Construction is one of the most dangerous industries a person can work in. In fact, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health reports nearly 1,000 deaths suffered by construction workers on the job. One of the most prevalent causes of dangerous or deadly conditions for construction workers is falls, many of them involving those in a roofing accident.
A roofing accident can leave its victims with serious, sometimes catastrophic injuries, resulting in significant financial losses, medical expenses, and lost wages. Here is what you need to know if you or a loved one have been affected by a roofing accident injury.
Roofing accidents often involve employees working at the time, but they may also impact others, such as subcontractors or even passersby, who are at the wrong place at the wrong time. The following are some common injuries that happen during roofing accidents:
A roofing accident can cause serious, sometimes catastrophic, injuries. The following are some examples:
OSHA, which stands for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, is a federal agency that protects workers and others in the workplace. Among many other industries, OSHA regulates the safety of roofing contractors, requiring employers to “plan, provide, and train” so that the safety of their workers is not jeopardized. The following are some examples of OSHA’s regulations regarding roofing contractors:
OSHA provides several tips and best practices for keeping roofing jobs safe. For example, it notes that using safety nets or body harnesses can be effective in preventing deaths and catastrophic injuries from falls, as can installing control line systems and erecting guardrail systems to protect workers near the edge of a roof.
In addition to OSHA’s regulations, Arizona has its own Division of Occupational Safety and Health, which also publishes regulations for roofing workplaces in Arizona. Moreover, even common law negligence and premises liability issues can apply to roofing accident injury cases.
Various parties may be held liable for a roofing accident, and multiple ways might be available for you to recoup compensation for your injuries. It will be essential to consider the likely causes of your roofing accident. For example, did it occur because your employer failed to train you on safety processes or failed to provide the required protective equipment? Or did it happen because the equipment and materials used were wrong for the type of job that was underway?
If you have been injured while working, you can typically depend on workers’ compensation, even if you were totally or partially at fault. The victim may be able to recover medical benefits, lost wage benefits, and scheduled and unscheduled benefits for specific permanent work-related injuries. You will need to be sure you file your claim in a timely manner, as soon as possible, after your Arizona roofing accident.
An Arizona employee is entitled to workers’ compensation benefits if they sustain a “personal injury by accident arising out of and in the course of employment,” according to A.R.S. 23-904. There are only two exceptions to this rule, as employers are not required to carry worker’s compensation insurance for independent contractors or casual (i.e., occasional or sporadic) employees who are “not in the usual business of the employer.”
The law of negligence is also relevant to the issue of roofing injuries. Although this avenue typically will not be available as a claim against an employer in the case of a workplace injury, it is possible that your injury was partially the fault of another party, such as an equipment manufacturer or subcontractor.
It may be possible that your roofing injuries were not inflicted while you were working, such as in the case of a bystander. In those situations, a negligence claim may be available for the victim to recover compensation for the damages. You will need to prove that the party at fault owed you a duty of reasonable care and breached that duty, directly causing your injuries and damages.
A roofing accident can result in serious, sometimes catastrophic medical issues and changes to your life. While compensation may be available to help you with some of the financial losses that stem from roofing accidents, these cases at times can be complex, lengthy, and difficult to handle — especially when you’re up against large insurance companies who tend to have significant legal and financial resources on their side.
At Torgenson Law, our experienced and knowledgeable Arizona roofing accident lawyers understand the considerable impact of a severe injury on a person and their family, and we want to help you get back on your feet. We have many years of experience negotiating with insurance companies and will work tirelessly toward a fair and reasonable settlement offer on your behalf. So give us a call today at 602-726-0747 or get in touch online for a free case evaluation.