Causes Of Heavy Machinery Construction Accidents In California
A California construction site is a dangerous place with many moving parts, and the risks affect those operating heavy machinery in a profound way. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), struck-by construction accidents are a leading cause of fatalities. Of these, 75 percent are related to excavators, bulldozers, cranes, and other heavy equipment. When you consider that excavators typically present on the construction site weigh around 70,000 pounds, you can see why so many of these incidents are deadly. A victim who survives may suffer severe, catastrophic injuries.
Construction accidents involving heavy machinery are preventable when contractors follow OSHA regulations and exercise proper care to keep the worksite safe. If you were hurt or lost a loved one, it is important to know your legal remedies. An Oakland construction accident attorney can explain options, and some information on heavy equipment accidents is useful.
Causes of Heavy Machinery Fatalities: There are many different reasons a construction worker could be killed in, upon, or around the heavy equipment often present on site. However, the underlying reasons involve negligence. There are three categories when looking at causes.
- Environmental factors may be weather-related, but many are man-made. Insufficient lighting is an example, as low visibility makes it difficult to operate heavy machinery.
- There are mechanical causes that lead to these incidents, and many involve defective equipment. Another factor is failure to make proper repairs, conduct maintenance, and inspect the equipment.
- Some causes of fatal construction site accidents are directly human-related, specifically a lack of proper training and inexperience with heavy machinery.
Injuries in Construction Accidents: When a person is hurt in an incident involving heavy machinery, the injuries are often described as catastrophic because of how they affect the body. They usually involve permanent disability, and the losses are considerable. A victim may sustain:
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI), concussion, and other head injuries;
- Complete or incomplete spinal cord injuries;
- Amputation of hands, feet, and major limbs; and,
- Loss of vision or hearing.
Options for Victims: When a construction worker is injured in a heavy equipment accident, California workers’ compensation laws apply. Benefits are available for medical costs, disability, and other needs, but you cannot obtain amounts for pain and suffering. Plus, workers’ comp is your sole remedy in most cases.
There are exceptions to this rule, and one may be grounds to take your claim to court. Heavy machinery accidents are often caused by a third party, especially when there are so many crews on a construction site. You may qualify to file a lawsuit, which enables you to recover monetary damages for pain and suffering – as well as medical expenses, lost wages, and emotional distress.
Discuss Legal Options with an Oakland Construction Accident Lawyer
Our team at Venardi Zurada, LLP is prepared to pursue all available options if you were injured in a construction accident involving heavy equipment. To learn more about your rights, please contact our firm today. We can schedule a free case evaluation at our offices in Oakland, or Walnut Creek, CA.