Were you or a loved one seriously injured or even killed in a roofing accident? You may have questions about what happens next:
- Do I have a good claim for Worker's Comp?
- Can I get compensation as an independent contractor?
- Do I need a lawyer?
Our work injury lawyers are here to help you plan for your recovery.
Monheit Law's experienced work injury lawyers know how to get the compensation injured workers deserve.
It's no secret that construction is an extremely dangerous industry to work in. Every year, a shocking 10% of construction workers are sidelined by serious injuries and several hundred more tragically die while on the job.
Roofers are among some of the highest risk construction workers. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), falls are the number one cause of construction fatalities, at nearly 39%.
Courageous roofers know the risks and still choose to brave them every day so that our homes and businesses stay safe with proper roofing. When an accident happens on the job and a roofer gets injured, he deserves to know that he won't have to worry about paying his medical bills or supporting himself while he's out of work.
Can Injured Roofers Get Workers' Comp?
If you're injured as a roofer and you're employed by someone else, you are entitled to file a claim for Workers' Comp. However, not all claims are accepted. It's important to be careful to supply all evidence required by Workers' Comp Board. Even then, your employer could dispute your claim.
If you're an independent contractor or self-employed, it's a little more complicated. Sometimes, these workers may opt to purchase Workers' Comp insurance for themselves. But in other cases, roofers who should be classified as employees are dishonestly labeled as independent contractors to cut costs. These employers are cutting corners by attempting to avoid paying for coverage.
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Are There Other Forms Of Compensation?
The construction industry is unique because most job sites are made up a variety of independent contractors, subcontractors, construction companies, and others. In most cases, you're not allowed to sue after a work injury, even if someone else's negligence played a role. But if your injury was caused by someone other than a co-worker or your employer, you have options.
Personal Injury Claims For Third Party Liability
When someone behaves negligently and ends up hurting someone else, they've broken an implied agreement. As members of the same community, we're expected to act in a way which doesn't endanger other people. When someone fails to meet this expectation, the injured party may be eligible to seek financial compensation for injury-related expenses in a personal injury claim.
For example, let's say you were working on a construction site as an independent contractor roofer when you fell because of inadequate safety railings. Construction management is expected to provide proper safety measures to protect all workers on-site. If someone other than your boss was responsible for providing these measures and failed to do so, you may have a viable claim.
Social Security Disability
If your injury has disabled to the point where you are unable to work in any type of job, you may qualify for Social Security Disability benefits. If you qualify for this, you may still receive Workers' Compensation. However, your payment amounts will be adjusted if you are collecting both forms of compensation, to roughly 80% of what you'd be paid if you were working.
Dangers That Roofers Face
It's extremely important to follow proper safety protocol on construction sites. Many roofer injuries could have been avoided with better safety. Common roofing injuries which result in the need for financial compensation include:
Roofers may fall from faulty ladders, planks, or scaffolding. These falls cause some of the most serious injuries, including:
- Broken bones
- Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI)
- Back and spinal injuries
Repetitive Motion Injuries
Roofers go through the same physical motions day in and day out. Over the years, this repetition can gradually cause physical injuries to develop, such as:
- Chronic back, shoulder, and neck pain
- Musculoskeletal disorders
- Carpel tunnel syndrome
- Pinched nerves
Tools And Heavy Machinery
Construction sites are littered with power tools and heavy machinery. While these help to get jobs done more quickly, they often cause serious injuries, including:
- Puncture wounds
- Broken bones
- Amputated digits or limbs
Roofers work year round, even if when it's below freezing or sweltering hot. Exposure to extreme temperatures can cause serious illnesses and even death. In cold weather, it's crucial to bundle up. During the summer, roofers should drink water frequently and use sunscreen.
Should I Talk To A Lawyer?
The other side will have lawyers who are hired to find reasons to deny claims. It's only fair that you have representation of your own. Having a lawyer greatly increases the odds that your claim will be accepted, whether it's an initial claim or an appeal. And a knowledgeable attorney will be able to identify other possible forms of compensation you may have been unaware of.
If you're struggling to get the compensation you need or you're just intimidated by the process, our aggressive work injury lawyers can help. We understand that you're probably worried about money while you're out of work. That's why we offer free consultations and only require payment after we've secured compensation for you. This way, you can focus on recovering from your injuries without financial stress.