Who’s Liable for Ladder Falls and Injuries on Job Sites in Massachusetts

Construction workers and contractors perform a variety of risky jobs, many from atop high ladders and scaffolding. Numerous parties might be held liable if you fell from a ladder at a job site.

After a fall from a ladder, the general contractor, subcontractor, or homeowner might be liable, depending on the circumstances. General and subcontractors are usually responsible for working conditions and providing safe equipment like ladders to their workers. Homeowners might also be liable if they took an active role in how the job was performed. Ladder accidents can be severe, and you might experience serious head, neck, and back injuries. We need evidence of liability against the general contractor, subcontractor, or homeowner to sue for your damages. This evidence will vary from case to case, and an attorney can help you find what you need.

If you are a construction worker who fell from a ladder, our Massachusetts construction accident lawyers can help you sue for damages. For a free evaluation of the case, call the Law Office of John J. Sheehan at (617) 925-6407.

Whom You Can Sue for Ladder Falls and Other Injuries on Massachusetts Job Sites

Ladder falls are rarely blameless accidents. Often, the person who hired the injured worker, including general and subcontractors, can be held liable for the unsafe conditions related to the ladder. If a homeowner is an active participant in the construction work, they might be liable too. Our Boston construction accident lawyers can assist you in getting a lawsuit started.

General Contractor

The general contractor is the person hired by a homeowner to oversee the construction job. This makes the general contractor largely responsible for everything that happens on a job site. If you were working for the general contractor on a job site when you fell from the ladder, you can sue them for compensation for your injuries.

In many cases, general contractors do not perform every aspect of a construction job. Instead, they hire subcontractors and employees to do specific jobs. If you were injured after falling from a ladder, you may be able to sue the general contractor who hired you. According to case law outlined in Corsetti v. StoneCo., a general contractor may be liable for injuries to subcontractors if the general contractor retained control over how the subcontractor performed their duties. Rules may be different for employees of contractors, so check with a lawyer.

This is an important element to consider, as many general contractors let subcontractors control their own work with minimal interference. If you were on the faulty ladder per the general contractor’s orders, you can sue them for damages.


After subcontractors are hired, they might hire additional workers to help them do the job. For example, a subcontractor might be hired by a general contractor to perform work on a roof, so the subcontractor hires a few extra workers to assist them. If one of these workers is injured, they can sue the subcontractor who hired them.

Often, general contractors will hire subcontractors and step aside and let them do their jobs as they see fit. Subcontractors also tend to come with their own tools and supplies. As such, a subcontractor might be liable if one of their employees falls from a ladder.

You might sue a subcontractor who did not hire you. For example, the general contractor might have hired several subcontractors to work on various aspects of the construction project. If another subcontractor was supervising your work for some reason, you can sue them even if they did not hire you. Our Danvers construction accident lawyers can help you review the accident and determine who should be held responsible for your injuries.


Generally, homeowners hire general contractors and then relinquish control over the construction project. However, if the homeowners exercise any control over how the work is done, they might be liable for injuries to workers, including ladder falls.

To hold the homeowner liable, they must actively participate with the contractors and their employees, including subcontractors and other workers. For example, if the homeowner requires workers to use tools and equipment provided by the homeowner, they might be liable if a worker is injured using the tools. If the homeowner provided the ladder you fell from, you can sue the homeowner.

Under premises liability laws, a homeowner might be liable for accidents and injuries related to unsafe conditions on their property. For example, the homeowner might be liable if the ladder toppled over because the floor under it was uneven or unstable.

Generally, the homeowner must repair or remove any known hazards from the premises or inform workers about the hazards to that they can take proper safety precautions. If these things did not happen before you fell from a ladder, our Malden construction accident attorneys can help you sue.

Evidence to Prove Liability for Ladder Falls and Injuries on Massachusetts Job Sites

When suing for damages related to a ladder fall or other construction accidents, you need evidence demonstrating who was in charge. After falling from a ladder, you can sue the person or people in charge of the job site and how you performed your duties. This could be the general contractor, subcontractor, or homeowner.

If you were hired under a contract, our Quincy construction accident attorneys need to see the contract to determine if any language gives control over your job to a supervisor or superior. For example, if your contract clearly states that the general contractor will oversee all your work, you might sue the general contractor for your injuries.

You should also have some evidence of your injuries. Medical records can help us establish the severity of your injuries and the extent of treatment costs. Even if you feel like your injuries are minor, you should get treatment immediately. The sooner you see a doctor, the more accurate and thorough your medical records will be.

Some physical evidence from the scene of the accident might also be important. If the ladder you fell from was faulty, we need the ladder as evidence. The jury must see for themselves how the ladder was defective and caused your accident. If the ladder toppled over because of some unsafe conditions on the premises, photos of the job site might shed light on how the accident happened.

Call Our Massachusetts Construction Accident Lawyers

Call our Salem construction accident attorneys to arrange a free case assessment. Call the Law Office of John J. Sheehan at (617) 925-6407 to get started.