Falls from ladders are an occupational hazard of professional painters who, more often than not, have to use a ladder to paint walls, houses, ceilings or any other structure more than a few feet off the ground.
If a painter was injured on the job from falling from a ladder or scaffold, then medical expenses and partial lost earnings are generally paid by the workers’ compensation insurer. In New York, though, painters have the added protection of N.Y. Labor Law §240(1) also known as the “Scaffold Law.”
N.Y. Labor Law §240(1) imposes a heightened duty of care, or strict liability, on contractors and building owners to provide a safe ladder to workers who need the ladder to perform their assigned task of painting a building or structure. In other words, owners and contractors must provide ladders that are in good, operating condition and that are placed properly so that the painter is safe from the inherent risks of being on a piece of equipment above the ground. The ladder should not break, move, wobble, shake, or tip over while the painter is working on the ladder. The duty placed on owners and contractors cannot be delegated to subcontractors or others. If injured from a fall from a ladder that breaks, moves, wobbles, shakes, or tips over, workers may sue the contractor or owner in Court for substantial damages, far exceeding whatever compensation the worker could receive from workers’ compensation insurance. There are certain exceptions.
A painter falling from a ladder may suffer injuries that range from minor to catastrophic. These include:
- Broken limbs
- Traumatic head injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Facial fractures
- Back, knee and neck injuries
- Internal injuries
Many of these injuries are permanent and life changing. A victim may not be able to return to painting and may require vocational training for a different occupation, provided that the claimant is not permanently incapacitated or disabled. Multiple surgeries may be needed along with prolonged recovery and physical therapy. The the pain and suffering usually associated with traumatic injuries can be especially debilitating. There is also the added psychological impact of not being able to engage in the same types of activities the victim enjoyed before the accident.
At Oresky & Associates, PLLC., we treat each accident case with special care and focus. A painter who has fallen from a ladder may be entitled to receive compensation for damages under the “Scaffold Law.” Our office has handled thousands of injury cases, including falls from ladders suffered by construction workers, and have obtained over $300 Million in compensation for accident victims. We offer a free consultation and do not charge a legal fee unless we are successful. Call us today and find out your legal rights.