Did You Suffer a Heavy Equipment Injury at Work?
August 24, 2023
Thousands of workers are injured or killed by heavy equipment used in construction and other industries yearly.
If you or a loved one suffered a heavy equipment injury at work, an experienced Workers’ Compensation and products liability lawyer can help you file the necessary claims.
What Are Examples of Dangerous Heavy Equipment?
Workers in construction, warehouse, and other industries use heavy equipment and machinery as part of their regular job duties. Workers routinely use heavy equipment to complete tasks involving heavy loads, great heights, high heat, and other dangerous conditions.
Dangerous heavy equipment is commonly found in warehouses, manufacturing plants, construction sites, metalworking plants, and oil and gas extraction sites. There can be devastating consequences if the equipment or machinery malfunctions or if the worker is inadequately trained.
Examples of dangerous heavy equipment that can cause workplace injuries include:
- Haul trucks
How Do Heavy Equipment Accidents Happen?
Any job site that uses heavy equipment and machinery has potential hazards that can create an unsafe work environment. Heavy machinery accidents can happen for various reasons, most commonly resulting from negligence.
The following are some common causes of heavy equipment accidents:
- Equipment or machinery failure or malfunction.
- Human error due to improperly trained operators.
- Employer’s failure to train and supervise workers.
- Employer’s failure to provide workers with protective equipment.
- Failure to follow proper safety procedures.
- Manufacturing defect in the equipment.
- Workers pinned under a piece of heavy machinery.
- Workers falling off a piece of heavy equipment.
- Workers being hit by a piece of heavy equipment.
- Rollover accidents.
- Crushing accidents.
- Workers caught between two pieces of equipment.
- Workers being struck by a large work vehicle.
- Lack of standard safety features.
- Lack of repair and poor equipment maintenance.
- Failure to install and assemble heavy equipment correctly.
What Are Common Heavy Equipment Injuries?
Heavy equipment can cause severe and fatal injuries to workers in various industries. Heavy equipment accidents cause over 800 fatalities and about 18,000 injuries annually in the United States, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Some common heavy equipment injuries include:
- Deep cuts and lacerations
- Crushed or broken bones
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Back injuries
- Internal bleeding
- Crushed limbs or digits
- Nerve damage
- Internal organ damage
- Partial or total paralysis
- Scars and disfigurement
- Wrongful death
How Can a Lawyer Help Me?
If you are injured on the job, the most crucial step is to seek immediate medical attention. You must also report the heavy equipment accident to your employer immediately. The next step is to consult with an experienced lawyer to discuss all avenues for compensation for your injury.
Heavy equipment accidents can have severe and life-altering consequences. Significant financial burdens for medical care and other long-term financial needs often stress workers who suffer injuries in dangerous accidents. It can be challenging to determine the amount of compensation that will fully cover the costs associated with a heavy equipment injury without the skilled guidance of a Workers’ Compensation and products liability lawyer.
A knowledgeable lawyer can help with your heavy equipment case in the following ways:
- Help ensure all claims are filed correctly and promptly.
- Help you navigate the appeals process if your claim is initially denied.
- Investigate and determine all parties liable for your injury.
- File lawsuits against negligent parties if applicable.
Who Is Responsible for a Heavy Equipment Accident?
If your workplace accident was caused by the negligence of a third party, an experienced lawyer can help you file additional claims to recover maximum compensation. Third parties that may be held liable for a heavy equipment injury include:
- General contractors
- Property owners
- Equipment manufacturers
- Companies responsible for equipment repair and maintenance
Despite OSHA regulations, workplace accidents involving heavy equipment happen every day. These accidents are often catastrophic, with severe consequences.
Recently in New York, a fire-damaged 45-story crane partially collapsed in Manhattan, leaving 12 with minor injuries. The catastrophic collapse caused glass and concrete debris to rain onto 10th Avenue, one of the city’s busiest streets. All entities involved are being investigated by the Building Commissioner for negligence.
Contact Galfand Berger LLP Today
Galfand Berger LLP has a long-standing history of recovering significant compensation for workers who suffered heavy equipment injuries. Some of our past cases:
- $5 million recovery for fatal workplace accident: This case involved a worker who was fatally injured when an 1800-pound paper roll fell on him. We obtained a $5 million recovery.
- $3.4 million settlement for crane operator in forklift accident: Our client was a 35-year-old crane operator employed in Reading, Pennsylvania. A forklift prong struck him in the back as the machine dropped a load of material. His traumatic injuries included a fractured rib and a cut artery near the aorta. Our client also suffered a heart attack due to blood loss from his severed aorta and a traumatic brain injury that left him quadriplegic. We claimed that defendant Modern Handling Equipment Co. negligently installed the prongs on the forklift and failed to install sufficient safeguards to prevent such an accident. After settling the case with another unnamed defendant for an undisclosed sum, we settled with defendant Modern for $3.4 million for our client.
- $2.25 million settlement for maintenance worker in crane accident: Our client was a maintenance worker who fell 25 feet from a crane to the ground and suffered multiple fractures. He had been tasked with troubleshooting a malfunctioning crane suspended high above the ground at Victaulic’s foundry in Alburtis, Pennsylvania. The crane could only be reached by intermittent access points on elevated walkways. When our client attempted to cross to the other side of the crane via an 8-inch wide I-beam, he lost his balance and fell to the ground. We argued that the crane was defectively designed and assembled because it did not have a proper crossover walkway by which workers could safely cross between service platforms. The only way to cross between platforms on the crane was across the thin I-bars that were not designed to be trans versed by workers. Our client suffered a burst fracture of vertebrae, a shattered femur, a puncture wound to his bicep, and a traumatic head injury due to the fall. We settled the case after mediation for $2.25 million.
- $1.75 million verdict for quarry injury: Our client was a quarry worker who suffered chest and arm injuries when a crane load swung and struck him. After a week-long trial in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas against the manufacturer of the defective crane, we received a $1.75 million verdict for the injured worker.
Philadelphia Lawyers at Galfand Berger LLP Help Workers Who Suffered Heavy Equipment Injuries
Our Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation and products liability lawyers at Galfand Berger LLP have decades of experience helping injured workers recover. To schedule a free consultation, call us at 800-222-USWA (8792) or contact us online. Located in Philadelphia, Bethlehem, Lancaster, and Reading, Pennsylvania, we serve clients throughout New Jersey and Pennsylvania, including Allentown and Harrisburg.