Making Hazardous Conditions Worse: Defective Machinery and Equipment at Construction Sites
Our skilled Kentucky attorneys protect the legal rights of people harmed by faulty construction equipment
Construction sites are inherently dangerous places to work at or visit. When that danger is multiplied by defective machinery and equipment, unexpected injuries and fatalities are likely to result. Some machinery and equipment, because of its sheer weight, size and power, is risky to be near under the best of circumstances. When it malfunctions, not even the exercise of reasonable care is sufficient to prevent tragedy. Enormous construction cranes collapse and crush onlookers. Backhoes strike people as they pivot, or malfunction and drop bucket-loads of soil and rock on top of workers in trenches. Brake defects in forklift trucks cause them to run off loading docks. Even defects in light industrial equipment such as saws, shears and nail guns can cause loss of limbs, blindness and other serious injuries.
Non-employees at a construction site, such as independent contractors, technicians, delivery drivers, and inspectors, are as much at risk of injury from defective machinery and equipment as a construction company’s regular employees. If you were injured while visiting a construction site on business, a Kentucky construction accident attorney from Crandall & Pera Law may be able to help. We have the kind of skills you need, as well as an impressive record of positive case results from both negotiation and litigation. We serve clients in Lexington, Louisville, and throughout Kentucky.
The most common machinery in serious accidents
Any piece of defective equipment can be dangerous, no matter how small: imagine if the head flew off of your hammer when you were trying to use it. Certain types of machinery, however, lend themselves to far more serious injuries than the average faulty hammer. They typically include:
- Crane accidents. Cranes pose enormous dangers not only to their operators and the workers loading and unloading them, but also to nearly anyone working nearby. Defective manufacturing or assembly may cause a 200-foot crane to collapse and crush anyone or anything in its path. Tower cranes used in construction of high office buildings may topple from their moorings and plunge to the street, taking the operator and control cab down twenty stories with them and striking pedestrians. Negligently operated cranes may strike platforms or scaffolds, and contact with nearby electrical wires can cause electrocution of both the operator and people in the immediate area.
- Forklift accidents. Industrial forklifts, also called lift trucks, are powerful pieces of ground-level load-transporting equipment. A defective or improperly maintained lift truck may cause its operator to lose control of its movement, its lifting capability, or both. An uncontrollable lift may strike a person in its path and cause crushing injuries or death. Defective brakes may cause it to be driven off a loading dock, crushing or killing those trapped beneath it.
- Backhoe accidents. Backhoes are earthmovers that have treads similar to those on bulldozers. Unlike a bulldozer, however, a backhoe is equipped with a hydraulically operated articulated arm with a bucket scoop at its end. This makes them ideal for cutting deep trenches at varying angles. Defective manufacturing, improper maintenance, or uncontrolled movement of the hydraulically assisted arm and scoop may cause them to strike people working nearby, or drop tons of soil and rock on them.
What are the legal rights of non-employees injured at a construction site?
A business visitor to a worksite, such as an inspector or subcontractor, may receive workers’ compensation benefits from their own employer, and that does not bar them from suing the company at whose site they were injured, or anyone else associated with the defective equipment or machinery that caused the injury.
If you are a non-employee visiting a construction site on business, and are injured by the construction company’s defective machinery or equipment, you may bring a personal injury suit against the construction company. Families of victims may also be able to file a wrongful death suit against the company or the manufacturer, depending on the circumstances. There is also the possibility of bringing a suit against the city or municipality where you are hurt, though these types of cases are particularly challenging, and follow a much faster path in terms of the statute of limitations.
A product liability suit against the manufacturer of the defective equipment may also be possible if it can be proved that the accident was caused by an inherent design or manufacturing flaw that the manufacturer knew, or should have known about. Or, if machinery failed because it was improperly installed or serviced by an outside contractor, you might also recover from them for their negligence. That is why it is critical that victims of injury caused by defective machines and equipment contact an experienced Kentucky construction accident lawyer as soon as possible.
Get a Kentucky construction accident lawyer on your side
The attorneys of Crandall & Pera Law make every effort to obtain the best settlements and verdicts for non-employees injured by defective products or equipment at construction sites. If you or a loved one was injured, or a loved one killed because of defective or improperly maintained construction equipment, let Crandall & Pera Law help you and your family obtain the compensation you deserve.
Please call us at 877-686-8879, or fill out our contact form to schedule a no-cost, no-obligation consultation with an experienced Kentucky construction accident attorney. We handle complex personal injury cases across Kentucky, including in Lexington and Louisville.