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Ladder fall claims

If you’re required to work at height using a ladder, your employer is required by law to protect you from risk of injury. So, if you’ve been injured at work falling off a ladder, you could be eligible to claim compensation.

The risk of falling from a ladder

There are certain jobs which carry a greater risk of injury than others. Clearly, working at a desk in an office can generally be considered pretty safe, give or take the risk of repetitive strain injury, especially in comparison to working on a building site, which presents a whole range of physical risks.

But it’s not just builders who are susceptible to being injured in a ladder fall accident – there are lots of different professions which require the use of ladders. And if something goes wrong when you’re using a ladder then it’s pretty certain that a fall from height is going to hurt you, causing severe injuries.

Claim compensation for ladder accident at work

Following an accident like this, you may think that it was all your fault and your injuries could have been avoided if you’d simply taken more care. If that’s the case, and it was 100% your fault, then there’s little more to do than learn your lessons and move forward.

However, rarely is that the case.

Falls from ladders typically occur because employers were negligent in their duties – they failed to provide proper training, proper equipment, or to properly risk assess the task to minimise the risk of injury.

If this has happened to you and you suffered injury as a result of a ladder fall and it wasn’t your fault, then you may well be in a position to make a claim for compensation.

DID YOU KNOW: According to the Health & Safety Executive, falls from height were the cause of more than 27% of fatal work accidents in 2018/19.

To find out whether you could be eligible to claim ladder accident compensation, or for free advice about securing maximum compensation for an injury claim, get in touch with a trained legal adviser on 0800 234 6438, or request a call back, and start the ladder fall claim process today.

Common causes of ladder accidents

Ladder accidents resulting in fall from height claims can occur for a number of reasons, but most happen because people don’t take proper precautions.

For example:

Using the wrong kind of ladder for the job

Using the wrong kind of ladder for the job can cause serious injuries. Use a ladder that is the right height, width, weight and type of rungs or feet for the job and the conditions in which you’ll be operating.

Setting up the ladder incorrectly

  • Use a ladder that is the right height for the job. If you’re trying to paint an upper wall, make sure that your ladder is tall enough.
  • Set up your ladder on a firm, flat surface. A loose surface with lots of give won’t do you any favours when it comes time to climb.
  • Make sure your ladder is square to the ground before climbing. If it isn’t, it won’t be stable.

Climbing with tools that make it hard to hold on to the ladder

Ladders are not designed to hold the weight of tools, so it is important to keep them out of harm’s way. Tools should be kept in a tool belt or bag, on your person. They should be securely tied to your body or held by a strap that fits over your shoulder, not around your neck.

Tools should never be left sitting on top of ladders or carried inside a pocket that could get snagged by something on the ladder as you climb up or down with it.

Trying to climb a ladder too high for your experience level

If you’re inexperienced, climb no higher than two metres. It’s important to make sure that you have a good grip on the ladder and that both hands are holding on to it securely. And don’t lean too far over the edge of the ladder.

Climbing a damaged or broken ladder

It is important to check your ladder before use. If you find it damaged, do not use it and report the damage to your employer or the person responsible for health and safety in your workplace.

Ladders should be regularly inspected for signs of damage such as cracks or broken rungs.

Climbing a wet or slippery ladder

Wet ladders are more slippery, so if you need to climb a wet or slippery ladder, you should try and use a ladder stabiliser – if you have one.

Common injuries sustained from falling off a ladder

Falling off a ladder can be a very traumatic experience. It’s easy to forget that falls from ladders are all too common and can lead to serious injury or even death.

In fact, there were over 200,000 incidents of people falling off ladders in the UK in 2018 alone. So what are some common injuries sustained from falling off a ladder?

Broken bones

Broken bones are one of the most common injuries sustained in a fall from a ladder. The most common areas for broken bones when falling from height include the wrist, ankle and fingers.

When a bone breaks, it is called “fracture” and can take anywhere from 1 to 6 months to heal completely depending on how severe the fracture is.

If you suspect that you have suffered a fracture as a result of your fall from the ladder, seek medical attention immediately for proper diagnosis and treatment options so that you can begin healing sooner rather than later.

