March 4, 2024

Who Can Be Hurt in a Crane Accident in NYC?

By Jonathan Damashek

Posted in

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On July 26, 2023, a crane collapsed in Midtown Manhattan, injuring nine civilians and three firefighters. While this might sound like a scene from a dystopian thriller, dangerous construction accidents like these are a well-known reality for those living in New York City.

Crane accidents on New York construction sites can be catastrophic, not just for workers. Learn who is vulnerable to injury, what causes crane accidents in NYC, and how to recover compensation if you or a loved one were injured in a devastating crane accident.

Anyone Can Be Involved in a Crane Accident

Millions of people travel through NYC every day. With a high flow of foot traffic beneath towering cranes and buildings nearby, there is the potential for catastrophe if a crane were to malfunction or collapse. Multiple injury victims are not uncommon in crane accidents, and virtually anyone – civilians, construction workers, or first responders – could be injured in a crane accident if proper precautions are not taken.

However, construction workers are at an exceptionally high risk for these kinds of accidents since they are near the crane. According to the most recent data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, roughly 42 construction workers in the United States suffer fatal injuries yearly because of a crane accident. Over half of these fatalities resulted from a worker being struck by an object or equipment.

Common Injuries in NYC Crane Accident Cases

Common crane accident injuries in New York include:

  • Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
  • Internal organ damage
  • Broken bones
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Electrocution, if a crane comes into contact with a powerline
  • Lacerations

In some cases, these injuries can be fatal. It is imperative that you seek immediate medical treatment if you’ve been involved in a crane accident in New York and hire experienced legal representation to help you pursue the fullest compensation possible.

What Causes Crane Accidents in New York?

Crane accidents often result from negligence in the line of people working with the crane. Common causes of crane accidents in New York include:

  • Insufficient training for workers
  • Operator or worker errors
  • Mechanical failure
  • Defective crane components
  • Crane operator fatigue

How Construction Workers Can Prevent a Crane Accident

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires workers, employers, manufacturers, and construction site inspectors to follow specific safety protocols when using cranes. OSHA and federal regulations for cranes and derricks in construction are listed in the 1926 Subpart CC of their standards and include:

  • Ensuring there are guardrails, railings, ladders, and other fall prevention measures in place (§1423)
  • Clearly marking or barricading fall zones and prohibiting employees from entering these areas, as stated in 1296.1417(e)(1)(iv)
  • Conducting an inspection of the crane in accordance with §1412 prior to the crane’s use
  • Remaining at the controls of a crane while a load is being lifted [§1417(e)(1)]
  • Training employees under the guidelines listed in §1430
  • Using hand signals according to the Standard Method, or using voice, audible, or new signals (§1419)

The results can be catastrophic if someone fails to adhere to OSHA crane operation standards. Even if a worker follows all of the rules, there may be factors outside their control – such as faulty equipment – that contribute to an accident. Your construction injury lawyer can evaluate your case and determine every party who can be held liable for your injuries and other compensatory damages.

Recovering Compensation After a Crane Accident

If you’re injured in a crane accident, you deserve to be made whole again through compensation. There are plenty of ways you can fight to recover the losses you endured as a result of the accident, including workers’ compensation claims and third-party liability lawsuits.

Workers’ comp is limited in how much damages it can award you. It only applies to those who were injured on the job. Plus, once a workers’ comp claim is filed, you also lose the opportunity to sue your employer or co-workers for your crane accident.

In many cases, there is an outside party who can be held liable. Your attorney may advise you to file a third-party liability claim or lawsuit against them in order to obtain full compensation for your damages.

Third-Party Liability Lawsuits

A third-party lawsuit is a way to recover more compensation than workers’ comp alone. If someone else is responsible for causing your accident, you can pursue a claim or lawsuit against them to hold them accountable for their negligence.

Examples of liable third parties in a crane accident could include:

Larger companies like United Crane & Rigging Services Inc., New York Crane & Equipment, Bay Crane Service of New York, Tristate Crane, or Cranes, Inc. could be held accountable for your losses. Going up against these entities requires careful legal guidance, so it’s best to rely on the help of an experienced and aggressive NYC crane accident attorney.

Wrongful Death Lawsuits

If you lost a loved one due to a crane accident in New York, you deserve a compassionate attorney to handle your wrongful death claim and pursue the maximum compensation. While no amount of money could bring your loved one back, our team at HKD will ensure that your needs are taken care of throughout the legal process and that we pursue full recovery of your damages.

Injured in a Crane Accident? Contact a New York Construction Injury Lawyer Today

Construction work involving cranes is dangerous, especially if workers, manufacturers, or other parties are negligent. Even a split-second lapse in judgment while operating a crane can lead to innocent lives being lost or permanently changed.

If you’ve been injured in a crane accident in New York, you are not without legal recourse. You have the option to recover the rightful compensation you are owed with the help of an experienced crane accident attorney at HKD. Our lawyers have a proven track record of recovering large settlements for injured construction workers and their families. Let us help you too.

Contact a New York City crane accident injury lawyer at HKD at (212) 490-5700 for a free initial consultation.