Heavy Machinery Accident Lawyers
If you have been injured in a heavy equipment accident, you are not alone in seeking answers to your questions—first and foremost of which probably is, “Why did this have to happen, and to me?” At the law offices of EKJ, our attorneys are committed to finding you answers, ones that will set you on the pathway to healing. Your success is our success, when you call our offices for a free consultation with a construction accident lawyer.
Dangers like heavy machinery, high scaffolding, trench work, and hazardous equipment are par for the course when it comes to working on construction sites. But these hazards still don’t justify in many instances the injuries sustained in a heavy equipment accident. In cases where a construction accident has caused you missed work and pay and countless medical bills, not to mention lost sleep and pain and suffering, you need a competent lawyer who will seek fair compensation for your losses.
Dangers of heavy equipment
“Every day in America, 12 people go to work and never come home,” Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis once wrote in a blog entry. Solis was giving voice to a dark underside of life in America, namely, that far too many people in this country experience serious workplace injuries. In the year 2010, for example, over 4,500 American workers were killed on the job in 2010 and millions more suffered serious non-fatal injuries.
Solis wrote: “Every year in America, 3.3 million people suffer a workplace injury from which they may never recover. These are preventable tragedies that disable our workers, devastate our families, and damage our economy.”
Perhaps nowhere could Solis’ words be truer than on factory floors and construction sites across this country, where workers must operate heavy machinery on a daily basis, often clocking in long-hour shifts to put bread on the table. In fact, heavy equipment accidents comprise 9 out of the 10 most common injuries in the workplace.
Common types of work-related heavy equipment injuries
The most common sorts of injuries associated with heavy equipment are:
- Repetitive motion complications—While perhaps less traumatic than a freak accident involving heavy machinery, repetitive motion injuries can still be equally costly in the way of lost work, pain management, treatment and therapies. Lifting heavy equipment on a regular basis can strain muscles and tendons, causing back and spinal pain.
- Machine entanglement—When clothing, shoes, fingers and hair are caught in a piece of heavy equipment, or worse, when an employee finds himself pinned down by a forklift, serious bodily injury or even death can occur.
- Vehicle accidents—Employee drivers are at risk for auto accidents, some of which can be serious, even fatal.
- Collisions with equipment—When an employee accidentally collides with hard objects or a moving machine on a factory floor or construction site, he or she can sustain life-threatening injuries.
- Falling objects—Head injuries from heavy falling debris can also be common in the workplace.
Liability for defective equipment
Sometimes your injuries had nothing to do with the negligence of your employer. In some heavy equipment accidents, you hurt yourself because of an inherently defective product. A piece of equipment malfunctioned due to a missing part or faulty design, and you unfortunately happened to be on the receiving end.
In such cases, our lawyers would help you build a product liability case for civil court, one that would render the designer of that piece of equipment, or the supplier of its parts, the defendant.
You, with our help, would have to prove that:
- the equipment that caused your injury was unreasonably dangerous when it left the supplier or manufacturer
- you were using the tool or equipment as it was intended to be used
- the tool or equipment sported a dangerous defect that caused your injury
Securing workers’ compensation for work-related injuries
Work-related construction accident injuries usually are eligible for workers’ compensation, which can vary in scope and requirements from state to state. Certain common elements tend to be found in most states’ workers’ compensation policies. These are:
- A “no fault” stipulation that allows injured workers to prove only that they were injured and that the injury occurred in the course and purview of employment—as opposed to having to also prove that another person or entity was negligent in causing their injury.
- Required workers’ compensation insurance on the part of every employer.
In New York, workers’ compensation entitles employees injured on the job to medical benefits such as hospitalization, medical and dentist services, physical therapy and chiropractic treatment, X-rays, lab tests, durable medical goods and prescribed drugs. Compensation benefits are two-thirds of the average weekly wage in the state of New York. If a job-related construction accident causes a worker to die, their surviving spouse and/or children can receive death and survivor benefits.
Construction accident lawyers New York
Sometimes—often in fact—workers’ compensation simply is not enough. In cases of serious injury on a construction site, when heavy equipment has put you out of work and caused you loss of wages, health, financial hardship, and consortium, there is another option available to you—filing a personal injury claim that holds your employer (in the form of one or more persons or entities affiliated with the company) responsible for negligence.
Winning a lawsuit generally requires that you be able to prove the following two things: that another employer-affiliated person or group did not act safely and reasonably on your behalf as an employee (as employers are legally bound to do) and/or displayed negligence; and, that you were harmed as a result of this alleged recklessness or negligence.
Finding compensation and healing after a construction or work-related accident begins by picking up the phone and calling our attorneys at EKG. Because we’ve got a proven track record and bring to each case the insights of a whole team of medical and insurance experts working closely with our lawyers, you can breathe freely knowing that you are in trustworthy hands with EKJ Law.
- Arbill, “Workplace Accidents:10 Most Common Workplace Injuries,” http://arbill1.web11.hubspot.com/arbill-safety-blog/bid/160371/Workplace-Accidents-10-Most-Common-Workplace-Injuries
- NYSIF, Claimant Facts, http://ww3.nysif.com/Workers_Compensation/Claimants/Claimant_FAQs.aspx