Construction Site Crane Injuries: Who Can Be Held Liable?

As you might imagine, construction sites tend to be dangerous places. That is why there are often a huge array of safety precautions and legislation put in place in order to try and keep those who work in this industry as safe as possible. However, accidents can happen even with all the safeguards in place. Moreover, with an average of 40+ crane accidents occurring each year, this particular piece of heavy plant seems to be one of the more deadly. However, as anyone who has been involved in a personal injury or workers’ compensation suit can tell you, it isn’t always easy knowing where to apportion blame and who to conduct a claim against when seeking compensation.

tower crane

Employer Responsibility In Crane Accidents

When it comes to blame, you need to be able to prove negligence if you are even to begin thinking of recompense. According to these crane accident injury lawyers, everyone on a worksite is responsible for behaving in a way that is conducive to a safe working environment. In practice, that means that if you were liable for an injury, you might find yourself without recourse. However, this is where a qualified attorney can advise you. Employers must take a proactive role in training their workers on the safe use of cranes, ensuring regular equipment maintenance and inspections. They need to enforce rigid safety measures at all times. Should an accident occur due to negligence in these duties, employers may be held accountable for any resulting injuries or damages. Thus, prioritizing safety within construction sites is paramount to prevent crane-related accidents and avoid liability issues that may arise from such incidents.

Crane Manufacturer Liability

In some rarer (but not unheard of) instances, you might discover that the manufacturers of the crane itself are responsible due to a specific reason. Should an accident be caused by design or production flaws, the manufacturer will likely bear some liability for any resulting injuries or damage. However, this responsibility can be limited if negligence in maintenance or operator error is involved. To determine who should take accountability for any tragedy that might transpire, all aspects must be thoroughly examined by all stakeholders involved.

What If You Are Self-Employed?

Things become slightly murkier if you happen to be a self-employed contractor or crane operator, and you might find that intense wrangling occurs between the various insurance companies involved. Moreover, if you were operating the crane and were responsible for someone else’s injury due to your own negligence, you might find yourself on the hook to pay for any damages that occur (including damage to any buildings or structures in the area). However, while you might be unable to enact a personal injury claim, it’s worth noting that you are still entitled to workers’ compensation which is generally regarded as “no-fault,” meaning you are still entitled to compensation for your injuries without needing to prove who was at fault.

yellow tower

When You Should Hire A Lawyer

You should never hesitate to hire a lawyer when involved in these cases. Not only will they help you navigate the murky waters of civil law, but they will help you decide whether pursuing a case is worth it in the first place. While that latter point might sound peculiar initially, if you bear sole responsibility for your accident, avoiding a lengthy suit could save you far more money than you could expect to recoup. Nevertheless, establishing fault in crane mishaps can be a convoluted process due to the involvement of multiple entities such as the operator, construction firm, and crane maker, among others. Therefore, partnering with a seasoned personal injury lawyer is integral for a thorough accident investigation and pinpointing all potential culprits. Equally vital is immediate medical consultation post-accident; documenting your injuries promptly could significantly bolster your compensation claim. 

What You Should Look For When Hiring A Lawyer

It makes sense to hire a lawyer after suffering a work-related injury, but the procedure may seem difficult if you have never worked with one before. Nonetheless, it needn’t be too challenging if you adhere to the following suggestions:

  • Find those with experience in your particular case: Personal injury is a vast field, with each case requiring different knowledge. If you’re involved in a crane accident, you should search for firms specializing in construction-related accidents.
  • They have a proven track record: Always check their previous cases to see their track record regarding similar cases.
  • They have excellent interpersonal skills: You will be working with your lawyer for a long time, so it makes sense to choose one you get along with.
  • They have a transparent fee structure: It’s no secret that legal fees are high, but by choosing one with a clear fee structure, you can avoid any unpleasant surprises down the line.

Any type of work-related injury has the potential to completely ruin your life, and trying to determine who is accountable can make things even worse. Nevertheless, as long as you are aware of your rights and are prepared to retain legal representation, you should emerge victorious and receive everything you are due.

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