Houston Crane Accident Attorneys
Construction crane accidents are the most common scenario for injuries related to boom failure and serious injuries. If you were hurt in this type of incident, you need a crane accident lawyer on your side to help get the compensation you need from the negligent equipment manufacturer or construction company. Simmons and Fletcher, P.C. has local Houston attorneys ready to help you and your family after getting hurt or killed by a crane.
Cranes, like most heavy equipment, have the potential to do significant damage when they are not maintained and managed properly. Although crane accidents are not common, an average of 22 people are killed each year in crane-related accidents. The vast majority of these fatalities, along with those injured in crane accidents, are construction workers, although sometimes truck crane accidents and mobile crane incidents injure truck drivers and civilians too.
What Causes Crane Accidents, Injuries, and Fatalities?
The Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR) studied data from a 14-year period and concluded that the leading causes of crane-related fatalities were:
- Overhead Power Line Electrocutions: Across the 14 years CPWR studied, more than 100 construction workers were electrocuted after making contact with overhead power lines. In about half of these incidents, it was the boom or a crane cable that came in contact with the power line.
- Crane Collapses & Crane Boom Failure: More than 20% of the fatalities CPWR looked at involved crane collapses. Most of these fatalities occurred because the crane was overloaded, or was operating on an unstable surface such as icy or uneven ground. A small number occurred due to shifting of the load.
- The Crane Boom or Jib Striking a Worker: A handful of workers each year were killed when they were struck with the boom or jib of the crane. Nearly half of these accidents occurred while workers were dismantling the boom. Other fatalities occurred when workers were lengthening the boom, or when a worker was struck by a swinging boom.
Another common type of crane accident that may result in injury or fatality is the crane dropping an object it is transporting and injuring someone below.
Negligence in Crane Accidents
Most of the accidents described above are avoidable with good maintenance and safety practices. Often, when a crane-related injury or death occurs, it is because one or more parties was negligent. The negligent party might be the crane operator, the company responsible for maintenance of the crane, the general contractor on a job, a sub-contractor, or another party.
Who Can File a Claim for Compensation After a Crane Accident?
The injured employee or the family of a worker killed in a crane accident may be limited to a worker’s compensation claim in relation to the employer, but there may be other liable parties that can file a lawsuit seeking compensation for crane injuries and/or loss of life.
For example, is a construction worker working for one sub-contractor on a project is injured or killed due to the negligence of a different sub-contractor, the injured worker or surviving family members may be entitled to additional recovery against the responsible party.
Defective Cranes and Crane Components vs. Improper Maintenance
Although most serious accidents involving cranes occur at least in part because the crane was not operated safely or was not properly maintained, the manufacturer of the crane or a component part may bear or share liability for injury or fatality associated with the equipment.
This type of liability may arise for a variety of reasons, such as:
- The equipment did not include safety features that would have prevented foreseeable accidents
- Defective materials caused the equipment to fail
- Purchasers and operators of the equipment were not provided with adequate instruction regarding safe operation of the equipment
When an accident or injury occurs in whole or part because there was a defect in the equipment’s design, manufacture, or warnings and instructions, the manufacturer, seller, and anyone else in the supply chain may be liable for damages.
Call a Crane Accident Attorney in Houston
If you’ve been seriously injured or have lost a loved one in a crane accident, chances are good that the accident could have been avoided. You need to talk to a work injury lawyer at Simmons and Fletcher, P.C. If the loss occurred as the result of someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, lost income, and other losses you have suffered as a result of the accident.
However, construction accident claims, particularly those involving heavy equipment such as cranes and large crane accidents, can be very complicated. There may be multiple possible responsible parties, and there may be worker’s compensation, personal injury, wrongful death, or product liability claims in play—in some cases, all three. In addition, the evidence in a case involving machinery can be dense and technical.
It’s in your best interests to talk with an attorney who is experienced in handling this type of complex litigation and can break down your options for you and guide you through the process. It’s easy to get the help you need. Just fill out the form at the bottom of this page or call (800) 298-0111 to schedule a free consultation.