Cranes are some of the most commonly used heavy machines today, both in Indiana and throughout the United States. They are essential to the transportation of large loads in a wide range of industries, including construction, manufacturing, and shipbuilding.
While cranes are reliable pieces of equipment, unfortunate accidents can happen when they are deployed or assembled incorrectly. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there are approximately 42 crane-related deaths per year across the country, and even non-fatal crane accidents can cause major injuries that demand extensive treatment at significant cost.
If you have been hurt in a crane accident, reach out to the Indiana crane accident attorneys at Hensley Legal Group, who have been getting justice for the everyday people of Indiana for more than 25 years.
To schedule a free consultation with a knowledgeable Indiana crane accident lawyer, please call us at (317) 472-3333, chat with us online, or complete our contact form.
Who Can Be Injured in a Crane Accident?
Cranes are versatile tools that can be used in many environments by a variety of professionals, though certain locations and trades are more likely to experience crane accidents.
The BLS reports that 43 percent of crane fatalities occur in the private construction industry, with specialty contractors and heavy and civil engineering construction workers suffering the most deaths. Crane accidents in this sector typically occur at building construction sites (accounting for 27 percent of fatal crane accidents) and road construction sites (8 percent).
Another 24 percent of crane-related deaths take place in manufacturing, generally at factories and plants. Dockyards are the setting for 6 percent of crane fatalities, most often in the shipping and shipbuilding professions.
Among the workers killed in crane accidents, a third of them are employed in transportation and material moving occupations, while 31 percent have construction or extraction jobs.
Most victims of crane accidents are injured while working in proximity to a crane, not while actually operating one. Crane operators account for 22 percent of all crane-related fatalities, while 23 percent of workers are engaged in construction, assembling, or dismantling activities at the time of an accident.
Though the vast majority of crane accidents occur on the job, innocent bystanders and passersby may suffer serious or even fatal injuries if they are in the vicinity of a crane accident.
Whether you were injured working with or alongside a crane or simply hurt because a crane was nearby, our Indiana crane accident attorneys can advise you of the next steps to take to recover compensation.
Crane Accidents Can Inflict Devastating Injuries
That compensation may be vital to your family’s continued prosperity because crane accidents can inflict devastating injuries, including:
- Broken bones
- Loss of limbs
- Spinal cord and brain trauma
These injuries could necessitate months or more of medical care, possibly while you are unable to earn a living, but our Indiana crane accident lawyers will fight to make sure that the costs you incur from an accident are taken into account.
How Do Crane Accidents Occur?
Crane accidents can take many forms, though deadly incidents with cranes often occur under comparable circumstances. The leading types of crane fatalities involve:
- Getting hit by an object – Decedents are struck by objects or equipment in about half of all fatal crane accidents. In approximately 60 percent of these incidents, the object is falling prior to impact, with most of those objects having been put into motion by the crane. In other situations, a worker may be struck by the crane itself, usually its boom or jib.
- Falls – About 14 percent of all crane accident casualties fall to a lower level either from a crane or because of a crane’s actions.
- Transportation accidents – An estimated 13 percent of crane deaths happen when the crane operator crashes into something or someone.
Other crane-related fatalities occur as the result of:
- Electrocution – The boom or cable of a moving crane can conduct deadly current when it comes into contact with an overhead power line or another electrified object.
- Crane collapses – Cranes may fall apart when they are overloaded or driven onto unstable, uneven, or icy surfaces.
- Tipping over – Inclement weather conditions or excessive loads can cause cranes to roll or tip over.
Additionally, both fatal and non-fatal crane accidents may be caused by:
- Rigging mistakes
- Misuse of the crane’s machinery
- Hook-lifting failures
- Disregard of safety standards
- Inadequate training
- Improper installation, operation, maintenance, or repair of cranes
These kinds of hazards could indicate negligence, which is a key element in successful personal injury claims. Hensley’s Indiana crane accident attorneys are highly adept at determining the underlying causes of crane-related injuries.
How to Prevent Crane Accidents
Given the risk of grievous bodily harm, it is important for crane operators and employers alike to implement safeguards to prevent crane accidents.
After analyzing BLS data on crane-related deaths, the Center for Construction Research and Training issued a report detailing concrete measures to limit crane accidents, including improvements in training, certification, and supervision protocols. Specifically, the report made the following recommendations to curb crane injuries:
- Crane operators should be certified by nationally-accredited testing organizations.