Sprains and strains

Sprains and strains are another of the most common injuries sustained from falling off a ladder. They can happen to anyone, but older people are more likely to suffer a strain or sprain. This is because as we age, our muscles tend to become weaker and less flexible than they were when we were younger.

  • A sprain occurs when there is damage to your ligaments (the fibrous tissues that connect bones together).
  • A strain occurs when there is damage done to muscle fibers themselves instead of ligaments, which can lead to some severe pain and discomfort if left untreated.

Traumatic brain injury

Traumatic brain injury can be caused by falling from a height. Traumatic brain injuries can result in bleeding in your brain as well as swelling of your brain tissue.

Head injuries

A fractured skull is a serious injury that can be fatal. It’s important to treat it immediately, so seek medical attention if you suspect that you’ve suffered this type of head injury falling from a ladder.

Spinal cord injuries

A spinal cord injury can be a life-changing event. The spinal cord is the bundle of nerves that connects your brain to every part of your body below the neck. When it’s damaged, you may lose feeling or movement in parts of your body.

Damage to the spinal cord usually occurs when there is an impact on the head, such as when falling off a ladder or hitting your head while falling off a ladder.


Paralysis is a loss of feeling and movement in the body. It can be temporary or permanent, depending on the type of injury that caused it.

A spinal cord injury may cause paralysis if any part of the spinal cord is damaged by impact, bleeding or swelling. A head injury can also result in paralysis if an object strikes the base of your skull with enough force to damage your spine. A broken bone in your neck or back may injure nerves that control movement in your muscles and limbs, causing paralysis.


Amputation is the loss of a limb, and can be partial or total. When you fall from a ladder, it’s possible for your leg (or any other body part) to be caught on something, causing an amputation.


You might not think of a burn as being a common injury sustained from falling off a ladder, but a fall from a ladder typically causes abrasions to the skin as well as burns in areas that are not protected by clothing or gloves.

If you’ve been injured in a ladder accident, to find out whether you are able to make a no win no fee claim, or for free legal advice about how to proceed with compensation claim, you can get in touch with a trained legal adviser on 0800 234 6438, or request a call back, and start your claim today.

Employer’s responsibility for safety at work

Your employer has a duty of care to ensure your safety at work. Employers have to make sure that they provide a safe and secure working environment for all employees, regardless of the work they’re doing, and prevent employees from sustaining injuries.

If your employer failed to follow health and safety regulations and you were injured as a result, they could be held liable to pay you personal injury compensation.

To reduce the risk of injury while using a ladder at work, employers must make sure:

  • They adhere to working at height regulations
  • Staff are properly trained to work at height and are aware of accident risks and how to minimise them
  • Health and safety training is carried out and that appropriate signage is in place reminding employees of best practice
  • All employees have correct personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • All employees are trained to work with ladders
  • That faulty ladders are removed from service and repaired before reuse
  • That all slip, trip and fall hazards are properly identified and annotated or made safe

To successfully make a claim, you and your lawyer need to be able to prove that your employer was negligent and failed in their statutory duty of care.

What you need to know about the law and working at height regulations

The Work at Height Regulations 2005 are specifically for people who work at height. Whether that’s atop a skyscraper, or 2 metres up a ladder.

These regulations state that when an employee is sent up a ladder, the employer has a duty to assess the risks, draw up safe plans, and supervise the work which takes place.

By law, if employers are having employees work at height, the employers must:

  • Properly train staff so they know how to access things out of arm’s reach
  • Ensure employees know what ladders to use to safely work at height
  • Provide the right equipment to enable staff to safely work at height
  • To repair and maintain equipment to allow staff to safely work at height
  • To remove faulty ladders from use immediately

To find out whether you are able to make a ladder fall injury claim, or for free legal advice, you can get in touch with a trained legal adviser on 0800 234 6438, or request a call back, and start your claim today.

DID YOU KNOW: In 2019/2020 nearly 19,000 workers were injured in falls from height whilst 29 were actually killed.

Claiming compensation for ladder fall injuries

Simply falling off a ladder doesn’t mean you’re eligible to make a compensation claim. However, your employer has a legal duty of care to ensure your safety at work, and if they fail in this duty and you fall as a result, then any injuries you receive have come about as a direct result of their negligence.

