Anyone who works around machinery knows it can be dangerous. Accidents involving heavy machinery can be especially bad because of the weight of the equipment and the equipment’s moving parts. These accidents can be fatal.
Many, but not all, heavy machinery accidents occur on construction sites. The most common cause of accidental death for equipment operators on those sites is their equipment rolling over. For workers on the ground, the main causes of accidental heavy machinery death are being hit by heavy machinery or trucks while the vehicles are backing up or being struck by machinery parts or loads.
For people who survive heavy machinery accidents and are severely injured, the costs can be overwhelming. Medical bills and loss of income add up quickly. Pain and suffering may last for a long time. If you or a loved one were harmed because of a heavy machinery accident, or if a loved one was killed, you may have the right to file a lawsuit for compensation for your losses and expenses.
Accidents involving heavy equipment occur on building construction sites, on road and bridge construction projects, in industrial settings, and on other types of work sites.
Types of heavy machinery that may be involved include forklifts, cranes, backhoes, tractors, bulldozers, dump trucks, excavators, compactors, paving machines, earth-moving machines, front-end loaders, pile driving equipment, and paving equipment. In industrial settings, dangerous heavy machinery includes conveyor belts, robotic machines, hydraulic presses, fabrication equipment, hydraulic presses, welding machines, and sheet metal machines.
Employers are responsible for making sure that heavy machinery is well maintained, that heavy machinery operators have the necessary training and licenses, and that operators are properly supervised.
Heavy equipment accidents may be caused by operator error. Dangerous mistakes can happen for many reasons. The equipment operator may be distracted and not paying attention, impaired by drugs or alcohol, or tired. Lack of training can also contribute to accidents. Sometimes the operator doesn’t have the right skills for the job. This happens when a heavy equipment operator doesn’t have enough experience, or slipped through the hiring process without being properly screened, or lacks proper training or supervision.
Heavy machinery accidents can also occur because of the machinery itself. Machinery may be dangerously defective or have defective parts. The equipment may be poorly designed or manufactured in a way that makes it unsafe from the outset. Equipment can also become dangerous later on if it is not properly maintained or repaired.
Manufacturers are required to make products that are free from defects that make them dangerously unsafe. When accidents involving heavy machinery happen because the machinery was designed or manufactured in a defective way, you may be able to sue the machinery manufacturer in a product liability claim.
Here at the Raynes Lawn Hehmeyer law firm, we fight aggressively for our clients who are injured by heavy machinery. One client became a quadriplegic after being injured in a heavy machinery accident on a construction site where he was an innocent bystander. We sued the manufacturer of the machinery, established that the manufacturer did not meet the proper safety standards, and won a $24 million settlement.
When a heavy machinery accident is caused by the negligence of someone other than your employer, you may be able to sue that person in a personal injury lawsuit for damages including medical expenses, lost income, and pain and suffering.
Operators of heavy machinery are required to follow certain safety guidelines. If they fail to follow the required procedures, they may be held responsible if they cause an accident that injures another person.
Heavy machinery operators may need to get licenses. Depending on the type of equipment they operate, that might be a commercial driver’s license, or it could be a specialized license to operate the specific equipment. To operate some types of heavy machinery, such as cranes, operators are required to get substantial equipment-specific training and become certified. All heavy machinery operators are required to read the manuals for the equipment, to follow all lockout and tagout procedures, and to follow all other safety procedures.
If you or a loved one were harmed in a heavy machinery accident, you may be able to sue the operator for personal injury damages if the operator did not follow all the required safety guidelines or was careless while operating the equipment. An experienced heavy equipment accident lawyer can tell you if you have a good case to sue a machinery operator or other third party to the accident. By consulting an experienced attorney, you can help ensure that you get everything you are entitled to and do not miss out on any sources of compensation that may be available.
If you or a loved one were hurt in a heavy machinery accident, you may have questions about what your options are. You may have heard that sometimes people can sue their company, the individuals who caused or contributed to the accident, or the equipment manufacturer, and you may want to know more about that. We would be glad to talk to you and evaluate your case. There is no charge or obligation for meeting with us.
We urge you to contact us as soon as possible. Finding and preserving evidence is a crucial part of building a successful case. With time, evidence gets destroyed. The sooner we get started, the better.
Filing a claim after an accident can feel stressful and overwhelming, especially when you are also dealing with your own injuries, or those of a loved one, or a loved one’s death. We want to make the legal aspect as easy as possible for you, so you can focus on taking care of yourself and your family.
For a free consultation, call us at 1-800-535-1797 or fill out our simple online contact form.
For the general public: This Blog/Website is made available by the law firm publisher, Raynes Lawn Hehmeyer, for educational purposes. It provides general information and a general understanding of the law but does not provide specific legal advice. By using this site, commenting on posts, or sending inquiries through the site or contact email, you confirm that there is no attorney-client relationship between you and the Blog/Website publisher. The Blog/Website should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney in your jurisdiction.
For attorneys: This Blog/Website is informational in nature and is not a substitute for legal research or a consultation on specific matters pertaining to your clients. Due to the dynamic nature of legal doctrines, what might be accurate one day may be inaccurate the next. As such, the contents of this blog must not be relied upon as a basis for arguments to a court or for your advice to clients without, again, further research or a consultation with our professionals.