Backhoe Accidents

We Advocate for Kentucky Workers and Site Visitors Injured by Defective Backhoes

When defective machinery injures construction site visitors, Kentucky construction accident attorneys protect their rights

Backhoes are heavy earth-moving machinery, typically mounted on diesel engine powered bulldozer-type tractors, and used to dig trenches and ditches at construction sites. The operator’s cab, engine and hydraulic pumps are fixed to a turntable atop the tractor, allowing them to turn in a full 360 degrees. Also fixed to turntable is an articulated, hydraulically operated arm with a scoop attached to its end. The scoop is capable of digging up and moving several cubic yards of soil or rock at a time. The entire apparatus can weigh as much as fifty or sixty tons.

The size, weight, power and motion of construction backhoes make them hazardous both to their operators and to people working nearby. If you were an inspector, subcontractor, or other business visitor to a construction site, and suffered injury because of a defective or negligently operated backhoe, you should seek the counsel of one of the experienced Kentucky construction accident attorneys at Crandall & Pera Law. We are highly skilled at obtaining due compensation for construction accident victims and their families across Kentucky from our offices in Louisville and Lexington.

What kinds of accidents and injuries are caused by backhoes?

Workers reinforcing the sides of newly cut trenches have been crushed by the scoop when an operator was unable to see them from the cab. Others have been struck by the scoop as the boom rotated. Loads of soil and rock being transferred from a trench to dump trucks have missed their targets and landed on nearby workers, burying them. Backhoe buckets have dug up utility pipes and caused explosions, breached conduits housing live electrical cables, and touched overhead wires, causing severe burns and electrocutions. Backhoes have also side-slid into their own trenches after the walls collapsed, and crushed workers. Non-employee visitors to the construction site, such as inspectors, technicians or subcontractors whose duties take them near operating backhoes face the same hazards.

A review of the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries for 1992 to 2000 identified 346 deaths associated with excavators or backhoe loaders during that period. A review of these data and those of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health’s (NIOSH) Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation cases suggests two most common causes of injury:  being struck by the moving machine, swinging booms, or other machine components, and; being struck by quick-disconnect buckets that unexpectedly detach from the excavator.

Options for people not covered by workers’ compensation

If you are not an employee of a company on whose construction site you are injured, you have options for recovering compensation to help you through your injuries. For example, if you are a subcontractor, an inspector, or even a business visitor on a sales call, you can bring a negligence action against the construction company for using defective machinery that caused your injury. If the company leased but did not own the machine, and the accident was caused by a defect in it, the machine’s actual owner or lessor may be liable if they knew, or should have known, about the defect. Similarly, a product liability suit might be possible if it can be shown that there is an inherent design or manufacturing defect in the machine, which its builder knew, or should have known, about.

Our Kentucky construction accident lawyers help obtain full and fair compensation for our clients

Your construction accident case is important to us. The attorneys at Crandall & Pera Law have are experienced protecting the interests of people injured in heavy equipment accidents on construction sites. To learn more about how we can help you, please call us at 877-686-8879, or fill out our contact form and schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with a Kentucky construction accident lawyer. We have offices located in Louisville and Lexington to serve clients throughout Kentucky.

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