Who’s Responsible if a Contractor Falls Off a Roof in Massachusetts?

Home maintenance is a normal part of homeownership. Roof repairs can be complicated and are best left to professionals. If a contractor falls from a roof, they should speak to a lawyer immediately.

General contractors and subcontractors are often responsible for the project and safety issues and are often liable for worker injuries. Homeowners might also be liable, depending on their control over the project and the conditions of their property. You can take steps to figure out who is liable after you fall from a roof while working. First, make sure the general contractor or subcontractors are qualified, that the property is safe, and that the contractors are aware of any hazards. Homeowners might also be liable if they exercised control over the construction project. If a contractor falls from a roof and is injured, they should speak to an attorney immediately.

If you are a contractor or work for contractors hired to do some roof work on a home, and you fall and become injured, speak to an attorney immediately. Call our Massachusetts construction accident lawyers for a free case review. Call the Law Office of John J. Sheehan at (617) 925-6407.

Who Can be Held Responsible When a Contractor Off a Roof in Massachusetts

Contractors are often hired to repair a roof or as part of a large-scale renovation that includes a roofing job, and workers should be prepared for accidents and injuries. General contractors, subcontractors, or even homeowners might be held responsible for injuries under the right circumstances.

General Contractors

General contractors are usually hired by the property owner and are in charge of the overall construction project. Because of this high level of responsibility, general contractors are often liable if one of their workers falls from the roof during a construction job.

If you worked for a general contractor when you fell from a roof, the general contractor might be held responsible. Often, general contractors oversee all aspects of the project, including the roof. A general contractor could be liable for falling accidents involving workers or subcontractors they have hired. Even if the general contractor is not working on the roof, a subcontractor they hired might be, and the injured subcontractor can sue the general contractor.

Another possibility is that the general contractor is the only worker. This is more common in smaller roofing jobs. In that case, the person who hired the general contractor or a construction company might be liable. Our Boston construction accident lawyers can help you determine who is liable and why.


General contractors sometimes hire subcontractors to handle specific jobs. For example, the general contractor might hire electricians, plumbers, or roofers to handle those specific parts of a construction job. Often, subcontractors hire their own team of workers, and if one of those workers falls from a roof, the subcontractor might be liable.

Instead of the general contractor, the subcontractor hired to take care of the roof might have control over the roofing work. In that case, the subcontractor might be responsible if a worker falls from the roof. However, the situation might become tricky if the subcontractor is in charge, but the general contractor also retains some level of control. Either way, talk to our construction accident lawyers for help.


The homeowner can be held responsible if a contractor, subcontractor, or other workers falls off their roof. One way the homeowners might be liable is if they had any control over how the work was done. For example, homeowners might be liable if they set rules regarding how the contractors were to work or made them use tools provided by the homeowners instead of theirs. Call our Cambridge construction accident lawyers immediately if you believe the homeowner is responsible for your accident.

Under a theory of premises liability, homeowners might be responsible for a contractor falling from their roofs if a hazard creates a risk of falling. This might seem a bit backward since contractors are often hired because of a hazard or unsafe condition on the roof. However, the hazard might not be outwardly visible or have nothing to do with what the roofers are working on. As such, the contractors must be made aware of any unsafe conditions on the roof that could cause accidents. Even if the homeowner claims they did not know about the hazards, they must make reasonable inspections for such hazards.

How Homeowners Might be Liable for Roofing Accidents in Massachusetts

If you are injured after falling from a roof during a construction or renovation project, there might be several ways in which the homeowners can be held liable. Our Wakefield construction accident lawyers can help you hold negligent homeowners responsible and get you the compensation you rightly deserve.

Hiring Contractors

Depending on the nature of the job, numerous contractors might be hired to work on a home. A good way to determine who should be held liable for an accident is by looking at who hired you directly. Did the homeowner hire you to do roofing work, or did they hire a general contractor who then hired you for your roofing services? If you were hired directly by the homeowners, our construction accident lawyers can help you sue them for damages.

One of the most important things you should do is get everything in writing. When a homeowner hires you, you must make sure all the terms of the construction project are written down and signed by all parties involved. This should include how the job is to be done, where tools and equipment come from, and the condition of the roof before the job begins. Having everything in writing makes it harder for the homeowner to dispute the terms of your contract later.

Preparing the Property

You should work with the homeowner to determine what areas of the property you will need to access and remove or repair any known hazards. Before work starts, the homeowner should make reasonable inspections for hazards they might be unaware of. If the homeowners know of any unsafe conditions on the roof, make sure you are warned about working in those conditions.

If you are hired to repair hazards, make sure you are informed of the extent of the damage before construction begins. If the homeowners assure you there are no other hazards on the roof to worry about, get it in writing. Our Somerville construction accident lawyers can assist you if you fall from a roof due to unsafe conditions.

The Homeowner’s Role in the Construction Project

Once you have been hired and reviewed the terms of the project, keep an eye on the homeowner’s behavior. If they assert any control over how your work is done, they might be on the hook for an accident.

If the homeowner provides any tools, and those tools are defective, the homeowner can be held liable for an accident. For example, if a homeowner asks to use one of their ladders to get to the roof, you can sue the homeowner if the ladder malfunctions or collapses. Again, if the homeowners provide you with any tools or gear, ensure everything is included in your hiring agreement.

Call Our Massachusetts Construction Accident Attorneys for Help

If you fell off a roof and were injured, the homeowner and other parties could be held liable, depending on the circumstances. Talk to our Wakefield construction accident lawyers about getting compensation. For a free case review, call the Law Office of John J. Sheehan at (617) 925-6407.