Filing an Injury Claim After a Crane Accident: What You Need to Know
In just a matter of seconds, a construction accident involving a crane can turn catastrophic. With any heavy machinery, many people can be injured and even killed. While cranes are highly dangerous, they are nonetheless a vital piece of equipment for construction sites and projects.
However, they also pose a dangerous risk to all workers on site. The danger of a crane-involved accident is not only toward the worker operating the crane but also to others around or near the crane.
If you or someone you know has been injured because of an accident involving a construction crane, there are several important factors to consider. Here are the most essential elements to keep in mind after a crane accident on a construction site.
Common Causes of Crane Accidents: Who is Liable?
Many construction companies will take precaution when there is a crane on site. Even while proactive safety measures are taken, there are incidents that could nonetheless lead to a crane accident. The following is a limited list of some of the most dangerous scenarios that could cause a crane-involved catastrophe.
- Rushed Projects
- Due to time limitations, many construction projects will be sped through, which will often leave workers with the pressure of handling machinery without many precautions. It is important that workers have enough time and are not rushed through dangerous projects, especially those that involve heavy machinery like cranes. Construction workers must be given acceptable working conditions and deadlines.
- High Winds
- A construction site contractor is liable for ensuring that the weather is proper for the machinery to be used. The contractor could be held responsible for acting negligently for severe weather conditions that could impair the machinery. This includes forcing employees to work in dangerous weather conditions without taking precautions.
- Power Lines
- When workers utilize a crane for a project, they will usually trust that the power lines surrounding the crane have been cut off. It is generally a contractor’s responsibility to contact the appropriate electric company that will make sure that the power in the surrounding lines does not turn on while there is an immediate contact or near contact with a crane.
- Mechanical Failure
- It is essential that a crane be inspected often, especially considering the danger they can cause to many workers. A lax in the inspection or maintenance of it could allow for mechanical malfunctions. It is important to note that these malfunctions could happen while the crane is being used as well as when it is not.
- Defective Crane Installations
- A crane should always be installed properly and securely. Those installing the crane should have the proper experience and familiarity with the location in which the crane will be set up. A poor installation could be disastrous.
- A Failure in Securing the Loads
- When a worker suffers injuries from a crane-involved accident, this accident does not always happen in the form of a direct impact from the crane. Cranes are generally utilized to lift heavy cargo to high places. If the load or cargo is improperly secured, this can lead to a very heavy object falling or hitting unsuspecting victims. It is important that the crane’s cargo is always secured.
- An Excess of Cargo
- Similarly, cranes have a safe limit as to how much they can lift or move. It is important that the crane is not overloaded with an abundance of material. This abundance cannot only topple over people, but the crane itself can come apart, hurting countless individuals surrounding the equipment.
- Design Defects
- While most cranes are designed properly, there are others that have been defectively designed for the task at hand. A crane design defect could involve weak materials used or a design flaw that allows for malfunctions. In scenarios where there has been a design defect, the manufacturing company of the crane in question could be held liable for the injuries and/or damages caused.
- Operator Carelessness
- Those who have been employed to legally operate a crane owe a duty of responsibility to those around the machine. An operator requires proper certifications and extensive training. Generally, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration will oversee these licenses.
In the Event of A Crane Injury
If you have suffered injuries due to a crane-involved incident, it is important that you seek medical attention immediately. Sudden injuries will often fail to display immediate symptoms. By seeking medical care, you also begin to document your injuries. This could be beneficial if you chose to file for a claim for the injuries you sustained.
Keep all your medical receipts, and make sure you file an injury claim with your employer as soon as possible after the injury.
Also, keep track of any symptoms you have, and how severe they are day-to-day. Also, note what days you have missed work due to injury. The more documentation you have, the better!
It is important to note that injuries resulting from a crane-related construction can be costly. Many of these injuries could result in permanent damage that could have high medical costs. If you have been injured due to another’s negligence, you have the legal right to file a claim to receive compensation for your losses, damages, or medical expenses.
Consult with a qualified and experienced attorney who can guide you through the process of filing for a claim. Filing these types of claims generally involve strict time limitations. An experienced construction accident attorney will help you ensure that your claim is processed appropriately. This attorney can investigate what happened, determine liability, and chart a course for you to seek the maximum amount of recovery available to you for your specific situation.