Exposing the responsible party is key
Heavy equipment accidents usually occur on construction work sites. Often, the seriously injured worker files a claim for worker's compensation benefits and looks no further. Workers' compensation benefits for their injuries will cover some of their lost pay and most "reasonable" medical bills, but these benefits are generally inadequate to compensate a worker who has been seriously injured. Further investigation of the accident may show that the injury was caused by a manufacturing or design defect in the heavy equipment.
Construction workers are exposed to a variety of machines and heavy equipment on job sites, many of which can be defective or dangerous. Some of these include cranes, derricks, hoists, conveyors, woodworking tools, ladders, trucks, scrapers, tractors, bulldozers, forklifts, back hoes, boilers and gas detectors. Defective parts or systems in this complex machinery can cause fires and explosions, pedestrian accidents, de-gloving injuries, amputated limbs, severed fingers, severe fractures, eye loss and other eye injuries, and burn injuries and spinal cord injuries.
Some examples of defects in heavy equipment include safety devices that are absent or have malfunctioned, backup warning alarms that weren't working properly, rollover protection systems that failed, or pinch points that mangled or crushed workers' hands or limbs. Defects may also include warnings that are missing from the equipment that should have been there to alert users to dangerous circumstances that may occur in operating the equipment.
The potential for a product liability case in a heavy equipment accident is often overlooked by lawyers with little or no experience in pursuing product liability cases against heavy equipment manufacturers and sellers. Unlike many other types of personal injury cases, these accidents often require lawyers with knowledge about equipment design, safety engineering, the design of adequate warnings and other aspects of the equipment in question. This knowledge is critical to finding out what went wrong and determining whether a third-party equipment manufacturer, seller or equipment leasing company had a hand in causing your injury.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a heavy equipment accident, the job of determining who may be at fault should be in the hands of experienced product liability lawyers. Please call us to discuss your case.
Click here for a step-by-step guide and road map for establishing workplace safety programs.