Every month, a reader asks one of our sponsor legal experts about a work-related issue. These building trades law professionals respond in an Organized Labor exclusive. This month’s expert is Craig M. Peters of The Veen Firm P.C.. Ask Craig a question at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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My husband was injured at work when he was climbing a fixed ladder that accessed the roof of the building he was working on. Workers compensation doesn't cover all of the issues we are dealing with because of his injury. Help?

An employer's responsibility for workplace injuries are limited to workers compensation. However, when another party (often referred to as a third party) is also responsible for the injury, the injured party is not limited to just workers compensation.

A third party can be held responsible through the civil courts for the damage they cause to an injured party. A lawyer will need to do an investigation to determine who has been responsible for the ladder and what the specific problem with the ladder was. Potential responsible parties might be the owner of the building, the tenant of the building, the maintenance company for the property, the property management company for the property, or the manufacturer or installer of the ladder.

What was the specific problem with the ladder that caused the injury? A lawyer will need to understand your husband injuries and how the ladder caused those injuries. Was it a broken handrail? Was it a ladder that was installed with too steep an incline and without safety rails? The ladder will need to be inspected to determine whether the ladder is in disrepair or improperly installed or built.

It is important to contact a qualified lawyer as soon as possible so that a proper investigation can be done before the scene has changed. If another party is responsible for your family's losses, they can, and should, be held to share in those costs so that you receive full and fair compensation. Wishing you and your family good health and civil justice!

-Craig M. Peters, Trial Attorney at The Veen Firm, P.C.
Ask Craig a question at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

“Interaction via “Ask the Expert” does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Any advice given is neither legal advice nor does it serve as a replacement for hiring an attorney. In addition, any case results mentioned or discussed are not guarantees of similar results.”
Craig M. Peters

This Month's Expert; Craig M. Peters

Craig M. Peters is a trial attorney at The Veen Firm, P.C. in San Francisco.  He litigates complex cases involving wrongful death as well as those with catastrophic life- or career-changing injuries.  Mr. Peters handles a wide range of types of negligence cases, including products liability and those involving construction sites.  Mr. Peters is a member of ABOTA, the American College of Trial Lawyers, the International Academy of Trial Lawyers, and is a four-time finalist for SFTLA Trial Lawyer of the Year and finalist for CAOC Consumer Attorney of the Year.

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