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Suing for a Crane Accident on a Construction Site: What You Need to Know

Crane Accident

Construction workers use heavy and potentially hazardous equipment on a daily basis — including cranes. While cranes are an important piece of machinery on a construction site, accidents involving them can result in severe, debilitating, and even fatal injuries. If you were hurt in a crane accident on a construction site, you may be entitled to file a lawsuit to recover your economic and non-economic damages. Whether you were operating the crane, loading it, or were engaged in another activity at the time of the accident, here are five important things you should know about suing for a crane accident:

1. Crane Accidents Can Occur for Many Reasons

There are many reasons a crane accident can occur on a construction site. They can happen due to overloading, mechanical failure, poor maintenance, inexperienced operators, miscommunication, negligent supervision, and many other factors. Regardless of why the crane accident arose, you may be entitled to compensation if you can establish it was caused by a third party’s negligence.

2. A Variety of Parties Can Be Held Liable for Your Crane Accident Injuries

Although you can’t sue your employer for a crane accident on a construction site due to New York’s Workers’ Compensation rules, you might still be able to bring legal action against a third party. For instance, if you can establish that the negligence, carelessness, or recklessness of a third party caused the accident, they may be held liable. This can include the following:

  • Property owners
  • General contractors
  • Subcontractors
  • Architects
  • Engineers
  • Equipment manufacturers

Depending on the facts and circumstances, you might even be able to hold the third party “strictly liable” for a crane accident, which means that you only need to prove that a statutory violation occurred.

3. You May Be Able to File for Workers’ Compensation Benefits and Pursue a Personal Injury Claim

Just because you’ve filed for Workers’ Compensation doesn’t mean you are precluded from pursuing a personal injury action. If a third party’s negligence caused your crane accident injuries, you may be entitled to both remedies. However, while Workers’ Compensation covers the costs of medical care for a workplace accident and a certain amount of lost wages, it usually isn’t enough to cover all of the economic damages associated with a worker’s injuries. By filing a personal injury lawsuit, you may be able to recover the full extent of your financial losses, in addition to your non-economic damages.

4. You May Be Able to Recover Damages for Your Pain and Suffering in a Personal Injury Case

Crane accident injuries are often catastrophic and result in a significant amount of physical pain and emotional suffering. When you file a personal injury lawsuit, you might be eligible to recover compensation for your non-economic losses, such as disfigurement, mental distress, physical pain, inconvenience, loss of enjoyment of life, loss of consortium, and other damages that are difficult to quantify. Often, pain and suffering damages represent the most substantial portion of a personal injury award.

5. You Have Three Years to File a Construction Accident Lawsuit

In New York State, you generally have three years from the date of a construction accident to file a personal injury claim. However, it’s vital to understand that you only have 30 days from the date of the accident to report the injury and pursue a Workers’ Compensation claim. While there are exceptions to the personal injury statute of limitations, it’s best to contact a knowledgeable personal injury attorney as soon as possible who can protect your rights, advise you regarding your options, and ensure you avoid any pitfalls in your case.

Contact an Experienced New York Construction Accident Attorney

If you sustained injuries in a crane accident on a construction site, you may be entitled to pursue a personal injury action. A skillful personal injury attorney can discuss your legal rights and fight for the maximum compensation available in your case. The Dearie Law Firm, P.C., has represented construction accident victims for over three decades and provides reliable representation to obtain the best possible results in each unique case. Contact us today for a consultation.