Roofing is an incredibly dangerous task. According to the CDC, roofers suffer 10 times more fatal falls than all other construction occupations combined. New York is no stranger to ongoing construction projects, and if you have suffered from a roofing accident, your life can change forever. Learn about the most common types of roofing accidents, what to do after one, and how the Buffalo, New York construction accident attorneys at The Coppola Firm can help.
Most Common New York Roofing Accidents
While construction accidents can result from several factors, the most common roofing accidents in New York result from the following.
For construction jobs, falls often occur from roofs or from falling off ladders. Every year, approximately 400 roofers are injured, and 37 construction workers die from such falls.
A roofing accident can result from falling objects. These falling objects can include unsecured construction and roofing materials, debris, ladders, bricks, and more.
Working on a roof often requires that you use a variety of tools, and these can lead to injury-causing accidents. Causes for such accidents include malfunctioning tools, inexperience with dangerous tools (saws, nail guns, drills, etc.), and unsafe work areas (e.g., tripping hazards, unstable work surfaces, or failure to meet safety standards).
Being up on a roof worksite exposes you to electrical hazards and increases your risk of electrocution. These hazards may involve overhead power lines and the potential for contact between metal ladders and power lines.
Working on top of a roof increases your risk of heat exposure, and this can lead to reduced awareness, balance, and reaction time.
To help prevent heat exposure at your construction site, consider downloading the OSHA Heat Safety Tool app offered by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
When well-designed and constructed, a roof can handle considerable weight. However, if the roof supports are not strong enough to handle the weight of roofers or roofing equipment, it can lead to a collapse with injuries and even fatalities. Also, any water damage and decay could compromise the structural integrity of the roof, causing it at some point to give way beneath your weight.
If you were injured in a roofing accident, schedule a free consultation to learn about your options.
What to Do if You Have Been in a Roofing Accident
If you are in a roofing accident, it is essential you know what to do, both for your health and the injury claims that can result in monetary recovery.
Seek medical attention immediately
If you fall off the roof, do not get up immediately. You may not feel your injuries yet, and symptoms can be delayed. Some of the most common serious injuries in New York include broken bones and spinal cord injuries. If necessary, call 911 for immediate emergency help. Roofing accidents can result in severe and fatal injuries, so you need to take them seriously at all times.
Ask any witnesses for contact information
Determine who is a witness to the accident and ask them for their contact information, including their best phone number. Job site statements and later testimony could be useful to prove the facts of your case.
Document the scene
If you are able, document the scene of the accident as soon as possible. Take pictures of the construction site, including any tools, debris, and the like. Also, take photos of your injuries.
Keep all records
Maintain a file where you will keep all the records relating to the accident and the job scene. This compilation of records can strengthen your case with insurance companies so that you receive compensation to cover medical expenses and more.
Follow doctor recommendations
Make sure you follow all doctor recommendations, including going to physical therapy sessions and taking any prescribed medications. If not, insurance companies might use your noncompliance with treatment as a reason to deny your claim.
Who is Liable in a Roofing Accident?
In New York, roofing work is often conducted on existing multi-unit dwellings, commercial structures, and new residential construction buildings. When a roofing accident occurs, liable parties can include:
- General contractor
- Roofing company
- Building or property owners
Typically, in New York State, as long as the roofing is done in connection with a commercial building, including rental apartments or homes, there is absolute liability on the part of the general contractor and the owner of the building. In many instances, however, owners and general contractors subcontract their roofing work, thus potentially making way for subcontractors (including roofing contractors) to also be found liable.
Roofing is one of the most dangerous aspects of construction work; thus, New York Labor Law section 240 applies to protect construction workers and, in particular, the injured worker. To find out more and for help determining who is liable for your roofing accident, seek a free consultation with a Buffalo personal injury attorney at The Coppola Firm.
How Our Buffalo, NY Construction Accident Lawyers Can Help
With over 100 years of collective experience, our law firm’s Buffalo construction accident lawyers can provide the following legal services:
- Advise you on the likely outcomes of your case
- Communicate with the insurance company and any other involved parties
- Assemble the information and paperwork needed to fight for your compensation
- Seek rightful compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and more
- Represent you in settlement negotiations and, if necessary, in court
The New York personal injury lawyers with The Coppola Firm can help build a strong case on your behalf. For further proof of this, please review the client testimonials on our website.
Fight For Fair Compensation After Your Roofing Accident
Suffering injuries in a roofing accident can put your life on hold for a few days, a few years, or permanently. If this happens to you or your loved one, The Coppola Firm in Buffalo, New York is here to help. If you were injured during a roofing accident and live in Buffalo, Tonawanda, North Tonawanda, Cheektowaga, Depew, Kenmore, or Niagara Falls, we can help fight for fair compensation. Find out more by contacting our office at 716-839-9700 or with the online contact form to schedule a free consultation.