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Construction Site Crane Accident Liability


One of the most dangerous pieces of machinery on a construction site is the crane. Used to lift and lower heavy materials, they are integral to most construction projects and appear on nearly every job site. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 297 crane-accident related fatalities from 2011-2017 throughout the country. The deaths resulted from falls to lower levels, being struck by an object or equipment, and transportation incidents.

What are the Causes of Crane Accidents on Construction Sites?

New York’s labor laws were created to help ensure construction workers have a safe working environment. However, construction site crane accidents can happen for a variety of reasons. Some common reasons for crane accidents include:

  • Operator negligence, inexperience, or lack of training
  • Mechanical failures
  • Faulty or poorly maintained equipment
  • Collisions with power lines
  • Boom collapses
  • Failure to regularly inspect the equipment
  • Loading the crane with equipment that is too heavy

Depending on the circumstances surrounding the crane accident, strict liability can be imposed for a worker’s injuries. For instance, Labor Law § 240 may apply if you were struck by a falling object in connection with a crane accident. Labor Law § 241 may also be applicable for violations of New York Industrial Code Part 23.  

Can I Pursue a Personal Injury Claim for My New York Crane Accident?

Even though Workers’ Compensation generally bars you from suing your employer, construction site crane accidents often involve third parties who may be held liable for negligence. In these cases, you can commence a personal injury action against such third party to recover compensation. You may be entitled to unreimbursed medical expenses and lost wages that weren’t covered by Workers’ Compensation, in addition to pain and suffering and non-economic damages.

Depending on the facts of the case, you may also be able to pursue a products liability claim against the manufacturer of the crane equipment if there was a defect in the crane or its mechanisms that caused the accident leading to your injuries.

What Kinds of Crane Accident Injuries are Compensated?

Since cranes can weigh hundreds of tons, accidents that involve them can be severe or deadly. Construction workers who have been injured in a crane accident may suffer from severe injuries, permanent disability, or fatality. Some common crane accident injuries are:

  • Crush injuries
  • Concussion and Traumatic Brain Injury
  • Electrocution
  • Broken bones
  • Disfigurement
  • Amputation
  • Paralysis
  • Fatality

If you lost a loved one to a New York construction site crane accident due to New York Labor Law violations, you may be able to pursue a wrongful death claim against the negligent party. Workers’ Compensation benefits can provide a victim’s family members with a certain amount of lost wages and funeral costs. However, the estate of a crane accident victim may be entitled to compensation beyond that which is provided by Workers’ Compensation. In a wrongful death action, the family of the deceased may be entitled to recover loss of value of services as well as conscious pain and suffering, in some cases.

Contact a New York Construction Site Crane Accident Attorney

If you were injured or lost a loved one in a New York construction site crane accident, it’s critical to contact an experienced construction site attorney who can advise you of your legal rights and remedies. A New York crane accident attorney will know how to properly investigate your claim and help ensure that the responsible party is held accountable for negligence and labor law violations. The Dearie Law Firm, P.C. is experienced in handling claims involving crane accidents and can help you obtain the maximum compensation available for your construction site injuries. 

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, Rockland County, and on Long Island in Nassau County, and Suffolk County. Contact us today for a free consultation.