What to Do When Construction Equipment Failure Causes Severe Injuries

Lever & Ecker, PLLC June 28, 2022 Construction Accidents

Approximately 150,000 construction workers are injured every year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Among these, roughly 4,700 tragically lose their lives. Construction sites often involve heavy machinery and large vehicles that are often dangerous when they malfunction, break down, or are otherwise improperly handled. While it is impossible to avoid on-site accidents completely, worksite owners, contractors, and construction companies have the duty of creating a safe environment for workers. They should also provide training and offer safety equipment to their personnel. Owners and contractors who fail to do this may be held responsible for any construction-related injuries on their site. 

When construction equipment fails, it might leave you with severe injuries, including permanent disabilities. It is important, therefore, to know what to do if you are involved in an accident caused by faulty equipment or the conduct of entities responsible for your safety. 

Common Causes of Construction Equipment Failure Injuries

Here are some common causes of construction equipment failure injuries. Many of these injuries are preventable if construction companies establish proper safety measures. 

Overlooking OSHA Safety Regulations

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has established standards for construction equipment to ensure companies are not ignoring safety concerns. Firms need to check regularly to verify their equipment meets OSHA standards. However, sometimes companies overlook these safety regulations, which leads to severe injuries. 

Unprotected Workers

As a safety requirement, owners and construction companies should provide their workers with personal protective equipment (PPE) such as hard hats, steel-toed boots, hearing protection, and other necessary gear. Such entities who do not enforce PPE requirements may be held liable for injuries if workers are not protected. 

Equipment Design Flaws

While rare, equipment design flaws can also lead to construction accidents. One example is ladder misalignment on mobile lifts, leading to a worker losing balance and falling off. It is the responsibility of owners and contractors to regularly check their machinery to prevent chances of injuries related to equipment design flaws. 

Inadequate Training

Construction companies should train workers on how to operate construction equipment. If they do not and a worker gets injured due to unsafe equipment operation, the responsible companies, as well as the owner may be held accountable. If you are the injured person in a case like this, you may be eligible to file a liability claim arising from your injuries. 

Lack of Preventive Maintenance

Regularly scheduled preventative maintenance is critical to keeping construction equipment running smoothly. Whenever equipment is not maintained properly, it could lead to catastrophic failures that can injure operators and others onsite. Organizations that do not follow manufacturer recommendations for routine maintenance schedules are putting workers at risk. They may be held responsible if a machine failure results in injury or death. 

What Should You Do After a Construction Equipment Failure Causes Severe Injuries? 

If you have been injured in an accident that was caused by a construction equipment failure, here is what to do next:

Get Immediate Medical Attention

When you are injured in a construction equipment accident, you need to focus on your recovery. While you may be in shock from a sudden traumatic event like an equipment failure, your body is also under stress. Sometimes, you may not even be able to notice injuries immediately. 

Ignoring symptoms of an injury can lead to serious complications and long-term problems, such as chronic pain or disability. Immediately after an accident, go see a doctor and explain to them what happened. In some situations, your employer may provide an on-site account. However, to get an unbiased report of your situation, it is critical that you consult an independent physician. 

Report the Incident

Many accidents go unreported in the construction industry. This is because many workers are afraid of being fired for disclosing injuries and fatalities on site. Some construction companies also do not like to reveal accidents, as it shows them in a bad light.. They also fear investigations from OSHA that may make them pay severe penalties. 

However, reporting a construction site incident can help prevent future injuries. It can also lead to safer equipment and better training procedures for workers.

Document Everything

It is tempting to gloss over what happened and move on. But accidents like equipment failure have far-reaching consequences, particularly when they cause severe injuries or fatalities. 

You need to take steps to ascertain you are financially protected should you be forced into a situation where you need compensation for your pain and suffering, as well as medical bills and lost wages. That means documenting everything as soon as possible following an accident. 

The more detailed your records, the better equipped you will be to prove liability if it comes down to it. Look for essential information from witnesses, surveillance cameras, and cell phone photos. If you are too injured to collect the information you need to file a claim, request help from a coworker you trust. 

Assess the Situation

If your injury was due to a construction company’s negligence, you may be able to seek compensation for your losses and damages. The first step in understanding how much your case is worth is obtaining all your medical records. 

Getting a clear picture of damages right away can help you avoid gaps in the information down the line. It will also enable you or your attorney to negotiate effectively with insurance adjusters and other defendants who may be trying to minimize their financial responsibility for your injuries and, if necessary, proceed to trial.

Hire a Professional Construction Lawyer

You might be tempted to handle your injury claim on your own, but it is best to get help from a seasoned professional. Construction negligence attorneys have the experience you may not easily find from any other personnel. 

Working with construction litigation lawyers may speed up your compensation process and help you get better results. Your construction lawyer may also tell you if you have a case and how much money it could potentially earn you.

Reach Out to an Experienced New York Construction Attorney

When construction equipment malfunction causes severe injuries, it is crucial to understand the steps to take. If you have been involved in an accident, seek medical care and ensure you are safe. After that, gather enough evidence about your injuries and contact an experienced construction defect attorney for help with your case.

At Lever & Ecker, PLLC our award-winning New York construction lawyers have over 60 years of combined experience representing victims of serious construction accidents. Our firm may be able to handle your claim from start to finish, so you do not have to worry about anything except getting better. In fact, we do not request any fee unless we win your case. Reach out to us today at (914) 288-9191 or (718) 933-3632, or fill out our contact form to see what we can do for you.