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Work related fall

Discussion in 'Accidents, Injuries, Negligence' started by Michael mulry, Mar 9, 2019.

  1. Michael mulry

    Michael mulry Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Jurisdiction:
    New Jersey
    I am from Massachusetts, I was working in New Jersey for a company that is out of boca raton Florida. My company didn’t supply any ladders on the job site. I was told to ask the store I was doing work for to use there ladders they said yes. So I went into the back room to grab a ladder. I saw 2 wooden ladders so I grabbed one and ask the manager if those were the only ladders they had and she said yes and be careful as she laughed. So long story short I used those ladders for 2 days but I didn’t have to go past the 2nd step to reach the cables. On the 3rd day I was in the back room (where the ceiling height is much higher then out on the floor). Just as I was was ready to leave I wanted to terminate 1 last cable (famous last words). As I went up the ladder and went to reach for the cable the ladder felt very loose next thing I know the ladder fell from underneath me and I suffered a compound fracture to my tibia and fibula ouch. I had 2 surgeries to fix my lower leg. My question is who is at fault? I know in New Jersey you cant sue your employer. So who was negligent in this case. Any advice would be helpful thank you.
     
  2. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    There is no need to sue anyone.

    You were injured in the workplace.

    You should invoke workers comp.

    Ask your employer, if you haven't already done so.

    This is the link to the State of NJ workers comp site:

    Department of Labor and Workforce Development | Workers' Compensation

    You can also search for workers comp lawyers.

    Don't worry about the cost, as the lawyer will discuss all of that with you.
     
  3. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    Actually, that your only remedy against your employer is workers comp is pretty much universal in the US.

    I hope that you have already filed a workers comp claim and are receiving benefits.

    In addition to that you might have a personal injury claim against the store that provided the ladders if you can prove that the store owners where somehow negligent in that they knew, or should have known, that the ladder was defective.

    That'll be a tough sell because you picked the ladder and may have used it improperly. Not saying you did but the store owners would have that and other defenses available.

    Best advice I can give you is consult a personal injury attorney separately from the workers comp.
     
  4. cbg

    cbg Super Moderator

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    Against the employer, that is.

    The injured employee still has a right to seek personal injury compensation from a non-employer whose negligence caused the injury, if such negligence can be proven.

    Workers comp gets reimbursed out of any settlement or award but that still leaves money for the injured worker when you factor in the pain and suffering elements of a personal injury claim.
     
  5. mightymoose

    mightymoose Well-Known Member

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    As you describe it there does not appear to be a clear case of negligence by anyone.
    Sometimes accidents happen.
     
  6. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    Is not the same as "isn't."

    Ladder liability is common when somebody provides a known faulty ladder for somebody else to use. I pointed out a possible defense for the ladder owner but even that's not a slam dunk defense.

    Won't cost the OP anything to consult a personal injury attorney and see if there is anything there.
     
  7. mightymoose

    mightymoose Well-Known Member

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    No information was given that indicates the ladder was known to be faulty. The ladder worked fine for 3 days.
    Most ladders are not intended to be used on the top couple of steps. I wonder if that was the case here while trying to reach for something high.
    The information given is not enough to support a claim of negligence, but perhaps there is more information available.
     
  8. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    Not saying that there is or isn't. Just saying that the additional remedy exists if there was negligence.
     
  9. ElleMD

    ElleMD Well-Known Member

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    Wooden ladders are notoriously problematic but if you use them regularly you should know this. It is unclear why you don't have a fiberglass ladder of your own, if that is what you do for work, even if your employer doesn't issue them. Relying on a customer to have a reliable ladder for you to use is a bad idea as you found out. That does not mean they were negligent. Your remedy is through WC. If you haven't filed a claim, you need to do so. It is possible there is a third party claim here in which case your employer/insurer is entitled to subrogate the claim (basically they get paid back first). They can pursue a third party claim even if you do not.
     
  10. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    Which brings up an important point. If the work comp carrier subrogates it will only do so for the cost of the claim. That does nothing for the injured worker who may be entitled to additional amounts that he won't get unless he pursues his own claim.

    Again, not saying he has one or not, but it would be in his own best interests to consult a personal injury attorney and have the situation reviewed.
     

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