- Riggers who attach loads to cranes and signalers who provide visual or verbal directions to crane operators should meet comparable certification requirements.
- Employers need to have cranes inspected prior to each use, as well as every time they are assembled or modified.
- Cranes should only be assembled, disassembled, or modified by properly trained workers acting under competent and qualified supervision.
- Either crane loads need to be rerouted so they do not pass over street traffic or pedestrian walkways and streets need to be closed off when loads pass overhead.
Furthermore, experts suggest that crane accidents could be curtailed by:
- Clearing industrial sites of potential obstructions
- Enacting comprehensive crane safety procedures
- Scheduling and staffing jobs to avoid rushed work with inadequate support
- Purchasing crane movement control and snag prevention technology
Who Is at Fault for an Indiana Crane Accident?
Even with the best precautions, crane accidents may still occur. When they do, the injured may be eligible to pursue the ones who are to blame. But who exactly would that be? The reality is that many individuals and entities could be at fault for an Indiana crane accident, including:
- Crane operators – When a crane accident is caused by human error, the operator of the crane could be held liable for any injuries that result.
- Crane owners – A crane’s owner could be culpable for an operator’s negligent actions on the owner’s behalf, as well as for accidents caused by improper crane maintenance.
- Contractors – If the crane is being used in construction, the general contractor overseeing the project has a duty to ensure that the work site is free of hazards – and could be responsible when that duty is neglected with resultant injury.
- Property owners and developers – Similarly, the owners of properties under development as well as of factories and shipyards have obligations to provide safe conditions for crane use. Government entities may also share guilt for crane accidents on municipal, state, or federal land.
- Manufacturers – If a defective crane causes an injury, the manufacturer could face civil liability.
Sometimes multiple parties could have different levels of legal responsibility for a single crane accident, for which they would have different levels of fiscal responsibility. For this reason, it is crucial to identify every defendant within the time permitted by law, known as the Statute of Limitations. Failure to file suit or otherwise resolve a claim before the Statute expires could forever bar you from full recovery.
Hensley’s meticulous Indiana crane accident lawyers will satisfy all regulations and deadlines necessary to establish a valid case.
How Our Crane Accident Attorneys Can Make a Difference
Crane accidents can be physically punishing and financially catastrophic, far exceeding the means of most Indiana families. To make matters worse, any attempts to obtain sufficient resources to stay afloat may be met with staunch opposition from insurance companies looking to limit their exposure.
You need attorneys with the compassion to support you during your struggles and the skill to overcome them. You need the Indiana crane accident attorneys at Hensley Legal Group, who have been protecting the rights of the average Hoosier since the firm first opened its doors in 1998.
If you choose to hire us, we will launch a thorough investigation into the cause of your crane accident and everyone at fault for it within the time allotted by law, taking swift action to secure the materials to support your claim. If there is evidence of wrongdoing that contributed to your injuries, our Indiana crane accident lawyers will work tirelessly to find it.
Once we have put together an airtight case against every defendant, we will attempt to negotiate a settlement that reflects the entirety of your losses, including:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Diminished quality of life
- Psychological impairment
- Punitive and wrongful death damages (if applicable)
And if we do not receive an offer that is worthy of your case, we are not afraid to go to trial for a verdict that is, unlike many of our competitors, who rarely, if ever, see the inside of a courtroom.
No two crane accidents are exactly the same, but we will always strive to maximize the value of yours.
No Cost to You Until We Win
If you are wary of taking on more expenditures when you can least afford them, you may be pleased to learn that our firm works on a contingency basis. This means that there will be no cost to you for our services until our Indiana crane accident attorneys win your case.
Your world may have been shaken up by your crane accident, but Hensley will do whatever it takes to get you back on solid ground again.
Talk to an Indiana Crane Accident Lawyer Now
Hensley Legal Group built its practice on unwavering advocacy for the wrongfully injured. If you have been harmed through no fault of your own, talk to an Indiana crane accident lawyer now to explore the remedies available to you.
You can arrange a no-cost case review with one of our accomplished Indiana crane accident attorneys by dialing (317) 472-3333, chatting with us online, or completing our contact form.
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