Construction sites are some of the most hazardous work environments. Each day, construction workers use various types of heavy machinery and dangerous equipment to carry out their tasks. Unfortunately, if the machinery is not handled properly or the equipment is defective, accidents can occur that result in severe injuries. These accidents affect not only drivers or operators — workers on the ground are also at risk of injury when it comes to construction machinery.
Machinery and Equipment Commonly Involved in Construction Accidents
There are many different ways machinery accidents can occur. From rollovers to collapses, collisions, or malfunctions, heavy equipment accidents are some of the most common causes of injuries on job sites. Victims may also sustain injuries as a result of being struck by moving machinery or falling from equipment. There are also many ways in which caught-between and crush injuries can happen on construction sites.
Specifically, machinery and equipment that may be involved in construction accidents include the following:
- Dump trucks
- Paving machines
- Conveyor belts
Machinery accidents are most likely to occur when a driver is backing up, loading, unloading, or operating on uneven surfaces. Workers who are on foot near heavy machinery and equipment might also be struck by flying debris or objects. Additionally, accidents can arise in connection with power tools, safety harnesses, scaffolds, ladders, and other industrial equipment used to complete construction projects. While some injuries may be the result of a design flaw in the machinery, others can be caused by human error, lack of training, poor maintenance, or other forms of negligence.
Can You Pursue a Personal Injury Action for a Construction Machinery Accident?
Construction site machinery accidents can lead to debilitating injuries, lifelong disability, or fatality. Often, these types of injuries involve extensive medical treatment, including surgery, and ongoing physical rehabilitation. While Workers’ Compensation covers a victim’s medical care and a portion of their lost wages, this usually is not sufficient to cover the full extent of a victim’s monetary losses. It also does not compensate a victim for the pain and suffering they endured — in such cases, a victim pay be able to pursue a personal injury action against a negligent third party.
A construction worker cannot sue their employer because of New York’s Workers’ Compensation laws. However, they may be able to bring an action against a contractor, subcontractor, property owner, or other party who should be held liable for the accident. If the accident involved a design defect or manufacturing flaw in the equipment, a machinery manufacturer might also be a party named in the personal injury lawsuit.
By filing a personal injury action for a construction site machinery accident, a victim may be able to recover their economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages include medical bills, loss of earnings, and out-of-pocket expenses incurred as a result of the accident. Non-economic damages — also referred to as “pain and suffering” damages — are meant to compensate a victim for the physical pain, mental anguish, and loss of enjoyment of life suffered in connection with their injuries.
Contact an Experienced New York Personal Injury Attorney
If you were in a construction accident caused by heavy machinery or equipment, it’s crucial to consult with a personal injury attorney to learn about your legal rights and options. The personal injury lawyers at The Dearie Law Firm, P.C. have been representing injured construction workers and their families for more than three decades — they have an established history of securing positive results.
The Dearie Law Firm, P.C. has convenient office locations in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and the Bronx, as well as mobile locations serving Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, the Bronx, Staten Island, Westchester County, Rockland County, Nassau County, and Suffolk County. Contact us today for a consultation.