New York Crane Accidents

Considering the height and environment in which most crane operators work, it’s no wonder that 44 people are killed in fatal crane accidents every year. This makes crane accidents one of the deadliest job-related incidents in the United States. Victims who do survive these serious accidents may suffer devastating losses beyond the pain. Medical bills pile up as wages dwindle due to being away from work. If you were hurt under such circumstances, it’s essential to reach out to an experienced New York crane accident lawyer who can provide crucial legal services.

New York Labor Law makes the property owners and general contractors responsible for providing a safe work environment. If you are a worker or family member who is suffering after a crane accident, the construction accident lawyers with Hecht, Kleeger & Damashek, P.C. are ready to help. With decades of experience, our team is ideally positioned to represent you regarding a crane collapse, falls from cranes, or other mishaps. We will advocate on your behalf and explore every available option to secure the compensation you deserve.

Let us investigate what led to your crane injuries or loved one’s death, and advise you of your legal options. Contact us online, or call 212-490-5700 to schedule a free, no-risk case evaluation.

Causes and Statistics on Crane Accidents

The U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS) tracks the frequency of crane accidents and some common causes:

  • Approximately 42% of construction fatalities each year are due to construction crane accidents, particularly in the specialty trades and civil engineering.
  • Annually, almost one-quarter of crane deaths occur in the manufacturing sector and around one-third are in the transportation of goods and materials. Of the deaths in transportation, over 50% of fatalities were crane operators.
  • Falls from a crane account for around 14% of all fatalities every year.

In just over half of fatal crane accidents, the victim was a worker who was below or in the area surrounding the crane. On average, 22 out of the 44 crane injury victims per year are not the crane operator. Just over 60% of these individuals were killed by falling objects, debris, or equipment, and around half of them were hit by an object that fell from the crane itself.

Common causes of crane accidents include:

  • Insufficient safety training for operators and workers
  • Errors by the operator or worker
  • Mechanical failure or defective crane components
  • Crane operator fatigue

Workers’ Compensation for Victims of Crane Injuries

Injury claims for most on-the-job accidents, including incidents involving cranes, proceed through the state workers’ compensation system, overseen by the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board. Most employers must carry workers’ compensation insurance to protect their employees in the event of an accident. The system is not fault-based, so you don’t have to prove that your employer was negligent in causing the crane accident. Instead of filing a lawsuit to recover for your losses, you file a claim for benefits under your employers’ workers’ comp insurer.

While workers’ compensation claims typically do not address fault, that does mean you should ignore who is at fault for the accident and your injuries. A New York crane accident lawyer can help guide you through the claims process, and help you determine if someone outside your employer – a third party – is at fault.

Third-Party Claims & Crane Injury Lawsuits

There are some situations where workers’ compensation is not your exclusive legal remedy, and you can pursue other options. Under the following exceptions, you may be able to recover compensation by filing a lawsuit in civil court.

  1. Your employer doesn’t carry workers’ compensation insurance as required by New York law
  2. If there was a violation of the Industrial Code, the general contractor and/or the property owner may be held responsible
  3. A third-party entity, unrelated to your direct employer, caused the accident in which you were hurt.

Knowledgeable crane accident lawyers can explain these exceptions in more detail and will represent you if your primary remedy is through a lawsuit as opposed to workers’ comp.



Construction Workers Injured on an Exterior Scaffold

Read More Results

How Crane Accident Lawsuits Work

Third-party work injury cases are based upon traditional concepts of negligence, which means you must prove that breach of a legal duty caused your injuries. They can be complicated, especially since there may be multiple third parties involved. Your employer wouldn’t be a defendant in such a case, but you may seek remedies against:

  • Property Owners
  • Independent Contractors
  • General Contractors
  • Subcontractors
  • Vendors
  • Engineers and Architects
  • Manufacturers, Distributors, and Retailers
  • Others like pedestrians and motorists depending on the circumstances

Monetary Damages in Negligence-Based Crane Accidents

Unlike workers’ compensation claims, there’s a broader range of compensation you can seek in a crane-related civil lawsuit. In addition to damages for medical bills and lost wages, you may also be entitled to recover losses for:

  • Pain and suffering;
  • Scarring and disfigurement;
  • Emotional distress;
  • Decreased quality of life and enjoyment;
  • The impact of your crane injuries on your personal relationships with your spouse, children, and other loved ones

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Who May Be Liable if a Crane Malfunctions?

Several parties may be responsible for a crane malfunction. If it was not built properly, the manufacturer may be to blame. If it was not properly maintained, the rental agency or crane service company may be held accountable. Some large crane service companies in New York include:

  • United Crane & Rigging Services Inc.
  • New York Crane & Equipment
  • Bay Crane Service of New York
  • Tristate Crane
  • Cranes, Inc.

There are dozens of other crane service operations that could also be involved in your accident.

2. What Can Go Wrong With Cranes?

Common problems with cranes that can lead to accidents include damaged wire ropes, alignment issues, excessive wear to the end truck wheels, issues with the electrification system, and bent or damaged hooks. Our knowledgeable attorneys will fully investigate your case to determine if one of these issues led to your injuries.

3. What Kind of Expert Witnesses are Used in Crane Accident Cases?

Cranes are complex machines, so when they malfunction and cause an accident, the case often requires an expert witness to testify. We might use accident reconstructionists, engineers, construction experts, general contractors, and others to help tell your story. Our goal is to prove liability and get you the compensation you deserve.

Get Help from Our New York Crane Accident Lawyers

If you were injured or lost a close relative in a crane accident in New York, you will have questions. You may wonder if you can file a personal injury lawsuit and receive compensation. But, you are likely most concerned with getting what you need to heal so you can resume your life. A New York crane accident lawyer from Hecht, Kleeger & Damashek, P.C. will answer your questions and guide you through the process of seeking fair and full compensation. We have decades of experience and have recovered hundreds of millions of dollars for victims in situations a lot like yours. Don’t take your rights for granted. Let us review your circumstances, determine who may be liable, and fight for everything you are entitled to under the law.

Call us at 212-490-5700 or contact us online to request a free consultation. There are no up-front costs, and you owe us nothing unless you recover compensation.


Google Reviews


“I retained Hecht, Kleeger & Damashek for a serious personal injury case. They were very professional and managed to obtain a settlement for me that far exceeded my expectations. I would strongly recommend this firm for anyone’s legal needs.”

5 Stars Review 5
Read More
Average 5 out of 5 rating based on 1 Reviews