If this is the case, making a claim for compensation isn’t ‘cashing in’ as it’s sometimes portrayed, but rather an attempt to restore a sense of fair play and natural justice.

A fall from a ladder may result from any of the following circumstances:

  • The wrong type of ladder being given for the job
  • The ladder used being too small, causing you to overreach
  • A ladder which receives insufficient or non-existent support
  • A ladder being put up at the wrong angle

No matter what the cause of the fall, your employer has a duty to make sure that you use the correct ladder, that it has been well maintained, and that you have been trained and advised in the correct usage, as well as being told how to check the ladder for factors such as wear and tear.

How much compensation can you claim for falling off a ladder?

Accidents that involve working from height are extremely common in the UK and it is important to know what compensation you would be entitled to if you were to be injured as a result of falling off a ladder.

Ladders are an essential tool for most tradespeople and construction workers, but they also present a significant risk of injury if they are not used correctly. In fact, accidents involving working from height in the UK account for one third of all workplace injuries.

The good news is that if you have been injured as a result of falling off a ladder, then you may be entitled to compensation. This will help you cover your medical expenses and any other losses that were caused by your accident.

However, it is important to note that each case will be awarded differently, and the maximum compensation you could be awarded for your ladder injury claim depends on:

  • The type and extent of your injuries
  • How long it takes for those injuries to heal (if at all)
  • Lost earnings, financial losses and costs incurred as a result of your personal injury
  • Pension and savings losses
  • Medical treatment and rehabilitation costs
  • If there was anyone else involved in your accident
  • Whether anyone else was hurt because of what happened (for example whether they had also been using ladders at the time)

If your injuries are severe enough, you may be required to take time off work. This can have a serious impact on your finances, especially if you are paid by the hour or work on commission or bonuses.

You will be able to claim compensation for any loss of earnings you have faced as a result of your accident. This is calculated by looking at the loss of income you have suffered as a result of your accident and then subtracting any other funds that would have been available to you (such as savings).

Because you might not be able to work while you recover, or may not be able to make an income at all following your ladder accident, compensation can help cover these expenses and pay for things like housekeeping services if you need help around the house.

In addition to lost earnings and medical expenses, you may also be able to claim compensation for pain and suffering. This could include anything from physical discomfort, such as headaches or backaches, to mental anguish caused by the accident.

For example, if you experience anxiety over the accident, or worry about how much longer it will take for your injury to heal, this impact on your quality of life can be taken into account when calculating how much compensation is fair.

Example compensation payouts for a ladder fall injury claim

The Judicial College Guidelines (JCG), published in 2022, is used to value a general damages payment. The amount of compensation you could receive is intended to recompense you for your pain and suffering caused by the accident:

Example amounts include:

  • Back injury with paralysis and severe loss of function – £91,090 to £160,980
  • Neck injuries that take 1-2 years to recover – £4,350 to £7,890
  • Rib fractures and soft tissue injuries – Up to £3,950

Can I make a ladder accident compensation claim if a loved one dies in such an accident?

If you have lost a loved one in a ladder accident, you could be eligible to make a compensation claim. You will not be able to make an accident claim if your loved one’s death was not caused by their fall from the ladder.

This means that you and your specialist solicitors must prove that it is more likely than not that their death was caused by the accident. In practice, this means proving that:

  • Their fall from the ladder would not have happened if it wasn’t for faulty equipment or unsafe working practices at the site where they fell (or someone else’s negligence)
  • There was no other cause of death which could reasonably explain your loved one’s passing away
  • Your loved one had been exposed to unsafe working practices or faulty equipment at some point before they died (even if it was just the once)

How to make a ladder accident claim

Every year, thousands of people in the UK suffer injuries after falling off a ladder. Ladders are convenient items that can help us reach high places or do jobs at work, but they can be dangerous if they aren’t used properly.

Ladder accidents are a serious workplace hazard that can have lifelong consequences. Ladder accident injuries can be devastating for both the worker and their family, but if you are injured in an accident at work, you may be able to claim injury compensation for your medical bills and other expenses.

The more details you can gather of your accident, the fuller picture you’ll be able to paint, so note the time, place and circumstances and, if possible, the names of any witnesses and details of any medical help summoned such as an ambulance.

