Crane falls and causes an accident

Unpacking the Causes and Remedies Related to Crane Accidents

By Jose Ceja
Managing Attorney

Crane accidents in Texas, as in many other states, can be caused by a variety of factors. These accidents can result in serious injuries, fatalities, and extensive property damage. Understanding the causes of these accidents is essential for preventing them and for considering the applicable legal remedies when they occur. 

Common Causes of Crane Accidents in Texas

  • Operator Error: Operator error is a leading cause of crane accidents. This can include mistakes in operating the crane, misjudging load capacity, and failing to follow safety procedures. In some cases, operators may not be properly trained or certified to operate the crane.
  • Mechanical Failures: Mechanical failures can occur due to inadequate maintenance, equipment defects, or wear and tear. Accidents can occur when there is a malfunction of components such as cables, hooks, and hydraulic systems.
  • Adverse Weather Conditions: Texas can experience extreme weather conditions, including high winds, thunderstorms, and hurricanes. These weather events can destabilize cranes and make them more susceptible to accidents.
  • Improper Assembly or Rigging: Crane assembly and rigging require careful planning and execution. If the crane is not assembled correctly or if loads are not properly secured, it can result in accidents.
  • Inadequate Inspection: Regular inspections are crucial for crane safety. Accidents can occur if inspections are not performed or are done inadequately,  resulting in potential issues going unnoticed.
  • Overloading: Exceeding a crane’s rated load capacity is a significant risk factor because overloading can cause the crane to tip over or collapse, resulting in accidents.
  • Lack of Communication: Poor communication between the crane operator and other workers on the job site can lead to accidents. Clear communication is vital for safe crane operations.
  • Environmental Factors: Environmental factors such as uneven terrain, unstable ground, or limited workspace can pose challenges for crane operations and increase the risk of accidents.

Legal Remedies Available In Claims of Texas Crane Accidents

When crane accidents occur in Texas, various legal remedies may be available to the victims and their families. These remedies can include:

  • Workers’ Compensation: Most private employers are not required to carry worker’s compensation in Texas, but many employers realize it is a good idea to have this type of coverage for its workers. However, private employers who contract with government entities must provide workers’ compensation coverage for the employees working on the project. Some contractors may require their subcontractors and independent contractors to have workers’ compensation. If the employer has workers’ compensation coverage, injured workers may be eligible for medical benefits and wage replacement.
  • Personal Injury Lawsuits: In cases where a third party, such as a negligent equipment manufacturer or a subcontractor, is responsible for the crane accident, injured parties may file personal injury lawsuits to seek compensation for damages.
  • Wrongful Death Claims: If a crane accident results in a fatality, the deceased person’s family may file a wrongful death claim against responsible parties to seek compensation for their losses.
  • Product Liability Claims: If a defective crane component or equipment played a role in the accident, injured parties may pursue product liability claims against the manufacturer or distributor of the faulty equipment.
  • Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Enforcement: OSHA sets safety standards and regulations for crane operations. When safety violations contribute to an accident, OSHA may investigate and issue fines to the responsible parties.
  • Insurance Claims: Victims and their families can file insurance claims with the involved insurance providers to seek compensation for medical expenses, property damage, and other losses.

It is important for individuals involved in crane accidents in Texas to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney who deals with workplace accidents. Legal remedies can vary depending on the specific circumstances of each case. Ceja Law Firm, PLLC can provide guidance and representation throughout the process. Contact our office for an complimentary initial consultation.

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.