Cranes are used in the construction industry to lift heavy parts and equipment to great heights, but they also can easily become involved in accidents that cause injury or death to workers and bystanders. Part of the problem is pure physics, as the cranes move enormously heavy objects around the worksite. A quick moment of imbalance can cause a disaster in a split second. If the crane operator makes an error, the results can be dramatic and devastating.
Most crane accidents happen due to operator error. Given the many ways this can happen, it is surprising there are not more accidents. The Board of Labor Statistics reported that in the year 2006, there were 72 fatal occupational accidents that involved cranes. In New York City, a WABC Eyewitness News investigation discovered that, in 2011, a crane accident occurred approximately every 10 weeks.
When a crane accident occurs, the results can be costly. Workers and bystanders are injured or killed. Loads are lost and buildings can be pierced by the crane structure. Even cranes that have passed recent safety inspections can fail, as happened in NY Long Island City in 2013. Despite a recent inspection, a crane collapse resulted in 7 injuries. This came crane company had another recent major crane collapse that killed 2 people.
Causes of Crane Accidents
Cranes, by their very nature, can easily become imbalanced or broken. The stress of a heavy load can cause an accident if any part of the load support structure fails. For example, one major accident occurred when a sling holding 13,000 lbs of metal broke, sending the parts crashing down to the street, 13 floors below. A tower crane collapse can send the tower through other buildings like a knife, slicing apart a condo or home with ease. Truck-mounted cranes are subject to tipping over like a child’s toy if there is a simple error in judgment or a balance problem.
These are the major causes of crane accidents:
- Operator error or inattention
- Poor maintenance
- Overloading or imbalanced loads
- Improperly secured loads
- Loads collapse
- Crane tips over
Crane Accident Injuries
Workers are subject to injuries from falling objects from cranes. They can be injured if they fall against a heavy object or part of the crane. Head, neck and spine injuries often are a result of collision with falling loads or the crane. Burns are another hazard when working with cranes, as is the loss of a limb. Construction crane accidents may also cause a wrongful death or permanent disability. Laborers have had the highest number of injuries. Other workers are at risk on their jobs as electricians, welders, solders, brazers and cutters. Operators had the lowest number of injuries.
Most workers are covered by worker’s compensation insurance, but with many companies working at one worksite, there could be multiple legal actions to consider. This is where consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney is needed. You may be able to collect worker’s compensation and collect from another source that was involved in the workplace as an equipment supplier or construction company.
Personal Injury Attorneys and Construction Accidents
If you or a loved one was injured or killed in a crane-related construction accident, you can gain compensation for your accident expenses and related damage claims. Being injured on the job can have long-term effects, including psychological harm. Such an accident is frightening and a severe injury can cause disability or a wrongful death. Survivors can take legal action to recover costs for their loved one’s funeral and burial expenses, and other claims for lost income, medical expenses, future inheritance, companionship and guidance. Pain and suffering, loss of a limb or a head injury can bring enormous recovery expenses to an injured person’s family.
Your personal injury attorney will help you get the compensation you deserve when you are injured because someone else was negligent and caused an accident. Our lawyers will investigate all possible causes of your accident, and track back to see which companies or equipment manufacturers may bear responsibility. Insurance companies will balk at paying high amounts for injuries; your attorney is the person who will fight hardest to get you fair compensation.
Do not feel that you are alone in this struggle to recover from a life-changing workplace accident. Contact our office today and make an appointment to discuss your case with one of our experienced crane accident and construction accident attorneys. It is the best move to make to begin your financial recovery from your workplace accident.