Knowledge base

Ladder Injury Compensation

When climbing up a ladder it is important to ensure that safety is in the front of your mind. It is possible to fall from a ladder and suffer injury. Depending on the height of the ladder, what you fall on to, and how you fall, your injury may be significant. A falling from a ladder injury is something that can be debilitating. Common falling off a ladder injuries include head injuries, back injuries, broken bones, spinal injuries, and other impact-related injuries.

Injured? Get expert advice now: Smith's are Queensland's only 100% risk-free injury compensation lawyers. Insist on our 'No Win. No Fee. No Catch' ® promise. Check your rights with no risk or obligations now and talk direct to our Principal lawyer, Greg Smith. Call 1800 266 801 OR  check if you can claim

Can I claim falling off a ladder injuries compensation?

Many people fell off a ladder at work and wonder “can I claim?” You may be able to seek compensation for ladder injuries if your injury resulted from someone else’s negligence or carelessness at work. It is possible to see negligence happen at work in a variety of ways.

Ladder injury

Fell off a ladder at work - can I claim?

If injured at work it may be possible for you to seek compensation from your employer. In order to seek worker’s compensation you need to have been injured as as a result of the negligence of your employer. You employer has a duty to provide a safe system of work, equipment, and machinery; as well as adequate supervision for you to work under. Your employer must provide:

  • safe systems of work;
  • safe machinery;
  • safe equipment;
  • adequate training, instruction, and supervision; and
  • a safe workplace.

If you suffer falling off a ladder injuries due to your employer’s failure to provide one or more of the above duties, then you may be able to sue your employer for personal injury compensation. This compensation applies even if you suffer injury which aggravates a pre-existing condition.

Note: WorkCover payments exist separate to worker’s compensation under a ‘no fault’ scheme. This means that you can receive weekly payments to cover lost income even if your injury was not because of your employer’s negligence.


Grant is climbing up a ladder at work to reach a high shelf. His employer has given him a rickety ladder that they know to be defective, but they are in a rush and need to get a shipment out. Grant falls from the ladder when one of the legs shuffles and breaks his back. Grant will be able to claim compensation from his employer for this back injury.
Wrist injury caused by falling from a ladder
Mary-Anne is getting up onto the roof to clear her gutters. She slips off the ladder at the top and falls to the soft ground beneath, spraining her wrist in the fall. Mary-Anne would not be able to claim compensation for her injuries as they were due to her own negligence.

Fell off a ladder on someone else’s property - can I sue?

When you are on someone else’s property - whether it is a private property or if you are in a public area - there is a duty of care held by the occupier of that land to provide a safe environment for people entering their land. This means that if something is potentially dangerous there must be sufficient warning to others.


Harold is working on a neighbour’s property cleaning some windows for a fee. There is ladder which they have supplied to him to use but one of the rungs is broken. Harold slips off the ladder, and fell off the ladder hitting his head. He has concussion and can likely claim for personal injuries under his neighbour’s home insurance.
Beth is at a supermarket when she spots a ladder which is clearly signed for staff use only. She climbs up it to show off to a friend and slips, twisting her ankle. She is likely unable to claim for her injury as there was not any negligence on the part of the supermarket.

Fell off ladder injury - what can I claim for?

General damages

Medical treatment after ladder injury

When you have fallen off a ladder and sustained an injury you may experience a range of injuries and ongoing pain and suffering. Your injuries will be assessed by looking to the ISV Scale and allocating your ladder-related injuries to a rating between one and 100. Each injury has a monetary value.

For example, an extreme cervical spine injury which results in severe multilevel neurological dysfunction is allocated a rating of up to 75 which is assigned a monetary value of up to $178,300.

Medical costs

When falling off a ladder you may sustain a range of injuries for which you will likely need to seek medical treatment. You may also need to consult a specialist and obtain x-rays, among other treatments. Any medical costs, equipment, apparatus, treatment, travel costs, and prescriptions (as well as any other medical treatment) may be claimed as compensation. It is also possible to claim for medical costs that you may incur as a result of your injury in the future.

