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Fatal Atlanta Lift Accident Focuses Attention on Heavy Machinery Safety Issues

January 10, 2012

Every year thousands of people are killed in accidents involving heavy machinery. An accident in Atlanta at the end of last year serves as a reminder of the danger associated with heavy machinery.

Two men died in a heavy machinery accident when an 80-foot lift tipped over. The coroner indicated that the men died from the fall as the lift tipped over, but they were not crushed underneath the lift. The lift was extended to forty feet when it tipped over. According to media reports, the lift got stuck and tipped over when the men tried to move the lift. Because of the enormous weight and size of heavy machinery, it may be surprising that fatal accidents like this one do not happen more frequently.

Many serious accidents on construction sites involving heavy machinery are caused by operator error. Some construction industry surveys indicate that as many as sixty percent of fatalities on construction sites are the result of accidents that could be avoided with proper precautions. Because Georgia law does not generally permit an employee to bring a civil lawsuit against one’s employer if they are subject to the State's workers' compensation laws (generally speaking, employers with three or more employees), our experienced Atlanta construction accident attorneys carefully evaluate the facts surrounding a construction site accident to identify all potential responsible parties. While your remedies for a construction accident against your employer may be limited to workers' compensation, there is no such limitation against pursuing a personal injury lawsuit against other business entities on a construction site.

When construction accidents occur because of heavy machinery, the cause of the accident is not always a negligent operator. The heavy equipment may be defective, which may make the manufacturer or the supplier of the machinery liable for your injuries. These defects may include unsafe design of the equipment, faulty manufacturing or a failure to provide proper warning about potential risks when using the heavy equipment. Similarly, the machinery may have been leased to your employer after being improperly maintained by the equipment rental company. Third party liability for Atlanta construction accidents involving heavy machinery may also be caused by improper grading or other hazards that are not properly marked.

If you are injured in a construction accident that causes serious injury or wrongful death, we may determine that the accident was caused by poor maintenance of equipment or improper procedures. A construction worker may be ejected from the lift when hydraulic lines break or experience serious burns from a fire in the cab of the lift. Falls from equipment such as lifts are most frequently the result of human error.

While the construction industry is subject to substantial state and federal regulations, sometimes shortcuts are taken and tragedy strikes. The construction industry has one of the highest fatality and accident rates. If you or someone you love has suffered serious injury in a construction accident, you may suffer permanent injuries that prevent you from continuing in your occupation or otherwise fully enjoying your life. At the Atlanta work accident law firm of Montlick and Associates our construction attorneys are committed to providing effective legal representation on behalf of our clients. We have been helping clients throughout all of Georgia for over 39 years.

Our Atlanta work accident lawyers are available to assist clients throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state. 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 and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.

Category: Personal Injury

Please Note:
All information provided by our blogs is general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Consult a Montlick attorney for details about your unique situation.