The Maus Law Firm Helps Injured Workers and Families Recover
For construction workers who work with and around cranes and other heavy machinery, the risk of suffering a serious job-related injury is very real. Several of the leading causes of construction site injuries and fatalities involve issues related to the operation and maintenance of this type of equipment. If you have been injured or a loved one has been killed, you may be entitled to significant compensation, and it is important that you contact a Fort Lauderdale construction accident law firm promptly.
While major crane accidents will often make headlines, and while these accidents are undoubtedly tragic, far more smaller-scale accidents occur every day—and these construction accidents still frequently lead to serious and fatal injuries. At Maus Law Firm, our construction attorneys represent workers and families in Fort Lauderdale and all of South Florida, and we have a proven record of success recovering just compensation following construction site accidents.
Common Types of Crane Accidents
There are numerous factors that can lead to crane accidents on construction sites. From inadequate maintenance to pressure resulting from projects taking longer than anticipated and going over budget, there are various reasons why cranes and construction sites might not be as safe as they should be. Operator error is also a common factor; and, while some crane operators may be to blame when they make mistakes, operators are frequently given limited training and asked to work long hours or in bad weather when it is unsafe to do so.
Regardless of the specific factors involved, injured workers can recover benefits under their employers’ workers’ compensation policies, and in many cases they will have the legal right to seek additional compensation as well. Families who have lost loved ones can also file claims for workers’ compensation death benefits and third-party claims for wrongful death. This is true for crane accidents involving factors such as:
- High winds blowing a crane down or swinging a crane into a building
- Objects falling from a crane or parts coming loose and falling on crane operators or other workers below
- Crane defects resulting in loads being dropped or cranes falling down
- Crane collapses resulting from overloading, inadequate maintenance and other issues
- Other objects and pieces of heavy machinery colliding with cranes
Common Types of Heavy Equipment Accidents
Heavy machinery such as forklifts, front loaders and excavators are essential to many aspects of construction. However, these pieces of equipment can also be extremely dangerous. Similar to crane accidents, various factors can lead to accidents involving heavy machinery, and various parties can potentially be to blame. At Maus Law Firm, the attorneys at our Fort Lauderdale construction accident law firm represent individuals and families in workers’ compensation, personal injury and wrongful death claims involving factors including:
- Heavy equipment operators running into or backing over other workers
- Booms, arms, buckets and other components colliding with objects and workers
- Loads dropped on workers
- Heavy equipment accidents involving hazardous energy sources (i.e. an overhead or underground power line)
- Falls from heavy equipment cabs
- Accidents involving trench and wall collapses
- Collisions with trucks, cranes and other pieces of heavy machinery
Why Do Crane and Heavy Equipment Accidents Occur?
Given the obvious and extreme dangers of crane and heavy machinery accidents, why do these accidents still occur? Why aren’t companies more careful to protect operators and other workers?
Unfortunately, there is not a good answer. In most cases, companies are simply negligent, or they choose to prioritize profits over worker safety. With this in mind, construction companies, crane and heavy equipment manufacturers, leasing companies, and other businesses can frequently be held liable for:
- Hiring Inexperienced or Untrained Operators – Operating a crane or other piece of heavy machinery safely requires training and experience. Companies that hire inexperienced or untrained operators can be held liable when their employees cause serious and fatal accidents.
- Forcing Operators to Work Long Hours or in Bad Conditions – Construction companies and contractors can also be held liable for forcing operators to work long hours or in bad conditions. Fatigue can significantly impair operators’ ability to work safely, and working in bad conditions can lead to dangerous situations that are beyond an operator’s control.
- Failing to Take Adequate Safety Precautions – Federal and state safety regulations require companies to ensure that construction sites are as safe for workers as possible. Failing to take adequate safety precautions, such as providing workers with hardhats and high-visibility vests, is another common form of construction company negligence.
- Failing to Adequately Maintain Cranes and Heavy Equipment – Construction companies that own cranes and other heavy equipment must keep this equipment appropriately maintained at all times. Leasing companies must also appropriately maintain their equipment. Inadequate maintenance can lead to various issues that can in turn lead to serious and fatal accidents.
- Crane and Heavy Equipment Defects – In addition to maintenance issues, issues with the design and construction of cranes and other pieces of heavy machinery can cause accidents as well. This includes not only the overall design and construction of the equipment itself, but also each individual part and component.
Who is Liable for a Crane or Heavy Machinery Accident in Florida?
If you have been seriously injured or a family member has been killed in a crane or heavy machinery accident, who is liable? The answer to this question depends on the specific factors involved. Contact our Fort Lauderdale construction accident law firm to discuss the specifics of your case.
In most cases, construction workers and their families will be eligible to receive workers’ compensation. Workers’ compensation is a no-fault system in Florida, meaning that workers and their families are covered regardless of who (if anyone) is to blame for their losses. When negligence or a product defect is involved, then workers and their families can seek additional compensation from the at-fault party. Depending on the circumstances involved, this may include:
- A crane or heavy equipment manufacturer
- A crane or heavy equipment leasing company
- A third-party construction company or contractor operating at the construction site
- A maintenance company that performed negligent work
Contact the Maus Law Firm for a Free and Confidential Consultation
Are you entitled to significant financial compensation for serious or fatal injuries resulting from a crane or heavy machinery accident? To find out in a free and confidential consultation, call us at 855-999-5297 or request an appointment online today.