Hospital/surgical costs

Falling off ladder injuries can be severe and may require surgery. If you have hospital and surgical costs you can claim for these provided that they were necessary to treat your condition.

Rehabilitation costs

Recovering from a ladder injury may require ongoing rehabilitation and treatment such as massage, physiotherapy, and home modifications. If you have reasonable costs for rehabilitation these may be claimed.

Lost income and lost future earnings

Suffered an injury may mean that you have lost income. Personal injury compensation exists to provide reasonable financial compensation for lost income and loss of ability to earn in the future.

Lost superannuation

Calculator for estimating lost income

Being injured may mean you cannot work and earn, which means you’re missing out on superannuation. Compensation can be claimed for lost super.

Ongoing care and assistance

Your falling off a ladder injuries may mean you need care and assistance in the home where previously you didn’t. If you have friends/family who now perform tasks that you used to do, you can claim compensation for the care and assistance provided by friends and family.

Injured? Get expert advice now: Smith's are Queensland's only 100% risk-free injury compensation lawyers. Insist on our 'No Win. No Fee. No Catch' ® promise. Check your rights with no risk or obligations now and talk direct to our Principal lawyer, Greg Smith. Call 1800 266 801 OR  check if you can claim

How much compensation is payable for falling off ladder injuries?

Whether you fell off a ladder and hurt your back or if you fell of a ladder and hit your head, your injuries are going to potentially require compensation. When calculating compensation the following will be taken into consideration:

  • how severe your injury is: a severe falling off a ladder injury will result in greater compensation than a minor injury.
  • what your life was like prior to falling off a ladder at work: if you have suffered a great impact on your life due to your injury (for example, if you previously competed in triathlons and can now no longer compete) then your entitlement to compensation will be greater.
  • what your occupation is and your capacity will be: if you can no longer engage in the same work you used to do prior to your ladder injury then you will likely receive greater compensation.
  • how old you are: people who suffer falling off ladder injuries at a younger age will be entitled to greater compensation due to the impact that their injury will have on their life for longer.
Time limit to start a ladder compensation claim

Are there time limits on falling from a ladder injury compensation claims?

In Queensland we have time limits which apply to personal injury claims. If you were injured more than three years ago then it is unlikely that you can claim as you are barred from claiming by statute. Certain exceptions apply if you were under 18 at the time you suffered your injury.

Common falling off ladder injuries

When falling off a ladder you can expect to experience a moderate to severe injury simply due to the height from which you are falling. Common ladder injuries include:

  • Head injuries - you can fall in a variety of ways when you come off a ladder, and head injuries are all too common falling off ladder injuries.
  • Wrist and ankle injuries - your joints are not used to landing from a height, and wrist and ankle injuries are commonly experienced ailments
  • Broken bones - broken bones are seen when falling off a ladder - whether it’s a wrist, a finger or a leg.  
  • Back injuries - falling from a height can result in back injuries when falling off a ladder

Potential long-term impacts of falling off ladder injuries

Crutches for recovering from ladder injury

Injuries such as those sustained when falling off a ladder can be severe. You need to ensure that you seek adequate treatment for ladder-related injuries as they can manifest into ongoing pain and chronic issues. You may have problems sleeping due to pain and injuries, or you may experience ongoing pain and stiffness which can impact on your mood. Ladder injuries can impact on your life for years to come.  

Next steps: what to do if you have fallen off a ladder at work

Depending on what kind of ladder injury you have sustained and how you sustained it, you may be able to claim compensation from your employer. It is important to seek risk-free legal advice to find out if you are eligible to claim for compensation.

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Last update on:
July 7, 2021
Disclaimer: This information is designed for general information in relation to Queensland compensation law. It does not constitute legal advice. We strongly recommend you seek legal advice in regards to your specific situation. For expert advice call 1800 266 801 or chat via live chat to arrange free initial advice with our Principal lawyer, Greg Smith.

Next steps — get advice now

It’s important to get advice for your specific situation. Check if you can make a risk-free compensation claim and get free initial advice from our Principal lawyer, Greg Smith.

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