Crane accidents usually involve fatalities because it is usually heavy and works at height, a deadly combination. Cranes are normally used to lift heavy loads, so the forces that act on it are exacerbated by the sheer weight involved. The use of cranes presents serious safety issues for those working in construction and related industries. A recent accident with a crane in New Jersey resulted in one fatality, an employee of the refrigeration company tasked to move a refrigeration unit from a hospital’s roof. The unit was not properly secured to the crane and fell on the unsuspecting employee.
Those who work with or around cranes know that the risks of an accident are high but when it happens, it can still be horrendously traumatic. This is even truer for those who are innocent victims, such as the man killed in his condo in Bellevue, WA when a crane toppled into it in November 2006. The crane was not even being operated at that time.
Crane accidents are often due to structural or mechanical failures, although the most famous case involving “Big Blue” in 1999 was attributed to high winds. In cases that does not involve acts of nature, the liability for injuries and fatalities are not always clear-cut. Depending on the circumstances and the results of the investigations, a case could go through an entire range of personal injury claims. Since the burden of proof usually lies with the plaintiffs in any personal injury lawsuit, establishing negligence to the satisfaction of the civil courts can be highly complex and frustrating for the uninitiated.
Finding someone to blame is the natural reaction to preventable crane accidents, but what is more important is to make the ones responsible pay for their recklessness or negligence. To do this with any degree of success, one needs to consult with a law firm experienced in pursuing personal injury or wrongful death claims in crane accidents. These law firms will have the right contacts and resources which will make it easier to establish fault.