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I fell off a ladder while painting someone's house and broke three bones in my left arm. Is that person liable?

Brooklyn, NY |

I have to have my arm operated on at great expense. Even if the operation is successful, I will have reduced mobility in the arm for the remainder of my life due to the proximity of the injury to the elbow area. I may also have permanent nerve damage. At the time of the accident two days ago, I had no health insurance. It is my understanding in spite of that, that since the accident occurred on his property that his home owner's insurance should not only cover all of my medical expenses but I may also seek a settlement to compensate for the permanent damage to my arm. In discussing this issue with said owner he indicated that the house was part of a trust and that he may not have home owner's insurance. I believe this may be a fallacy. Your thoughts?

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Attorney answers 6


There are two areas. First if there is a home owners policy then it should have a medical pay provision to cover some of your medical bills. The big issuevis whether or not you have a viable claim for personal injury. If the home owner ease directing or controlling your work or if the house was not being used as a primary residence you may have a claim under the labor law for his failure to provide you with adequate safety devices. This is a complex inquiry and very fact specific.


You have what potentially can be called a "labor law" case. In NY there are very strict rules governing the work place of those involved in construction, painting or demolition. The details that attorneys look for in a situation involving a private home include, who owned the ladder, did the owner direct or control your work, was the home being rented or being prepared to be sold. You should speak to an attorney whose firm focuses in personal injury litigation. I offer more information on this topic on our website. the link is below.

Regarding the trust, I would be surprised if there was not insurance on the property. Especially if there is an outstanding mortgage.

Our office can be reached during regular business hours at 1 866 Flanzig ( 516 741 8222) or at This does not create and attorney client relationship. As with all legal matters, you should contact an attorney in your jurisdiction who is familiar with the area of law in which you need assistance. You should make contact and seek advise as soon as possible as some claims have time limits and restrictions. Complete and accurate legal guidance cannot be guaranteed without a complete understanding of all aspects of your issue or potential claim.


It may or not be a labor law case. Who gave your the ladder? Why did you fall off? These cases are usually fact specific. I am a former federal and State prosecutor and now handle personal injury cases. My office number is 212-385-8015 and my email is Free consultations by phone or in the office.

I am a former federal and State prosecutor and now handle criminal defense and personal injury/civil rights cases. Feel free to check out my web site and contact me at (212) 385-8015 or via email at The above answer is for informational purposes only and not meant as legal advice.


I would like to compliment you on your very well-written question. I have little to add to my learned colleagues' answers above, other than you are correct in that should you have a case, you may be able to claim damages for any permanent loss of use, and permanent pain, that you may experience as a result of this injury. Also, although anything is possible, you are also correct that it is unlikely that the home as no insurance as this is usually a condition precedent to financing such as a mortgage for the home.

I wish you the best of luck in this situation and suggest you work with an attorney that you feel comfortable with, who will provide your case with his or her personal attention, and who will litigate aggressively on your behalf. I have a solo practice and should you decide to work with my office, I will meet you and work with you personally on your case.

I would be happy to speak with you about this matter. My contact information may be found by clicking on my profile above.

Law Offices of Christopher C. Thaens, PC have endeavored to provide general information about the law designed to help users. But legal information is not the same as legal advice -- the application of law to an individual's specific circumstances. We recommend you consult a lawyer personally to discuss your particular situation. No attorney-client relationship or duties exists as a result of our response to your public inquiry via the Internet.


I am sorry to hear about your situation.

You should contact an attorney to discuss your questions as additional information would be helpful. Time is of the essence as there are time limits and notice requirements if he has insurance. As for his liability, that depends on many things. I'd need to know about the ladder, how you fell, what exactly you and he were doing, etc.

Our firm has many years of experience in this field.

I wish you the best of luck.

Please remember that I do not normally monitor these questions after I have posted a reply.

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Hayley Greenberg
Greenberg & Merola, LLP
Attorneys at Law
521 5th Ave. Ste. 1700
New York, NY 10175
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It is clear from the facts presented that you should follow up with an attorney of your choosing. As each of my fellow responders has suggested, labor law cases such as this are highly fact specific, and a good attorney will help present your case in the most favorable light. Don't concern yourself with the comment that the house may be in a trust; the ownership and relevant insurance will be ascertained in due course. Your primary concern should be to follow the advice and treatment plan of your medical team, and to consult with an attorney. As you can see for the responses to your inquiry, there are a number of good attorneys for you to consider. My best advice is to work with someone that you feel comfortable with, and that offers the services you will require. Please feel free to contact me at anytime to discuss in further detail, and good luck!

I wish you the best of luck. If you found this helpful I would appreciate your clicking the "thumbs up" below. If you want to learn more about my law firm access our website: You can also learn more on my Avvo profile Legal Disclaimer: Mr. Tini is licensed to practice law in the State of New York. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and time-lines that, if known, could significantly change the reply and make it unsuitable. Mr. Tini strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in their state in order to insure proper advice is received.

Edward Anthony Tini

Edward Anthony Tini


I can be reached directly at 516-502-8923 or via email at Good Luck!