Visitor Question

Suing for Injuries from a Broken Ladder?

Submitted By: Jamie (Pittsburgh)

My boyfriend was doing some roof work for a friend. The bottom of the aluminum ladder he was using broke off and he fell and split his head open. He refused to let me take him to the hospital because he had no insurance and no money to pay the medical bills.

He’s been extremely angry and suffering from bad mood swings. I believe he is suffering from PCS (post-concussion syndrome) or something related to a concussion/head trauma.

Can we sue the manufacturer of the ladder? It was apparently a good ladder with no known prior defects, bends, etc. Also, would I be able to sue for emotional distress since I am getting the brunt of his anger and mood swings? Thank you.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.

Answer

Dear Jamie,

You can’t sue anyone unless you can prove injuries were sustained. This means you will have to get your boyfriend to a doctor first. If you think the worst of his injuries are his psychological problems, take him to a psychiatrist or psychologist. You may have to borrow the money.

A lawyer won’t accept a case like your boyfriend’s unless there are some injuries. We certainly don’t doubt that your boyfriend was injured. It’s just that injuries have to be documented and supported by medical or psychological evidence.

You might consider talking with a personal injury attorney. Most will not charge for an initial office consultation. It is quite probable the personal injury attorney will tell you the same thing.

It’s possible the attorney may work with several doctors who may work under LOPs (Letters of Protection). Those are like IOU’s from a lawyer to a doctor saying if she will examine his clients and hold back the billing until the lawsuit settles or is won in court, the lawyer guarantees he will pay back the doctors before he pays anyone else, including you. It’s worth a shot.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Published: September 21, 2011

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