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Roofing Accident Lawyers Serving All New York

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Roofing is a dangerous job, even among the already-risky field of construction work. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 951 construction workers suffered fatal injuries in 2021. A total of 124 of these construction deaths happened in New York. Every number in these statistics has a name, a story, and a family left behind.

Need to Know:

  • Falls account for the most fatal construction accidents.
  • It is important to report all roofing accidents, regardless of the seriousness of your injuries
  • An experienced lawyer can help victims navigate the complicated aspects of workers’ compensation and insurance claims

Non-fatal injuries often leave roofers with a lifetime of pain and physical limitations, unable to work, and saddled with astronomical medical bills. In 2020 alone, 1,960 roofers suffered non-fatal injuries on the job. These include severe injuries like broken bones and injuries that seem minor but can have a serious impact on a roofer’s ability to work, such as sprains and muscle tears. If you or someone you love has been injured in a roofing accident, you need an experienced attorney by your side to help navigate the tumultuous aftermath of the medical troubles and legal proceedings which can result from a severe injury. Our law firm has recovered numerous multi-million-dollar results in work injury cases, including roofing accidents. 

Since 2012, Block O’Toole & Murphy recovered more published verdicts and settlements exceeding $1,000,000 than any other law firm in New York. Receive a free consultation by calling 212-736-5300 or contact us online.

In This Article:

Common Causes of Roofing Accidents

By far the most significant danger to roofers and other construction workers is the risk of fall accidents. Of the roofers injured in 2021, 480 received non-fatal injuries from falling. Of all the construction workers killed in 2020, a staggering 35% died because of a falling accident, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

There are a few factors identified by OSHA that can cause roofers to suffer catastrophic injuries resulting from fall accidents:

  • Roof pitch: Roofs for residential use are generally sloped at least 20 degrees to help with water run-off. Working at these types of angles makes footing naturally less stable and makes it more likely for workers to slip and fall.
  • Inclement weather: Dealing with rain, snow, and high winds is a reality of construction work. But this becomes especially dangerous for roofers, as even a little bit of moisture can greatly affect traction, leading to potentially disastrous results.
  • Debris and tripping hazards: There are likely to be a lot of tools and building materials on a roof where work is being performed. These can serve as tripping hazards if they are not regularly cleaned.
  • Electrocution: There are often electrical wires and other cables that run through the roof of a building, putting workers at risk of contact with live wires and being electrocuted.

Performing construction and repair work at high altitudes presents multiple dangers to workers, and these are only a few. Other hazards roofing workers face include tool or machinery malfunction, heat exposure, and roof collapses.

How Employers Should Prevent Roofing Accidents

Perhaps the most tragic part of roofing accidents is that most of them can be prevented when the proper safety measures are taken. Employers are responsible for providing safe equipment and fully training roofers on their teams. Some ways to prevent roofing accidents include:

  • Identifying and communicating hazards on the job site
  • Identifying and communicating safety responsibilities in construction contracts
  • Properly labeling all roof hole covers
  • Daily hazard assessments to identify and mitigate safety hazards
  • Providing all safety equipment required for the job, especially fall protection equipment to all workers who are performing their job at an elevated height.
  • Assuring safety plans and programs are implemented and followed at a construction site from the project’s start to finish

Active employee-based health and safety committees could also assist in keeping the workplace safe. Check to see if your committee is active.

What Should I Do After a Roofing Accident?

If you are injured on the job, the first thing you should do is report the injury to your employer. Relaying the facts of your accident as soon as possible is important because that is when your memory of the event will be clearest. Making your employer aware of the incident will also allow a report to be drawn up, which may be useful later if you choose to pursue legal action.

Immediately reporting the incident to your employer is also a crucial step toward filing a workers’ compensation claim. If you are injured at work, you are entitled to benefits provided by your employer’s workers’ compensation policy.

Generally, these benefits will provide health insurance coverage for accident-related medical expenses. Most medical providers will accept workers’ compensation insurance, though you should confirm this before pursuing treatment from that provider. Workers’ compensation benefits will also provide an injured worker with a portion of their lost wages while unable to work. See our guide, “How Does Workers’ Compensation Work?” for more information.

Injured workers also need to seek medical attention, even if you do not think you have been severely injured. Sometimes, a mixture of shock and adrenaline following an accident can mask the true extent of your injuries. At Block O’Toole & Murphy, we have settled cases where injured parties did not realize how bad their injuries were in the immediate aftermath of their accident. Later, these same workers realized that their injuries were preventing them from working and enjoying their everyday lives. You never know how an injury may develop over time. Do not take chances with your health.

When you sustain injuries because of a work accident, you will also want to contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. Doing this quickly will make it easier to perform crucial steps such as speaking with witnesses and gathering pictures and evidence of the work site. Do not wait to put yourself on the path to getting justice and receiving compensation for your damages.

New York Laws That Protect Roofers

The law in New York State is very protective of workers injured when working from heights. Roofers, by nature of their profession, are required to work at heights usually at least 10-15 feet off the ground.

Employers are responsible for providing their workers with certain protections when they are working at heights, such as properly erected and stable scaffolds with railings, ladders in good working condition, and properly tied-off harnesses.

The New York State Labor Law, specifically sections 200, 240, and 241 require owners and general contractors of construction sites to provide a safe work environment for workers — especially those working at heights.

The employer’s responsibility includes providing proper fall protection to construction workers at their job site who are working at heights and may be at risk of significant falls. The New York State Labor Law maintains that the owner and general contractor are not permitted to delegate this duty to others and are responsible for the overall safety of the job site.

Contact a Roofing Accident Attorney Today  

The aftermath of a catastrophic personal injury can be stressful and confusing. You may not be able to work, are likely in extreme pain, and may have costly medical bills to deal with. But you do not have to do it alone. The construction accident attorneys at Block O’Toole & Murphy have brought countless cases to a successful conclusion, providing peace of mind, monetary compensation, and legal justice to workers injured due to somebody else’s negligence.

If you or someone you love has been seriously injured in a roof-related accident, call us at 212-736-5300 or contact us online to discuss your case with one of our attorneys. There is no charge unless we win your case.

Our results for construction workers include:

  • $10,875,000 jury verdict for a union worker who suffered internal injuries after he fell from a rooftop in Brooklyn and was impaled on unguarded steel rebar
  • $4,000,000 settlement for a worker who fell from a roof that was wet with rain while he was cutting wood in Nassau County, fracturing part of his spine
  • $3,500,000 settlement after a man was struck in the head with a piece of limestone cement which had fallen from a nearby roof at the Upper East Side
  • $2,700,000 settlement for a Local 8 union roofer who fell from a roof while performing asbestos removal and re-roofing work in Nassau County
  • $1,350,000 settlement after a construction worker slipped and fell off a roof while trying to install shingles in Rockland County, requiring multiple surgeries
  • $1,100,000 settlement for an ironworker who had to have fingers amputated after a roof accident in the Bronx

Block O’Toole & Murphy proudly represents all non-union and union workers in New York, including members of the United Union of Roofers, Waterproofers, and Allied Workers Local Unions 154, 195, 203, 22, 241, 74, and 8. Serving Nassau County, Suffolk County, Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, and all of New York State.

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Contact Block O’Toole & Murphy for a free legal consultation today. Simply fill out the short contact form below or call us locally at 212-736-5300.