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Roof Collapse Accident In New York
Roof Collapse Accident in New York
Roof and ceiling collapses can happen suddenly without warning, giving workers little time to protect themselves. Therefore, roof collapse accidents in New York rarely end well for workers. Head and brain injuries, amputations, and fatalities can all occur when a roof suddenly gives way and tumbles on construction workers below.
If you or a loved one suffered the devastating effects of a roof collapse, Morgan & Morgan has your back. Our dedicated injury lawyers have the experience and resources to hold negligent contractors, property owners, and manufacturers accountable and fight for maximum compensation for injured workers. Contact us now to discover your options in a free case review.
Recent Examples of Roof Collapses in New York
Despite various laws intended to ensure worker safety in New York, roof and ceiling collapses continue.
- In July 2021, two workers suffered severe injuries in a Brooklyn ceiling collapse that happened during demolition and trapped the workers under debris for over an hour.
- A partial roof collapse at a Brooklyn building site, triggered by cinder blocks placed on the roof, injured six construction workers in 2017.
- In 2006, the roof of a five-story apartment building in Haarlem collapsed, killing one worker and injuring two.
In many construction accidents, buildings and work sites have a history of construction violations and complaints, and developers failed to provide a safe work environment for workers.
If you or a loved one suffered harm in a roof collapse accident in New York, you could have a legal case and receive compensation. Morgan & Morgan is here to help. Our seasoned injury attorneys can assess your case and help you receive compensation, whether with a workers’ compensation claim or lawsuit.
Causes of Roof Collapses
Structural collapses can happen for many reasons, such as poor weather and building code violations. Factors that contribute to roof collapses in New York can include:
- Added weight from snow and ice accumulations
- Deterioration of building elements due to water intrusion
- Improper structural modifications
- Weakening of roof components during installation
- Using defective building materials
- Roof design errors
- High winds
- Improper repairs
- Failure to maintain
- Fire damage
- Building code violations
- Demolition errors and accidents
Construction workers face the dangers of roof collapses when working on structures that are unfinished, due to be demolished, or being remodeled. Due to the weight of the materials coming down in a roof collapse, accidents can have devastating consequences for workers who could suffer catastrophic or fatal injuries.
Who is Responsible for a Roof Collapse?
When a roof or ceiling collapses, someone has made a critical mistake. In some cases, a roof collapse can result from building errors that occurred months or even years before the roof gave way. Responsible parties for a roof collapse can include:
- The developer
- A contractor
- The property owner
- A manufacturer of substandard building materials and products
- The property designer
Since roof collapse accidents can be tricky to understand, determining who is ultimately liable can be challenging and usually requires comprehensive investigation by technical experts. Morgan & Morgan has the resources to get to the bottom of a complex roof collapse claim. Our injury attorneys can walk you through your options and file a lawsuit on your behalf.
Injuries in New York Roof Collapse Accidents
Ceiling and roof collapses typically involve heavy materials or machinery crashing down on those below. Workers injured in such accidents could suffer the following injuries and others:
- Head and brain injuries
- Severe spinal injuries and paralysis
- Bone fractures and crushing injuries
- Loss of limbs
- Cuts and lacerations
- Inhalation of dangerous chemicals or building materials
If there are signs of a roofing issue, employers and contractors must take action immediately, such as repairing the damage or evacuating workers. If an employer or another party acted negligently, resulting in the roof collapse and your injury, you could qualify for workers’ compensation benefits or a personal injury claim. Contact an attorney as soon as possible to identify your next best steps.
You Could Be Entitled to Compensation After a Roof Collapse Accident
If you or a loved one experienced a roof collapse and suffered injuries, you could have several options for getting the benefits and compensation needed, including:
New York State’s Workers’ Compensation Program
Almost all employers in New York, except sole proprietorships and those without paid employees, must obtain workers’ comp coverage. As a trade-off for benefits, injured workers typically cannot file a lawsuit against their employer to recover compensation. According to the City of New York (NYC), the New York State workers' compensation system is a no-fault insurance program, meaning employees may receive workers' compensation benefits for job-related injuries regardless of who is at fault. Benefits in New York include:
Workers’ comp should pay for all expenses necessary to treat your roof collapse injury, which include but are not limited to:
- Mileage payments for travel to medical appointments
- Specialist appointments
- Diagnostic tests
- Medical devices such as a wheelchair or crutches
- Ongoing care costs
Income Replacement Payments
Injured workers in New York are entitled to some of their lost wages, provided their injury keeps them from working for more than seven days or they have to work reduced hours due to the injury. You could receive weekly cash payments for a temporary or permanent disability.
Injured workers could also qualify for a lump sum for a disability or loss of function, such as a lost limb, a lost sense (hearing, eyesight, etc.), or permanent facial disfigurement.
