New York Crane Accident Attorney
Negligence is a main cause of crane-related injuries and death. Crane operators or workers may not receive proper training, with dangerous consequences.
When Can Crane Accidents Occur?
When a crane accident leads to serious injury or death, the attorneys at Sullivan Papain Block McGrath Coffinas & Cannavo, P.C. will determine if the accident arose from a preventable cause and hold the responsible parties accountable for their actions. A thorough investigation into the incident may reveal negligence in many ways.
- Improper training may include inadequate review of the operating characteristics of the crane, as well as the inherent hazards of its operation.
- Crane operators may have inadequate supervision or direction, leading to an accident.
- The manufacturer of the crane may be responsible for an inherent flaw in the design of the unit, or a flaw in the manufacturing process may be to blame.
- The party in charge of maintaining the crane may have failed to complete routine inspections and address problems that led to the injury.
- The hoisting equipment may have failed due to a failure to inspect or remedy any possible defects.
- The party in charge of the construction site may have failed to coordinate the proper inspection of the cables, pulleys, booms, or sheaves to prevent an accident or injury.
How Can a Crane Accident Occur?
A crane accident may result from any number of causes, but some are more common than others. While many technical errors can occur that lead to accidents, other, simpler hazards are responsible for the majority of accidents and malfunctions.
- Many crane accidents occur when the load is simply too heavy. An improper load may arise from improper training or supervision of operators.
- In some cases, a tragedy can occur from something as simple as a miscommunication between parties at a construction site. A work area may involve several subcontractors on the site at once, and a communication breakdown can lead to disaster. All parties should use a standard operating signal to assure communication between the workers and prevent injury.
- Inappropriate installation or use of equipment can lead to disaster. For example, some cranes require reinforcement, especially on wet or soft ground. The sling on a crane must be the appropriate size for the load in question. Additionally, a master rigger should be in charge of guide rope placement and movement of the load through constricted spaces.
- Improper training of workers can be a hazard in the work environment and to the
pedestrians that are walking by the construction site. Without proper training or supervision, a load may be unsteady or too heavy, which can cause the crane to malfunction.
- Contact with power lines is a common hazard of crane operation. Electrocution is so common in the construction industry that the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) name it one of the “Fatal Four” of the profession. Booms must have a minimum distance of six feet from the power line, and ideally, utility companies should relocate interfacing lines or power them off during construction.
Liability in a Crane Accident
One of the most important aspects of gaining compensation following a crane accident is determining the party responsible for injuries. Due to the nature of work at the construction site, multiple parties may share liability for injuries and other damages resulting from a crane accident. The attorneys at Sullivan Papain Block McGrath Coffinas & Cannavo, P.C. complete a thorough investigation into accidents to determine the parties responsible and hold them accountable for clients’ economic and noneconomic losses.
- The owner of the property. Under New York premises liability law, property owners have a strict and absolute duty to provide a safe worksite. Failure to do so could lead to liability for any injuries that result.
- Manufacturers of equipment. When an injury occurs as the result of a crane defect, the manufacturer may be responsible under the theory of product liability.
- Negligence of architects or engineers. The actions of an engineer or architect may be the proximal cause of injury when they place a crane in the wrong place or ask workers to engage in activity that could be dangerous.
- Subcontractor or general contractor negligence. The general contractor chooses the appropriate crane for the job and ultimately has the responsibility of training the crane operators. Keeping to a maintenance schedule is also one of the primary duties of a contractor that could lead to liability concerns.
- Other supervisors. People in charge at the construction site, such as crane supervisors, are responsible for the training of the operators and ensuring that the operation of the crane on the construction site runs smoothly. Adherence to strict standards of care regarding operation and maintenance is necessary to prevent accidents, and failure to do so could constitute negligence.
- Crane owners. The party who owns or rents the crane may be responsible if it was their job to maintain it and ensure its safe function.
Types of Compensation Available
When a crane leads to the injury or death of a worker or pedestrian, several methods of compensation may exist.
A worker who sustains an injury resulting from a crane will likely first seek benefits from a workers’ compensation claim. New York law requires most employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance, which provides payment of medical bills, disability payments, and a portion of salary after a work-related accident. As a no-fault system, workers will not have to prove that an employer was negligent to collect benefits. He or she must only show that an injury occurred as the direct result of carrying out job duties.
When a workers’ compensation claim does not provide enough to pay for the losses an injured person suffers, grounds for a third-party liability claim may exist. Third-party claims are not against an employer, but against other parties responsible for the accident – subcontractors, manufacturers, or crane owners are all examples. An attorney can help you determine if you have grounds for a third-party liability claim and demand fair compensation from the parties responsible for your injuries.
When a pedestrian incurs injury from a crane’s operation, he or she may be able to pursue compensation in a personal injury claim. Two main forms of compensation exist.
- Economic damages provide recompense for the tangible costs of the accident, such as medical bills, lost income, and projected costs of future care.
- Noneconomic damages compensate for intangible losses such as physical pain, suffering, emotional anguish, and loss in life quality.
A pedestrian may be able to pursue multiple claims against several parties who share liability for the accident. As a legally complex form of accident, construction accident claims require the guidance of an attorney.
If you or a loved one suffered injuries or other damages resulting from a crane accident, the attorneys at Sullivan Papain Block McGrath Coffinas & Cannavo, P.C. can help. With years of experience representing clients in the construction industry, we know how to obtain maximum compensation for your injuries, pain, and suffering. Contact us today to schedule a free review of your legal options. We offer our services on a contingency fee basis, so you will never owe any attorney’s fees unless we obtain monetary compensation on your behalf.
Pasty Verdicts & Settlements in Crane Accident Cases
Crane Collapse – $21.4 Million Recovered
Two construction workers, ages 38 and 40, were killed, and a third worker, age 43, was seriously injured when a crane they were on collapsed.
Construction Bridge Collapse – $4.5 Million Recovered
A 37-year-old crane operator was dismantling a construction bridge 25 feet above the sidewalk when it collapsed, causing him to fall to the street below, resulting in disabling fractures of the L1 vertebrae, left elbow, left ankle, left wrist, and right ankle, requiring surgery.
Read about more results obtained by our firm on behalf of construction accident victims.