Roofing work can be dangerous for construction workers. The conditions can be strenuous, involving unstable roofs, slippery materials, and debris or other tripping hazards, any of which can result in serious injuries. Roofing accidents also arise from inadequate rails, lack of personal protection equipment, and failures to provide netting. As a construction worker, you have special protections under the law in connection with gravity-related incidents. If you were injured in a roofing accident, you should give the experienced Syracuse construction accident lawyers of DeFrancisco and Falgiatano Personal Injury Attorneys a call.Roofing Accidents in Syracuse
Roofers face a high risk of suffering catastrophic or fatal injuries. One of the most significant dangers they face is that of falling off the roof. Falls may occur due to bad weather, roof pitch, debris, or electrocution. For example, if you are working on a roof that is pitched around 20° to assist with water runoff, you may be working in an unstable environment for which safety requirement is required; if you were injured because inadequate safety equipment was provided, you might have a claim for damages.
In many Syracuse construction accidents, workers may only seek recovery through the workers’ compensation system. However, when certain laws apply to the situation, workers can sue either the contractor or property owner for gravity-related accidents, with certain exceptions based on the type of building under construction. In some cases, too, a third party lawsuit against a supplier, manufacturer or subcontractor may be appropriate.Scaffold Law
Under Labor Law section 240(1), the Scaffold Law, you can sue an owner or contractor for injuries you suffered as a result of falling from a height or having something fall on you from a height. For example, if your spouse was working on the roof of a Syracuse apartment building four stories high, and the roof collapsed, resulting in your spouse’s death, you may have a basis to bring a wrongful death lawsuit.
Absolute liability is imposed under section 240(1). Unlike other types of personal injury actions founded in negligence, the defendants in scaffolding law cases have limited defenses — they cannot get your damages reduced because you were slightly to blame for your own injuries. For example, if you are a roofer laying tile and slip off the roof due to a failure by the contractor to use appropriate safety procedures for the work, but you were wearing inadequate shoes, you still might have a claim for your full damages under section 240. It can be difficult for an owner or contractor to establish defenses for these gravity-related lawsuits; the defendant would need to show, for example, you were the sole proximate cause for the accident, or you were recalcitrant.Section 241(6)
Additionally, under Labor Law section 241(6), you could sue a contractor or owner if it violated certain safety regulations. Owners and contractors are supposed to follow the Industrial Code, and if they don't and an accident results, they can be held accountable for injuries that arise out of their failure. If you were injured while working on a roof on a scaffold, for example, and the scaffold platform was not made with the requisite stress grade lumbar and had no safety railing in violation of the Industrial Code, you might have a claim against the contractor or owner under section 241(6).Damages
If our Syracuse personal injury lawyers can establish liability, we may be able to recover damages on your behalf. In most cases, these are compensatory damages, damages intended to make you whole, rather than punish a wrongdoer. They can encompass both economic and noneconomic losses such as emergency care, hospital bills, lost wages, loss of earning capacity, replacement services, pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment, and loss of consortium.Consult an Experienced Lawyer About Claims Arising Out of Roofing Accidents
Roofing is an especially dangerous line of work. If you were injured in a roofing accident, you may be able to recover damages, and should consult the Syracuse construction accident lawyers of DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Attorneys. We represent accident victims in Lowville, Rochester, Auburn, Watertown, Herkimer, Oswego, Wampsville, Canandaigua, Lyons, Ithaca, Cooperstown, Oneida, Utica, Binghamton, Elmira, Buffalo, Albany, and all of Upstate New York. Complete our online form or call us at 315-479-9000 for a free consultation.