Roof fall accidents happen all too often in Arizona and across the country. These accidents are common because there are many construction-related hazards on job sites and proper safety precautions are not always set in place for workers. Unfortunately, many employers in the construction industry cut corners and violate Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) safety requirements particularly with respect to fall protection. As a result, roofers both in residential and commercial construction have a higher risk of dying from three of the “fatal four” causes of construction worker deaths. Accidents such as falling off of a roof can result in serious and fatal injuries.
Learn more about roofing accidents, common roofing injuries, and how to determine who is liable for these accidents below.
Common Injuries Sustained in Roofing Accidents
Common injuries from falling off a roof include, but are not limited to:
- Broken Bones. Broken bones and fractures are common injuries that roofers sustain after fall accidents. Whether a roofer falls through a ceiling, off a roof or off scaffolding, the impact of the landing could result in broken bones and/or fractures.
- Traumatic Brain Injury. If a roofer falls from a significant height or is hit by an object, he or she can suffer from a traumatic brain injury. Individuals who have suffered from this type of injury typically experience long-term effects in their emotional, mental, and reasoning abilities.
- Spinal Cord and Back Injuries. When a roofer falls on a construction site, he or she can sustain serious back and spinal cord injuries. Sometimes a spinal cord injury can lead to partial or complete paralysis.
- Puncture Wounds. Puncture wounds are not uncommon on a construction site. Roofers may puncture themselves by falling on a sharp object, when using a nail gun or by stepping on upturned nails. The location and depth of the puncture wound will determine how serious the injury is for the roofer.
Determining Liability in a Roof Fall Accident
If you were injured in a construction accident that was not your fault, you may be eligible to file a personal injury claim for damages. In Arizona, roofers have the right to file a construction site accident claim, or personal injury claim, against negligent third parties. Filing a personal injury claim can help you recover compensation for your damages. This can include, but is not limited to, past and future:
- Medical expenses
- Loss of wages
- Pain and suffering
However, it is crucial that you understand who the liable party is before you file a claim. Each case is unique, however, the liable party may be one of the following:
- General contractor
- Employees of the general or other subcontractor
Although claims against your own employer or a co-employee of your company may be protected by workers compensation coverage, often there is more than one responsible party for a fall accident which means that a claim can still be brought against the other responsible parties. For example, a framing company may have created a roofing penetration for the installation of an air conditioner. That perforation should be covered but wasn’t, and a roofer fell through the hole. The framing company may have liability as well as the general contractor, who owes an overall duty to keep the workplace reasonably safe. Even if the roofer’s employer also had fault (for example, the employer didn’t provide a fall protection harness) and is protected by workers compensation laws from responsibility, these other parties still owe the injured worker for their share of the fault.
If you were injured in a roof fall accident as a result of someone else’s negligence, contact our law firm. An experienced attorney with our firm can help you determine if someone else is liable for your injuries. If needed, we can refer you to an experienced workers compensation lawyer as well. We can also help you file your personal injury claim to fight for compensation and hold the negligent party responsible.
Schedule a Free Consultation Today to Discuss Your Potential Personal Injury Claim
The attorneys at Miller Kory Rowe LLP help roofers, including undocumented individuals, recover compensation after a roofing accident. We have an outstanding track record when it comes to pursuing personal injury claims for victims of roofing accidents.
If you or a loved one need a legal consultation after a serious accident, please schedule an appointment. We help clients in Phoenix, Tucson, and throughout Arizona. Call (602) 737-0342 or contact us online for a free legal consultation.