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Heavy Equipment Accidents

Construction WorkerWhen you are the victim of a heavy equipment accident, your welfare and that of your family are naturally of utmost concern. You have lots of questions. Will workers comp cover all my bills, expenses and lost wages? Am I entitled to further compensation? Who was to blame for my accident—and how do I ensure I am not unfairly blamed?

Los Angeles personal injury attorneys at Ellis Injury Law are available to answer these questions free of charge. We have decades of experience successfully representing victims of construction accidents. If you’re looking for the best construction accident lawyer to advise you of your legal options and/or represent you in a construction accident lawsuit, we are only a phone call away.

Types of heavy equipment accidents and common injuries

Heavy equipment accidents largely occur at or near construction sites, where the combination of human beings in their various job functions and many large moving parts can be dangerous. Bulky machinery, tools and vehicles pose hazards to workers or passersby—either because they can be misused or because they can be inherently defective.

Heavy equipment-related accidents can result in any number of injuries, such as:

  • Broken or fractured limbs
  • Disfigurement
  • Amputation
  • Paralysis
  • Traumatic brain injury

Work-related injuries and deaths from heavy equipment accidents

Construction work can quickly turn deadly, as statistics compiled by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) suggest. In the year 2012, for example, 4,628 workers lost their lives on the job, meaning, on average, 89 a week, more than 12 fatalities every day.

A large proportion of construction fatalities can be attributed to accidents involving heavy equipment.

The “Fatal Four” for construction workers, as OSHA terms them, are:

  • Falls
  • Struck-by objects
  • Electrocution
  • Caught in/between

Falls are the biggest cause of death on construction sites, followed by struck-by mishaps. Approximately 75% of struck-by incidents involve heavy equipment such as trucks or cranes. Being caught in-between machinery can also classify as a heavy equipment accident.

Eliminating the “Fatal Four” would save 437 workers’ lives in America every year, according to OSHA. Many of these lives would be spared with better safety and prevention measures around the use of heavy machinery & equipment.

Will my worker’s comp cover all my expenses?

Often the answer to this question is “no.” You may be eligible to receive workers’ compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and partial or permanent disability. However this funding is capped at a lower level than what you would might receive by filing a successful personal injury claim with the help of our legal team.

Eligibility for receiving a payout from workers’ compensation also does not require proving that another person or entity caused your injuries. You’ll only need to show that you were injured and that you sustained your injuries while on the job.

How can a lawyer help me?

Over and above the benefits of workers’ compensation, and depending on the particulars of your case, you may be eligible to file a personal injury lawsuit against a negligent person or party. Here is where finding just the right lawyer, one with a dependable track record in heavy equipment lawsuits, one who you can trust to give you sound legal advice and representation, comes into play. In the L.A. area, Ellis attorneys fit the bill.

Our team can cut to the bottom of the facts in your case to determine whether another person or entity involved in the construction work at the site of your injuries should be held liable for harm done to you. Building contractors, equipment suppliers, architects, and/or property owners may have shown negligence in your accident. We want to determine who is the negligent party—and how they were negligent.

Examples of construction site negligence abound. Here are just a few:

  • A piece of heavy machinery collides with a person on a warehouse floor
  • A driver operating a truck or other vehicle fails to see a pedestrian and runs him/her over
  • A defective machine traps a person in its gear or claws

Once we have answers to these questions of who was negligent and how, we will help you assemble a convincing claim that contains the following key assertions (which will require proof):

  • That another person or entity had a responsibility for your safety
  • That this person or party failed in that duty, showing negligence
  • That you were injured as a result of that negligence

In some instances of heavy equipment accidents, the issue is not the negligence of another party but rather the inherent defectiveness of the equipment that caused your injuries. In such cases, Ellis lawyers would help you file a “product liability” claim.

A successful California product liability lawsuit would assert the following:

  • That the tool or machinery that caused your injuries was unreasonably dangerous
  • That you were correctly following the directions for use of the machinery when you were hurt
  • That a defect in the equipment caused your injuries

Liability and compensation in heavy machinery accidents

Personal injuries sustained in heavy equipment accidents can be serious and even life-threatening, putting an end to life as you knew it before the accident and requiring in some cases a lifetime of medical treatment and therapies. Being found liable in the state of California can mean that a negligent party must award a plaintiff generous sums for their pain and suffering.

Talk to a construction accident lawyer at Ellis Law to learn more about your legal options and eligibility for compensation. Call our offices today at 1-800-INJURED to schedule your free consultation.

  1. California Department of Industrial Regulators, “Working Around Heavy Construction Equipment,” http://www.dir.ca.gov/dosh/etools/08-010/TE_HeavyEquipment.htm
  2. OSHA, “Commonly Cited Statistics,” https://www.osha.gov/oshstats/commonstats.html