Austin Crane Accident Attorneys
Our Crane Accident Law Firm Never Backs Down—No Matter What
Cranes are the most high-risk machines in any construction site. Weighing thousands of pounds, reaching hundreds of feet into the sky, and wielding tons of building materials, cranes are typically found in high density areas. As a result, crane accidents typically cause catastrophic injury, even for bystanders and workers who think they’re standing at a safe distance.
Crane accidents can result in permanent injuries like:
Austin Crane Accident Lawyers with Billions Won
Our Austin crane accident lawyers provide people with the resources they need to rebuild their lives. Arnold & Itkin LLP has recovered billions for our clients, including winning the third largest verdict in American history. In other words, we’re one of the premier plaintiff law firms in the nation. If you were injured in a crane accident, speak with our firm to learn how we can help you. In a free consultation, we can discuss your legal and financial options, as well as take your first steps toward recovery.
Let’s reclaim your future: call (888) 493-1629.
Austin Crane Collision Hospitalizes 16 Construction Workers
The morning of September 16, 2020, two cranes became entangled in East Austin. The collisions and partial collapse forced dozens of construction workers to flee the scene immediately. The event injured nearly two dozen workers, requiring the hospitalization of 16 workers. For hours after the accident, the fire department kept the cranes in a “holding pattern” until the crane manufacturers could report to the scene. One crane operator stayed behind to keep his foot on the brake as a precaution.
For more information about this story, read our blog on the East Austin crane collision.
Construction Boom Leads to Rise in Crane Accidents in Texas
The ongoing boom in construction has created a demand for crane operation companies, which has unfortunately led to the rise of unscrupulous and negligent businesses offering sub-par and unsafe services. From 2011 to 2015, Texas experienced four times the crane accident deaths as any other state in the country. Crane accident deaths became so common that OSHA developed a special initiative for keeping Texas construction companies accountable.
Government regulation isn’t enough. The people who get injured by negligent crane operation need an avenue for justice, a way to hold companies accountable for the harm and loss they’ve suffered. Only by taking negligence crane manufacturers and operators to court will workers be able to recover their medical costs, lost wages, and more.
Why Crane Accidents Happen
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that around 44 crane-related deaths occur on average every year. More than half of all crane accidents occur in construction or manufacturing, where crane use is most common. In virtually every investigation, crane accidents are found to occur as a result of negligence, which means they’re preventable.
The causes of crane accidents often occur due to:
- Improper use
- Lack of preparation in poor weather
- Falling objects
- Wrong crane for the job
- Unsafe crane set-up
- Hazardous conditions on jobsite
In one of the most significant crane accident cases nationwide, our firm represented a worker who lost his leg in a crane collapse. He was standing at a safe distance while the crane was pushed to its limits by the crane operator’s supervisor, which led to a catastrophic accident. The reason the crane was used improperly? The job was behind schedule and the company didn’t want any more delays.
Ultimately, these are the reasons that crane accidents happen: cutting corners, making shortcuts, and pushing employees too far.
When these practices are allowed to persist without any legal consequences, dangerous accidents are guaranteed to happen.
The Common Causes of Crane Accidents
The Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR) surveyed 14 years’ worth of data and determined the leading causes of crane-related deaths. These causes of death correspond to OSHA’s “Fatal Four,” which are the four leading causes of death on construction sites.
The leading fatal crane accident causes are:
- Overhead Power Line Electrocution: The CPWR found more than 100 cases where a worker was electrocuted by an overhead power line. The majority of these electrocutions were caused by contact between the power line and the crane boom or cable.
- Crane Boom Failure or Collapse: 1 in 5 crane-related fatalities were the result of crane collapses. Overloaded cranes caused the majority of collapses, followed by operating a crane on icy or unsafe terrain. Some also occurred to load shifting.
- Struck by Crane Boom or Jib: The third most common cause of crane fatalities were due to workers getting struck by the crane. Almost 50% of these cases occurred while the crane was being dismantled or lengthened.
Crane Accidents in Austin Due to Defective Machinery
In crane collisions or collapses, the crane’s manufacturing can play a role. While most cases are a result of misuse or poor maintenance, component failure and defective parts can result from a combination of neglect and poor manufacturing. With regard to legal liability, this would make the crane’s owner and the crane’s maker responsible for any injuries caused by the accident.
Defective design or manufacturing can include:
- Missing or broken safety features
- Defective materials
- Unclear or poor instructions
Even if a crane is in perfect working order, equipment sellers must ensure that buyers have all the information they need to operate it safely. Without that information, workers may fall victim to “defective advertisement,” or insufficient warning about any dangerous features a crane may have.
Crane Injury Statistics
Over a 10-year period from 1992 to 2002, the Bureau of Labor Statistics found that there were 719 documented cases of workplace fatalities involving cranes. Nearly half of these fatalities were the result of being struck by the crane or by an uncontrolled hoisted load.
Another BLS study looked at crane fatalities from 2011 to 2017, and the findings regarding where crane accidents took place were telling. During that period, there were more fatal crane accidents in Texas than in the next three states combined. This is consistent with other studies that find Texas to be the most dangerous state for construction workers.
Crane Accident FAQ
What Can I Claim If I Was Injured a Crane Accident?
The short answer is you can claim any and all losses from the accident. Our firm will do everything legally possible to get you compensation for each cost incurred by your injuries.
- Hospitalization costs
- Future treatment costs
- Lost wages
- Diminished future earnings
- Physical pain and suffering
- Mental and emotional anguish
Are Accidents More Common in Some Industries?
About 64% of crane accidents occur in two industries: construction and manufacturing. The construction industry has an especially high rate of employee injury and fatality, with hundreds of people every year dying from construction accidents as a result of the same four causes. OSHA calls these four causes the “Fatal Four,” and every year they’re the leading cause of preventable death in worksites nationwide.
The only way for construction companies to start taking safety seriously is if they face real financial consequences for every accident. That’s what Arnold & Itkin do for our clients: we get them the money they need to rebuild, and we make sure the accident that led to their harm never happens again.
Who Is Liable for Malfunctioning Machinery?
The underlying cause of the malfunction will determine who is at fault for a crane accident. For instance, if a manufacturing or design defect led a brand-new, properly used crane to malfunction, then the crane manufacturer will be liable. If the issue was the improper maintenance of the crane, then the owner of the crane will be liable. However, if the problem sprang from negligent operation, then the construction company may be held liable. The cause may include elements of all three, in which case all three parties will be defendants in your case.
The key to holding the right people liable is a thorough investigation, which requires hiring an experienced and well-resourced law firm. As one of the foremost law firms in the United States, Arnold & Itkin is equipped to investigate your crane accident with a wealth of experience, experts, and resources.
Speak with Austin Crane Attorneys Who Do What it Takes to Win
When a young boy was deformed by unsafe medications, his family called Arnold & Itkin, and we got them an $8 billion verdict. When a young mother was left paralyzed and brain-damaged by an ambulance driver, her family called Arnold & Itkin, and we got her a $117 million verdict. When a construction worker lost his leg after being crushed by a crane, he called Arnold & Itkin, and we got him a $44 million verdict. In every case, our clients pay nothing upfront so they can focus exclusively on healing; while they get better, we get to work.
Our Austin crane accident law firm has won the largest, most significant case results in recent history. Our verdicts and settlements prove that we put all our resources, effort, and staff on making sure our clients get what they need for the rest of their lives. Arnold & Itkin win for our clients, no matter what.
Call (888) 493-1629 today for a free consultation. Let’s take your first steps toward physical and financial recovery.