Aerial lifts facilitate many construction-related tasks. They often feature extendable boom platforms, aerial ladders, vertical towers, or any combination of equipment to elevate workers or move heavy materials. While aerial lifts have replaced ladders and scaffolds on many job sites because of their flexibility and mobility, they do present an inherent level of risk. As a result, aerial lift accidents are an unfortunate and avoidable reality.
When workers are not properly trained, safety gear is not provided, or equipment is defective, the likelihood of an accident increases significantly. If you have suffered injuries or lost a loved one in a construction site accident, you may be entitled to take legal action against a negligent third party — and pursue monetary compensation for your damages.
Common Causes of Aerial Lift Accidents
Aerial lifts allow many construction workers to perform the essential functions of their jobs. They fall into three general categories — telehandlers, scissor lifts, and articulating boom lifts. The type of lift used depends on the specific task, application, and environment.
Critically, both federal OSHA regulations and New York State Labor Law set forth crucial guidelines and safety requirements that must be followed in connection with the operation and use of these pieces of machinery. Aerial lift construction accidents commonly occur due to:
- Falls or ejection from the platform
- Machinery tip-overs
- Electric shock caused by contact with power lines
- Equipment collapses
- Lack of proper training
- Mechanical failure
- Defective equipment or fall protection
It’s essential that an inspection is conducted before each work shift to ensure the equipment is in good working condition. If any defective components are detected, the lift should not be operated until the necessary repairs have been made. The surrounding worksite should also be examined for hazards such as debris, overhead electric power lines, unstable surfaces, and other dangerous conditions.
Compensation for Construction Site Aerial Lift Accident Injuries
Aerial lift accident injuries can be debilitating and life-altering. If you are a construction worker who sustained injuries in an aerial lift accident, you may be entitled to Workers’ Compensation. However, these benefits may not be adequate to cover the full extent of your monetary losses. They also won’t compensate for the pain and suffering you may have experienced in connection with your accident-related injuries.
Although Workers’ Compensation bars you from pursuing a claim in court against your employer, there may be a third party who is responsible for your injuries. For instance, if the accident arose due to a defective piece of equipment or a mechanical malfunction, the manufacturer may be liable. A subcontractor or property owner might be accountable for hazardous conditions on a jobsite. Other parties who could be potentially held liable for negligence can include contractors, engineers, architects, and equipment companies.
By filing a personal injury lawsuit, you may be entitled to recover your economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages can include unreimbursed medical bills, lost wages, out-of-pocket expenses, and the cost of replacement services. Non-economic damages are meant to provide monetary compensation for the physical pain and mental suffering you endured as a result of your accident-related injuries.
Additionally, the family of a construction worker who passed away due to an aerial lift accident may be able to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit. In doing so, they may be eligible to receive monetary recovery for the financial impact of losing their loved one, including reimbursement for the victim’s medical expenses, funeral, and burial costs. While New York State Law doesn’t permit family members to recover for their grief and emotional suffering, compensation may be recovered for the conscious pain and suffering the victim experienced before their passing.
Contact an Experienced New York Construction Accident Attorney
If you’re a construction worker who was hurt on the job due to the negligence of a third party, it’s critical to have a personal injury attorney by your side who can help you recover the compensation you deserve. The Dearie Law Firm, P.C. has been fighting for the rights of injured construction workers for more than three decades and has an established reputation for obtaining positive outcomes in clients’ cases.
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.