Ladders are regularly used by people in the construction industry, as well as people repairing or maintaining things throughout their homes. While most people exercise care when climbing up and down ladders, even the most cautious person may not be able to avoid an injury if he or she is using a ladder that is defective. Defective ladders cause a significant number of injuries in South Florida each year, many of which are catastrophic. If you suffered harm due to a defective ladder, it is wise to consult an attorney to discuss the damages that you may be able to recover. At The Grife Law Firm, our Boca Raton ladder injury lawyers take pride in helping people harmed by defective products seek compensation for their injuries.Harm Caused by Defective Ladders
Many accidents involving ladders are caused by rails or frames that are made of inadequate materials that buckle or break under a normal amount of weight. In other cases, ladders may be improperly assembled, which ultimately causes the ladder to collapse or split apart. Thus, many people are injured in falls arising out of the use of a defective ladder. Ladders may also be harmful if they lack adequate warnings regarding proper use. For example, if a ladder does not have a clear and conspicuous warning regarding weight limits or the manner in which the ladder may be used, a person may unwittingly use the ladder in an unsafe manner and suffer harm as a result.Proving Liability for Ladder Injuries
In Florida, there are multiple causes of action that a victim and a Boca Raton ladder injury attorney can assert in a lawsuit seeking damages for harm caused by a defective ladder. In most cases, a plaintiff will allege a strict liability claim against the defendant, and they may allege a negligence claim as well. Proving liability involves demonstrating that the ladder that caused the plaintiff’s harm was defective. In other words, the plaintiff must provide evidence sufficient to show that the ladder was designed in a manner that made it inherently unsafe, that an error occurred during the manufacturing of the ladder that rendered it unsafe, or that the manufacturer’s failure to warn of the known risks associated with using the ladder in a foreseeable manner made it unsafe.
The plaintiff’s task in proving liability differs depending on whether the plaintiff alleges a strict liability claim or a negligence claim. In a strict liability claim, the plaintiff must show that the product was defective when it left the defendant’s control and that the defect caused his or her injury, but the plaintiff does not need to show that the defendant deviated from a standard of care. In a negligence claim, by contrast, the plaintiff must prove that the defendant had a duty to make a safe product, but the defendant breached the duty owed, and the breach caused the product to be defective. A plaintiff and a ladder injury attorney in Boca Raton must also show that the breach led to the plaintiff’s harm.
Generally, a plaintiff in a product liability case arising out of harm caused by a defective ladder will rely on evidence regarding the standards and methods of designing or manufacturing ladders that existed at the time that the ladder was produced, documentation of any safety testing that the defendant conducted or should have conducted, and reports of any defects in the ladder or injuries caused by other ladders manufactured by the defendant prior to the plaintiff’s accident. Notably, however, pursuant to Florida Statutes Section 90.407, a plaintiff cannot introduce evidence of subsequent remedial measures to demonstrate that a product is defective. In other words, if a manufacturer recalls a ladder or changes the design of a ladder after an injury, the plaintiff cannot argue that the manufacturer’s actions are proof that the ladder was originally defective.
Get Advice from a Knowledgeable Product Liability Lawyer
While ladders should always be used in a careful manner, even careful people are often unable to avoid the harm caused by defective ladders. If you were injured by a defective ladder, you should speak to an attorney regarding your accident. At The Grife Law Firm, our ladder injury lawyers represent people in Boca Raton and elsewhere in South Florida, including in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and West Palm Beach. You can contact us through our online form or at 855-998-0770 to schedule a free and confidential case evaluation.