Lever & Ecker, PLLC September 19, 2016 Construction Accidents
State police have confirmed that a construction worker lost his life in Darien N.Y. after the pavement roller he was driving flipped over.
Coworkers report that the driver was helping to load the pavement roller onto the back of a flatbed trailer when he appeared to lose control. The roller then went over the edge and flipped so that the top of the vehicle was on the ground. His coworkers rushed to his side and found that he was still alive, however, he was unresponsive. EMTs rushed him to a local hospital where he died from his injuries.
The Occupational Safety & Health Administration will be investigating the incident to determine if any safety standards were violated at the time of the accident – standard protocol any time that a worker is killed.
It is easy to imagine that the driver, who was “in control” of the roller was the person responsible for the accident but it may not be quite that simple.
Inspectors need to determine if the man’s employer had followed all necessary safety procedures. If not, they may face heavy fines and a stop work order.
In many construction accidents, a defect in the heavy machinery used can cause an accident that can lead to serious injuries and, in some cases, death. For example, if a malfunction caused the roller to unexpectedly accelerate or to knock out the steering of the machine, this could have easily caused the accident. Or, if there was a defect in the flatbed of the truck then it could have sent the roller into the wrong direction and over the side of the bed.
If a defect in the roller or flatbed caused the accident to occur, it is possible that the loved ones of the victim could file a lawsuit against the manufacturer.
It doesn’t matter how big or small a product is, consumers expect it to perform in a certain way. If a product harms a user, they may have a defective product lawsuit.
This type of lawsuit is not uncommon. One of the most publicized defects involved Toyota cars. Lawsuits were filed against the car manufacturer for car accidents that took place between 2009 to 2011. The plaintiffs alleged that injuries and deaths had occurred due to car accidents that took place because their cars suddenly and uncontrollably accelerated just prior to the crash.
In one case, a family of four was killed when the accelerator stuck to the floor of the car. The driver managed to call 911 and inform emergency crews of the issue before the tragically crashed. Initially, investigators suspected that the pedal had stuck because of the floor mat but later it was found that there was an issue with the Electronic Throttle Control System. What made matters worse was that it turned out the company knew of the issue and chose to not disclose the information or recall the cars until after multiple accidents took place.
Ultimately, Toyota was fined $1.2 billion and paid out millions in lawsuit settlements and verdicts.
In order to obtain compensation through a defective product lawsuit, the following elements need to be proven:
If the roller didn’t malfunction, the loved ones of the deceased can file for death benefits from workers’ compensation. This may help provide coverage for any medical treatments he had before he passed, a portion of the loss of his wages, and burial expenses.