Living in Queens, you will often see a towering crane working to build new residences or office buildings. These machines transport large, heavy objects to high places and require a skilled operator to lift and place materials on buildings correctly.
In a city as large as New York with such a high volume of construction projects, crane accidents are fairly common. Crane accidents can result in destruction to buildings and—in the case of falling items—worker injuries or death. Shulman & Hill, a crane accident law firm in Queens, specializes in helping workers injured in crane accidents pursue the compensation they may be entitled to. Contact us today for a free legal consultation to learn more.
Common Causes of Queens Crane Accidents
The Occupational Safety and Hazard Administration (OSHA) has many regulations to ensure safe practices while operating cranes, but even if they are followed, accidents may still occur.
Cranes can be extremely challenging to operate in any busy construction site, but particularly those in dense, urban environments. Even the smallest of objects can be lethal or cause severe damage when released from these immense heights. Accidents can be caused by the following:
Cranes have specified weight loads (as set by the crane manufacturers). If a crane is loaded with materials that exceed its weight capacity, it may become unbalanced and unable to safely and properly do its job.
Contact With Power Lines
OSHA requires that cranes remain at least 20 feet from power lines at all times. As a result, prior to using a crane, a worksite should be mapped out and all nearby power lines should be noted. A crane operating too close to power lines can easily snap them and result in electrocution accidents.
Improperly assembled cranes can also have serious consequences. Crane assembly requires properly trained individuals and supervisors. Among the most important step in assembly is the foundation that the crane sits upon. The concrete foundation and anchors should be strong enough to support the weight of the crane and properly secure it to the ground.
Proper Crane Signaling
A signal person’s job is to use a variety of communication methods in areas where the crane operator’s view might be obstructed by buildings or large objects on the ground. Failure to signal properly—or at all—can lead to severe and dangerous consequences.
Given the weight that a crane must carry, it is important that cranes be inspected regularly. An on-site inspection should be done each time a crane is introduced to a new job site. Some companies take unacceptable shortcuts and miss major defects and problems. Rushing an inspection can have dire consequences.
When cranes are operating within a confined, urban space like Queens, two are not necessarily better than one. In Austin, Texas, two cranes collided and became entangled, sending 16 people to the hospital. This is one example of why adequate crane signaling and communication are so important.
Common Crane Accident Injuries
Injuries happen to bystanders and construction workers alike—often because of falling objects. Falling objects can lead to severe injuries. In many cases, these injuries can have lasting consequences such as paralysis, amputation, or even death. These injuries often occur because of crane misuse or uninspected, defective equipment.
From 2011 to 2017, there were 297 reported deaths from crane-related accidents. Over half were struck by falling equipment.
Regardless of the type of injury, many crane accidents are preventable. Property owners, general contractors, and sub-contractors that follow the law and OSHA guidelines can significantly limit the number of crane-related incidents. However, many fail to follow these regulations.
If you believe you or someone you know has been injured in a crane accident that came as a result of someone else’s negligence, reach out to a Shulman & Hill attorney for a free case review. You could be entitled to compensation.
How a Queens Crane Accident Attorney Can Help
Hiring an attorney can be crucial to the successful resolution of your case.
If you are injured while working, you will most likely qualify for workers’ compensation benefits. A workers’ compensation attorney can not only help you file for benefits, but they can also help you overcome challenges to your claim.
If a property owner, general contractor, or sub-contractor contributed to your crane accident, you may be able to pursue additional compensation by filing a personal injury lawsuit.
Our personal injury attorneys at Shulman & Hill can help determine all negligent parties, provide evidence that shows how you got hurt, and negotiate with the insurance companies. If the insurance companies offer settlements that are too low, your attorney can take them to trial.
A lawsuit may help you recover past and future medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.
Why Choose Shulman Hill?
At Shulman & Hill, we take every case seriously. When you work with us, you can trust that your case is in good hands. Since we opened our doors in 2013, we have helped clients recover millions of dollars in compensation. Our lawyers are specially trained to help you through every step of your legal journey. After all, your focus should be on what is most important: your recovery.
Crane accidents have the potential to cause life-altering injuries. If you have been involved in a crane accident, you may be entitled to compensation. After seeking necessary medical treatment, contact the attorneys at Shulman & Hill today to explore your options for pursuing compensation.