Construction worker shaking hands with attorney

How Common are Crane and Heavy Machinery Accidents on Construction Sites?

By Jose Ceja
Managing Attorney

Federal workplace safety regulators call construction a “high hazard” industry.The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) says approximately one in five workplace deaths (20%) take place on construction sites. If a loved one has died due to a heavy machinery accident on a construction site, or you have been injured while working with heavy machinery and you are unable to get worker’s compensation, you may need an attorney to help you.  We suggest you contact Ceja, Law, PLLC to help you understand your options.

The Most Common Types of Heavy Equipment Accidents on Construction Sites are as follows:

“Heavy equipment accident” is a term that includes accidents and injuries involving the use of various heavy equipment, including cranes, forklifts, bulldozers, haul trucks, and more. In many cases, these accidents may not result from construction worker negligence, but may arise from defective equipment, negligent supervisors/equipment owners, and more. In many cases, when workers are insufficiently trained or when those in charge of the construction project violate OSHA regulations, serious accidents happen. 29 CFR 1926, Safety and Health Regulations for Construction was established under section 107 of the Contract Work Hours and Safety Standards Act, and provides the standards for construction safety. 

Some of the most common types of heavy equipment accidents that seem to occur are as follows:

  • Being crushed by defective machinery
  • Truck/forklift/bulldozer rollovers
  • In-between vehicle entrapments
  • Structure collapses
  • Hearing loss due to loud machinery or the failure to provide workers with earplugs
  • Highway and street construction accidents
  • Accidents involving cranes

If you’ve been injured in a crane or other heavy machinery accident, you may want to file a claim for damages.

Some possible options include:

  • Workers’ CompensationWorkers’ compensation is a type of insurance that provides benefits to employees injured during the course of employment. Your employer has a duty to provide you with a reasonably safe work environment. If your employer fails to do so (for example, by failing to inspect the machinery) and you suffer an injury as a result of their failure, you may be able to file for workers’ compensation benefits or sue your employer. When it comes to workers’ compensation, Texas is a “no-fault” state. This means you can file a workers’ compensation claim and receive benefits without having to prove that your employer did anything wrong.
  • Product Liability Claim- Subject to certain exceptions, Texas does not require all employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance. If that is the case, you may still be able to recover if you believe that you have a product liability claim against a third party for a product defect. 
  • Personal Injury Claim – To win a personal injury lawsuit, you generally have to prove that the third party was negligent. This means proving that: (1) The employer or third party owed you a duty of care; (2) The employer or third party breached that duty of care, and 3) The employer or third party’s breach was the legal cause of your injury.

The types of damages you can recover in a civil lawsuit depends on the nature of your accident, as well as the laws of the state where your accident happened. However, in most cases, you should be able to recover economic damages (medical expenses, lost wages, etc.) and non-economic damages (pain and suffering, loss of consortium etc.)  Be aware that in Texas, the Statute of Limitations for personal injury claims is generally two years from the date of the injury. However, certain circumstances could affect the time limit, so having an attorney review your case is important to make sure you file your claim within the applicable time period.

It is important to remember that each heavy machinery injury or death at a construction site is unique, and the legal implications can vary based on specific details. If you or someone you know has been injured on a construction site in Texas, the attorneys at Ceja Law Firm, PLLC can help those who have been injured in a construction site accident. We will evaluate the circumstances, provide legal guidance, and help protect your rights. We will work to get you the compensation that you deserve. Call today.

About the Author
Jose Ceja is the managing attorney of Ceja Law Firm. He has practiced law since 2007 and has devoted his career to the practice of criminal law. Mr. Ceja began his legal career as a felony drug prosecutor, where he prosecuted drug, gang, and violent offenses. Mr. Ceja has first or second chaired almost 100 trials, including murders, drug cases, DWIs, and assaults. In his career as a defense attorney, he has regularly obtained dismissals, not guilty verdicts, and grand jury “no bills” in a wide variety of cases.