Cranes are massive, unwieldy, and dangerous to work around. All it takes is one mechanical failure, a
defective rigging, or a mistake made by the operator for a crane accident to occur, causing devastating injury to those nearby.
It only takes a moment of distraction to alter someone’s life permanently, so crane operators need to be on their game 100% of the time. But some operators are under the impression that their job of moving materials is more like a game of Tetris, not a matter of life and death.
The attorneys at Lipsig, Shapey, Manus, and Moverman P.C. are dedicated to getting the victims injured by crane accidents the compensation they deserve.
Can I Sue After A Crane Accident?
Every accident is different, however, if the accident occurred due to the negligence of another party, it may be possible to file a lawsuit against them. In many accidents involving cranes, the negligent party may be the contractor, subcontractor, managers, building architects, or even the company that owns the crane.
What Kind Of Negligence Causes A Crane Accident?
Due to the dangers associated with working on or around cranes, the Occupational Safety & Health Administration has a set of safety standards that must be enforced by all companies that own cranes, as well as the contractors and operators that use them. When these safety standards are ignored, personal injuries happen.
Crane Safety Standards
An annual visual inspection must be performed of the crane every 12 months. If any part is noted to be substandard or defective, that part must be repaired before a certification will be given. A complete physical inspection of every part of the crane, including it’s accessories, must be performed every five years.
Each crane must be tested to determine the maximum load it can hoist, and that load, along with the minimum angle to the horizontal at which this load may be applied, must be visibly posted on the crane. All weight limitations need to be given in written notice whenever a crane is rented or purchased.
Crane operators must be certified. There are four ways in which an operator may become certified:
- earning a certification by testing with a nationally certified organization
- becoming certified via the military
- earning a qualification through an employer’s independently audited program, or
- meeting state or local qualifying requirements
It is illegal for anyone without this certification to operate a crane.
Contractors must hire a certified crane operator to work on any crane that they rent or own. The crane must never be used to lift loads beyond what the crane was approved for. Contractors are responsible for ensuring that employees are aware that the crane is in use and clearing the area below the load the crane is moving.
Common Causes Of Crane Accidents
Crane accidents often happen for the following reasons:
- Crane collapsing – if the maximum weight the crane can lift is exceeded, the counterbalances won’t be able to keep the crane upright. This causes the crane to collapse.
- Improper assembly of the crane – if the crane isn’t assembled properly, collapse may occur.
- Mechanical failure – if there is a defect in any part of the structure of the crane, the crane may collapse or drop a load unexpectedly.
- Contact with overhead power lines – electrocution is one of the more common crane accidents. Since the crane is composed mainly of metal, which is an excellent conductor of electricity, contact with an overhead power line is particularly dangerous.
- Poor training – human error is the leading cause of crane accidents.
All it takes is a moment of inattention to cause irreparable damage. Following an accident, victims may find that their best option is to seek legal action against the negligent party to obtain compensation for their losses.
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Why Should I File A Lawsuit After A Crane Accident?
In New York, all employers are required to have workers’ compensation insurance. Workers’ comp is supposed to work as a no-fault insurance, which means that regardless of who caused the accident, all injured employees should be covered. Despite this, more than 50% of all workers comp claims are denied.
Even if the claim is approved, only a fraction of the losses will be reimbursed by the insurance company.
By filing a civil lawsuit against the responsible party, victims and their loved ones may be able to receive full compensation for losses such as medical expenses, lost wages, reduced wages, physical pain and suffering, emotional trauma, loss of consortium, and funeral and burial expenses.
It is important to remember that in many cases, the injuries suffered by the victim will require medical treatment for the rest of their lives. Without proper compensation, the victims may not be able to seek appropriate care.
Injuries Associated With Crane Accidents
Whether struck by the crane itself or by the heavy load it is lifting, the sheer weight of the object can crush a victim. If they are lucky enough to survive, most are faced with life-long pain and suffering, Common injuries caused by crane accidents include:
- broken bones
- damage to the spine and spinal cord
- head / brain trauma
Victims and their loved ones should learn more about their legal options so that they can rest easy knowing their future is secure.
Contact A Crane Accident Lawyer Today
Contact the lawyers at Lipsig, Shapey, Manus, and Moverman P.C. today. Our lawyers have years of experience in construction accident law and are ready to fight on your behalf so that you can obtain the compensation you deserve.
Our firm operates on a contingency fee basis, which means that you don’t pay anything until we win your case. For a free consultation, call (888) 930-1447.