The family members and dependents of workers who died due to workplace injuries could be entitled to death benefits under the New York workers’ compensation program. The surviving spouse, minor children, and other dependents could receive the following:
- Weekly cash payments of up to two-thirds of the deceased worker’s weekly wage
- A one-off lump sum for burial and funeral costs
If there are no spouses or dependents, the surviving parents or estate of the decedent could qualify for a payment of $50,000.
Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit
Workers injured in a serious accident, such as a roof collapse, could face astronomical medical bills and financial chaos due to lost earnings. Moreover, if someone negligently or recklessly caused the accident, workers may want to get justice and hold those responsible accountable. A personal injury lawsuit can allow injured workers and families to pursue compensation for their suffering and financial losses resulting from a ceiling or roof collapse.
While lawsuits against employers are only possible in exceptional circumstances, you could have a claim against a negligent third party, such as a general contractor, property owner, or manufacturer of defective equipment or building materials. Since such claims can be complicated, contact an attorney who can determine the liable parties and move forward with a lawsuit on your behalf.
The Uninsured Employer’s Fund
If your employer did not have workers’ compensation insurance coverage, you could still receive medical and income replacement benefits from the Uninsured Employers Fund (UEF). While the UEF pays for a worker’s benefits, the uninsured employer must reimburse the fund for the medical and income replacement payments.
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What Should I Do After Getting Injured in a Roof Collapse Accident in New York?
After a roof collapse injury, take the following steps to preserve your legal rights and health:
Seek Medical Help
If you did not receive emergency medical assistance at the construction site, see a doctor as soon as possible afterward, as you could have an undetected injury. Moreover, a medical report will be critical if you intend to file a workers’ compensation claim or lawsuit.
Report Your Accident and File a Workers’ Comp Claim
If you are significantly hurt at work, report your accident and injury to your employer immediately, and ask to start the process of filing a workers’ compensation claim. Since there are time limits for filing claims, acting promptly after your accident can be vital.
Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer
You may not need legal representation if you only suffer a minor injury and receive the necessary benefits. However, if you suffered significant or life-changing injuries, getting legal advice can be critical to determine your options for recovering compensation. Workers’ comp only pays for some of your lost wages, potentially leaving you out of pocket. Moreover, you could be entitled to compensation for pain and suffering, loss of life enjoyment, and other damages. If someone else caused you injuries, you should not have to pay for their mistake.
Morgan & Morgan is here to help whether you need to appeal a denied workers’ comp claim or want to file a personal injury lawsuit.
My Loved One Died in a Roof Collapse Accident; Could I Sue Their Employer?
When a worker dies due to a roof collapse accident in New York, their loved ones may have legal recourse and could seek compensation, depending on the facts of the accident. Specifically, if another party caused the accident carelessly or recklessly, such as a construction site owner or a sub-contractor, they could be held accountable for the fatal accident. Damages the family of a worker could recover can include:
- Medical expenses before death
- Funeral and burial costs
- Loss of income from the deceased
- Lost inheritance
- Loss of companionship and parental guidance
- Loss of services such as childcare and yard work
Morgan & Morgan understands that compensation can never make up for the loss of your loved one. However, getting a fair settlement could help you rebuild your life and avert financial hardship. Our seasoned and compassionate wrongful death lawyers can discuss your specific case and determine whether you could move forward with a lawsuit.
How Can a Self-Employed Construction Worker Receive Compensation?
If you own a business or are an independent contractor, such as a plumber or electrician, you generally do not qualify for workers’ compensation. However, if you get hurt at a construction site, you could have a legal claim against the general contractor, site owner, or sub-contractor, depending on who is responsible for site safety.
Since your claim may be more complicated than that of a regularly employed worker, consider getting legal advice after suffering an injury in a roof collapse.
How Can Morgan & Morgan Help Injured Workers?
Whether you have trouble receiving the benefits you deserve with a workers’ compensation claim or want to find out whether you could file a lawsuit against the negligent party, Morgan & Morgan could help. Our motivated attorneys have fought for the rights of injured individuals for over 30 years, recovering more than $15 billion in damages. We can:
- Analyze your roof collapse accident with professional investigators
- Assist you with receiving adequate medical treatment
- Help you appeal a denied workers’ compensation claim
- Determine if you could file a personal injury lawsuit
- Identify all liable parties in your claim
- Negotiate a fair settlement and benefits with the workers’ comp insurer
- File a lawsuit and fight for the maximum possible compensation for you
Getting America’s largest personal injury firm in your corner can be advantageous. We can level the playing field and do not shy away from taking on unscrupulous employers and developers who put profit before workers’ health and safety.
Morgan & Morgan Fights Hard for Injured Workers and Families
If you were injured or lost a loved one in a roof collapse accident in New York, don’t struggle alone. Morgan & Morgan has your back and can fight for the compensation you need to pay your accident-related bills and get your life back on track.
Our determined personal injury lawyers fight hard to get justice and compensation for injured workers. Our fee is free unless and until we recover for you. However, the time to pursue compensation may be limited. Contact us today for a free, no-obligation case review to discover your next best steps.