with a legal adviser. Or, if you prefer, enter your details into our online claim form to receive a call back.
How long do I have to make a ladder accident claim?
If you suffered an injury due to a fall from a ladder, the time limit to begin a ladder accident claim is usually three years. The time limit begins to countdown either:
- On the date of the accident
- On the date of knowledge, which refers to the point when you realised you suffered an injury that may have been due to the negligence of your employer
The last date on which you can start legal proceedings is known as the claim limitation date. From this date on, your case becomes statute-barred, and you will no longer have the right to take legal action. In exceptional circumstances, the court may overrule the claim limitation date based on the length and reason for your delay, but this rarely happens.
For this reason, you should contact a personal injury solicitor as soon as possible after an accident. As it can take a long time to gather evidence and prepare all the paperwork, most solicitors will not accept a case with less than six months to the limitation date, even if it has merit.
There are some exceptions to the three-year limitation date, including:
- Under 18s – you could claim on behalf of a child who had a ladder accident while on work experience or a part-time job. No time limit applies until they turn 18, after which they have three years to make a claim themselves.
- Mental capacity – if a loved one lacks the mental capacity to take legal action, including if they suffered a traumatic injury as a result of their accident, you can make a ladder accident claim on their behalf. The three-year countdown only begins if the victim regains intellectual capacity and can conduct their own legal proceedings.
- Fatal claims – if a loved one suffered a deadly injury after a fall from a ladder, you will have three years from the date of death to make a fatal accident claim.
- Accidents abroad – you might also be able to claim compensation for a fall accident while working abroad. The time limit to start a ladder injury claim might be subject to the foreign country’s rules and may be much shorter than in the UK, so you should seek legal advice as soon as possible.
To start your ladder accident claim, speak to a trained legal adviser by calling 0800 678 1410 for a free consultation. If you would prefer to have a legal adviser call you, please enter your details into our simple online claim form.
Can ladder accident claims be made using no win no fee?
Most personal injury claims are funded with a no win no fee agreement. This is the preferred way to pursue compensation because there are no financial risks involved in taking legal action.
When you contact a legal adviser, they will ask you questions about your ladder accident to better understand your unique situation. If they establish that another party is liable for your injuries and you have a valid ladder accident claim, they will offer you a no win no fee service.
Some of the benefits of making a no win no fee claim include:
- You can claim compensation regardless of your financial situation and without the risk of losing any money.
- You do not have to pay any upfront fees to your solicitor.
- You do not have to pay them anything if your ladder injury claim is unsuccessful.
- Having an expert solicitor on your side significantly increases your chances of success, as they understand the legal system and have the training and ability to oppose the other party.
- You get free advice and support at every step of the claim.
- It saves you a lot of time and energy, as your solicitor will take care of collecting evidence and all the legal documents.
- You get a free consultation with an independent medical professional to assess the full extent of your injury. Their medical report will help calculate a fair compensation for your injuries and serve as an essential piece of evidence in your claim.
- As part of your no win no fee agreement, your solicitor will take out an After the Event (ATE) insurance policy on your behalf. ATE insurance is a legal expenses insurance that covers the defendant’s legal fees and disbursements such as medical reports and court fees if you lose your claim.
- Your solicitor will negotiate a settlement on your behalf, trying to secure the maxim compensation you could get.
In a no win no fee ladder accident claim, you only pay anything if you win the case. The fees you may need to pay from your compensation award are:
- Some basic legal fees that cannot be recovered from the defendant
- The cost of the ATE insurance policy
- A success fee payable to your solicitor
The Ministry of Justice imposes a maximum success fee cap of 25% of your compensation settlement, and you will be able to discuss it with your solicitor before starting legal proceedings. To offset the impact of the success fee deduction, the award for general damages is increased by 10% in no win no fee claims.
If you feel you may have a valid claim for compensation, call 0800 678 1410 or request a call back to receive a free consultation with a legal adviser. They can let you know if you are eligible for a no win no fee service and answer any questions you may have.