To help ensure you make a successful claim, there are certain things you need to do:

You will need to prove that another person was at fault for causing your injuries

The first step in making a personal injury claim is proving that another person was at fault for causing your injuries. You will need to prove that the person responsible for your injuries was negligent, and that by their actions or omissions they acted in a way which caused you harm.

If you are claiming against your employer, then you must prove that they were negligent in their duty of care towards you. If they failed to properly train employees, failed to ensure equipment was safe, or provided equipment which was defective then this could be considered negligence on their part and make them liable for any resulting injury claims, such as construction accident claims.

You will need to prove that your injuries were caused by the accident

You will need to prove that your injuries were caused by the accident. This may require medical records and other evidence showing that there was a link between the accident and your injuries.

You should also provide evidence of the accident, such as witness statements or photos of where it happened:

  • Provide evidence of the accident itself – photos, witness statements or even video footage from security cameras in the area can all help prove that an incident took place.
  • Provide evidence of how you were injured – medical records showing how many times and how badly you were hurt will be useful as well as any written reports from doctors who treated you after being injured on duty.

It is important to seek medical help as soon as possible

If the accident happened more than three days ago, you may be able to get a medical report from your GP or hospital. Your doctor will be able to give you advice about what treatment you should have and whether it is safe for you to return to work. The sooner this is done, the better.

How long do I have to claim compensation?

For a personal injury claim, the time limit to claim compensation is three years. However, in some cases there is a longer time limit and often claims need to be brought forward earlier than three years.

The reason for this is that if you leave it past three years then your claim will likely be refused by the court. You must have evidence of liability (e.g. admission of liability) available to show that you were entitled to bring it forward beyond this point.

The other exceptions to this three year rule are:

  • If you are under 18 years old at the date of your accident (or if any one involved in the accident was under 18), then the three year rule does not apply until two years after their 18th birthday (or 21st birthday if they were over 16). This is known as ‘prescription’.
  • If at any point during this period (or immediately afterwards) someone involved in the accident was mentally incapacitated by reason of mental disorder then prescription will begin when they recover.
  • It may also apply where someone is unaware they have suffered an injury until later on – in these circumstances prescription would begin once knowledge is acquired.

No win no fee ladder fall compensation claims

If you have been injured as a result of falling off a ladder, it is important to seek legal advice right away as this will help ensure you receive compensation for any losses and damages caused by your accident.

To begin the ladder accident claims process, or to find out whether you are able to make a ladder fall injury claim, or for free legal advice, get in touch with a trained legal adviser on 0800 234 6438, or request a call back, and start your claim today.

Our partner personal injury solicitors work on a ‘no win no fee’ basis, which means your personal injury solicitor will only take on your case if they truly believe they have a chance of winning – that way no one’s time is wasted.

Start your personal injury claims today

If you feel you may have been injured in a fall of this kind then call a trained legal adviser free on 0800 234 6438.

If your legal adviser feels that you have a legitimate claim for compensation then they’ll put you in touch with an expert injury solicitor, who will work with you to build the strongest possible case, and will do so on a no win no fee basis.

Other Important Information

*No Win No Fee

  • Although all our cases are handled on a no win no fee basis, other costs could be payable upon solicitors request. These will be fully explained to you before you proceed. Most customers will pay 25% (including VAT) of the compensation they are awarded to their law firm, although this may vary based on individual circumstances. Your solicitor may arrange for insurance to be in place for you to make sure your claim is risk free. Termination fees based on time spent may apply, or in situations such as: lack of cooperation or deliberately misleading our solicitors, or failing to go to any medical or expert examination, or court hearing.
  • *Criminal Injury Claims

  • If you want to make a claim for a criminal injury, you are not required to use the services of a claims management company to pursue the claim. You can submit your claim for free on your own behalf, directly to the Criminal Injury Compensation Authority (England, Wales, and Scotland) or the Criminal Injury Compensation Scheme (Northern Ireland).
About the Author

Nicola Laver LLB

Nicola is a dual qualified journalist and non-practising solicitor. She is a legal journalist, editor and author with more than 20 years' experience writing about the law.

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