Injured? Dial #WIN or #946 from your cellphone for your free consultation or call 1-800-LAW-NEED.
Call Us 24/7
1-800-LAW-NEED
( 1-800-529-6333 )

Catastrophic Injuries Caused by Crane Accidents on Construction Sites


January 27, 2022

Construction sites expose those on or near the project to a wide array of hazards that could cause devastating injuries and wrongful death.  Heavy machinery can be extremely dangerous because of negligent operators, defective equipment, and improper training of personnel.  Dangerous heavy equipment on a construction site may include:

  • Trains,
  • Bulldozers,
  • Cranes, 
  • Dump trucks, 
  • Excavators, 
  • Trenchers, 
  • Forklifts, 
  • Graders, 
  • Boom trucks, 
  • and others.  

Cranes are potentially one of the most hazardous forms of construction equipment when not cautiously operated.  The massive size and weight of a crane means that they have limited maneuverability so that minor errors can result in dropping a load, crashing through a structure, or running over those on the ground. 

These types of crane accidents can cause permanent injuries necessitating prolonged medical treatment and long-term disability.  While financial compensation may be available to those working on construction jobs, the process of seeking financial recovery otherwise can be complicated because worker’s compensation insurance will typically provide the exclusive remedy against an employer.  While the workers compensation system may provide medical treatment, short-term disability payments, and even compensation for long-term disability, this may be woefully inadequate to fully compensate a victim who suffers catastrophic injury.

However, an experienced construction accident attorney might be able to identify potential third-party defendants who are liable under personal injury or product liability law.  If the crane malfunctions and causes injury because of a defective part, this could provide the basis for a product liability claim against the manufacturer of the crane and/or the component that fails.  Alternatively, the owner of the property upon which the construction project is located might be liable for negligent selection of contractors or sub-contractors.   Other third parties whose negligence contributes to crane accidents also might be financially responsible.

There are many causes of crane accidents, such as:

  • Improper crane selection
  • Exceeding manufacturer specifications
  • Unsafe crane setup
  • Lack of understanding or failure to comply with a crane’s operational specifications and limits
  • Failure to clear debris and equipment in the area where a crane is being operated

When working with larger and heavy construction equipment like cranes, the risk are even greater when safety and training protocols are not in place. 

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, an average of 44 workers die in crane-related incidents in the United States each year. As a crane collapses, the workers in the approximate area are at the most risk of serious injury or death. The issue becomes much more complicated when these crane collapse accidents happen in public areas.

Recent Crane Collapses in the News

There are many possible reasons that cause crane collapse — such as mechanical failures, contact with electrical lines, improper crane assembly, incompetent personnel and environmental factors such as extreme weather conditions. In most cases, crane collapses can be avoided when there is a compliance with safety standards.

The following is a brief list of the most serious crane-collapses that happened in the past couple of years:

  • October 12, 2021 – One person was transported to a local hospital after a crane collapse near AdventHealth in Orlando, Florida.
  • July 12, 2021 – Five construction workers were tragically killed in a crane collapse accident in Kelowna, British Columbia.
  • February 11, 2021- A crane partially collapsed in downtown New York.
  • April 7, 2021 - A worker is critically injured when a crane fell and then touched a power line leading to an electrical explosion in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
  • September 16, 2020 - Over 20 people were severely injured when two cranes entangled and fell down at a construction site in Austin, Texas.
  • September 6, 2020 - A 350-ton crane crashed down at the Port of Taichung, Taiwan leading to one tragic death and another seriously injured. 
  • August 6, 2020 - A mechanical failure caused a crane to fall down into the intersection of Dundas Street East and River Street in Toronto, Canada.
  • May 2, 2020 - An offshore crane crashed down during an overload test at the Liebherr yard in Rostock, Germany. The crane’s maximum capacity was 5,500 tons, however the failure happened at only a test of 2,600 tons.
  • February 6, 2020 - High wind caused a crane in Pinellas County, Florida, to crash down on top of a roadway.
  • February 28, 2020 -  A 300-foot crane fell down at the SoFi Stadium construction site in Inglewood, California. Fortunately, no one was injured in the accident and there was no damage to new stadium.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has listed detailed safety protocols for every part of the crane-related precautions. The first and most basic thing to start with is to make sure that personnel is properly trained to check, and operate a crane. When it comes to construction job,  proper training can mean the difference between life or death.

The construction accident attorneys at Montlick Injury Attorneys have expertise and access to technological tools to identify all potential defendants and develop compelling legal theories and presentations regarding fault.  If you or someone you love has suffered serious injury or a loved one has tragically died in a construction accident involving heavy equipment, an experienced attorney can answer your questions, evaluate your claim, and advise you regarding your legal options for seeking financial compensation.

If you or a loved one has sustained an injury or if you lost a loved one due to the negligent actions of another or an employer, contact our firm for your free case review. 

Put Our Law Firm's Over 38 Years Of Legal Experience To Work For Your Case!

If you or a loved one have been injured by another's negligent actions, call Montlick & Associates, Attorneys at Law for your free consultation today. Montlick & Associates, Attorneys at Law has been representing those who suffer serious injuries for over years.

No matter where you are located our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour live chat.

Sources:

https://www.bls.gov/iif/oshwc/cfoi/cranes_fact_sheet.htm

https://scarlet-tech.com/2021/11/17/2020-and-2021-serious-crane-accidents-recap

https://www.osha.gov/cranes-derricks/hazards

Category: Personal Injury

Please Note:
Many of our blog articles discuss the law. All information provided about the law is very general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Every situation is different, and should be analyzed by a lawyer who can provide individualized advice based on the facts involved in your unique situation, and a consideration of all of the nuances of the statutes and case law that apply at the time.