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Off-Site Crane Accident Closes Los Angeles Freeway

construction craneMost Los Angeles crane accidents take place on construction sites, but authorities recently closed part of a major freeway after an off-site crane accident in San Clemente. At about 3 p.m. on October 30, 2014, a big rig carrying an 110,000-pound construction crane that was headed northbound on the 5 Freeway lost control. The truck struck the center barrier and overturned.

No one was injured in the accident but four out of the five freeway lanes were closed. The closure lasted more than 12 hours, with closed lanes opening at 3:50 a.m. Friday morning. The lanes were re-opened after two cranes were brought in to remove the crash debris. Traffic was backed up for miles.

Crane accidents among most serious construction injuries

The Los Angeles 5 Freeway crane accident did not result in any injuries, but it was also an unusual type of accident involving one of the most dangerous pieces of construction equipment. Because of their enormous size and their use in lifting and moving large objects, crane accidents tend to be serious, often fatal.

The main causes of crane-related death and injury are:

  • Electrocution, often involving work near power lines
  • Crushing by equipment parts
  • Strikes by the equipment or its load
  • Falls from the crane

In 2010, in response to the significant number of fatalities related to cranes, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) released a new safety standard addressing hazards related to cranes. OSHA expects that the new standard will cut construction fatalities by 22 per year and non-fatal injuries by 175 per year.

The rules put much responsibility on the employer, who must ensure compliance with the rules.

Some of the requirements in the OSHA standard include:

  • A pre-erection inspection of tower crane parts
  • Use of slings during assembly or disassembly work
  • Evaluation of the ground where the crane is to be placed
  • Minimum qualifications, including licensing, for crane operators
  • Protocols for working near power lines

Speak with a Los Angeles crane accident lawyer

Like in many other types of construction accidents, who is liable for a crane accident can depend on several factors, such as who owned or operated the crane, who was in charge of the construction site, who directed its use, and whether the crane was maintained and in good repair.

The effects of a crane accident can be crippling or deadly, leading to back and neck injuries, paralysis, amputations, and other serious personal injuries. Victims or their loved ones may be entitled to compensation for the injuries or wrongful death. Recovery may include payments for pain and suffering, lost wages, past and future medical expenses, and lost support that would have been provided by a deceased victim.

To speak with Los Angeles construction accident attorneys who have expertise in crane accident cases, contact Ellis Law for a free consultation.

Our LA crane accident lawyers have over two decades of experience in winning serious personal injury cases in the L.A. area and offer service that is both personal and professional. To learn more about your legal options, call 1-800-INJURED.

  1. CBS Los Angeles, Crane Accident Closes Portion of 5 Freeway in San Clemente, http://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2014/10/30/crane-accident-spurs-closure-of-portion-of-5-freeway-in-san-clemente/
  2. L.A. Times, 5 Freeway lanes reopen after crane accident in south O.C., http://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2014/10/30/crane-accident-spurs-closure-of-portion-of-5-freeway-in-san-clemente/
  3. Occupational Safety & Health Administration, OSHA Fact Sheet: Cranes and Derricks in Construction Final Rule, https://www.osha.gov/as/opa/cranesderricks-factsheet.html