Crane Accidents on Miami Construction Sites

At any given time, large construction cranes dot the Miami skyline. These massive machines are vital for completing construction projects that tower tens of stories over the city. While these cranes are impressive, they can also be extraordinarily dangerous for both workers and pedestrians.

People who work with cranes often must perform a variety of tasks and operate heavy machinery while performing tasks hundreds of feet into the air. When a construction worker falls or when a job goes wrong at these heights, the consequences can be devastating. If you or a loved one was injured in a crane accident, make sure to contact an experienced Miami personal injury attorney to talk about your options.

Construction Cranes are Highly Regulated

There are many types of cranes used in the construction industry, each with their own dangers. Cranes can be immobile and mounted on platforms, like those used in constructing skyscrapers, or can be mobile or truck mounted. Some types of cranes are used for loading heavy equipment onto large truck trailers, and others might be used in factories to lift machinery.

Cranes can pose a danger not only to the operator but to anyone working in the area. When a crane has a load that is too heavy, the machine can collapse. When the crane’s load is unbalanced, objects and debris can fall from the crane, or the crane may tip over. For that reason, the use of cranes is highly regulated by both the state and federal governments.

In the state of Florida, the law requires all construction sites using cranes to follow OHSA regulations. These regulations limit how cranes may be used, and require operators to take specialized training before using the machines. These rules are the same across the state, and create a uniform set of standards for every construction job involving cranes. OSHA regulations preempt state and city regulations about how construction cranes may be used.

How Do Crane Accidents Happen?

When a crane causes an injury, there are several common causes. Usually, a crane injury can be attributed to either a mechanical malfunction, human error, or a dangerous work environment. Most crane accidents are preventable. The Crane Inspection & Certifications Bureau estimates that as much as 90% of crane accidents are attributable to human error.

The most dangerous type of crane is a mobile crane. According to OSHA statistics, mobile cranes are responsible for 71% of construction crane fatalities. In comparison, tower cranes caused only 5% of crane-related deaths.

One of the most common ways that cranes cause an injury is through electrocution. Workers may accidentally come into contact with a live wire while working on a crane, or the crane’s operator may inadvertently strike a power line, causing the current to electrocute the workers touching it. Other frequent types of injuries stem from workers being struck by the crane’s load or boom, or from the crane collapsing.

Construction site accidents can be complex, and often involve multiple responsible people and entities. Everyone from the owner of the property, the developer, contractors and subcontractors, crane operators, and crane leasing companies may share some of the legal responsibility for a crane accident.

Injured by a Crane? We Can Help.

Crane accidents are frightening and traumatic experience. If you or a loved one has been injured in a crane accident, you may be unsure how you will pay your bills, how you will afford medical care, or if you will ever work again. While the workers’ compensation system will help with some bills, it is often not enough. Luckily, many injured workers can file a third-party lawsuit against someone other than their employer seeking additional damages from the party responsible for harming them.

At Gerson & Schwartz, P.A., our attorneys have decades of experience helping injured people. Our Miami personal injury lawyers will review your case for free, and help you determine your legal options. You may be entitled to compensation for your medical treatment, physical therapy, lost wages, future lost earning, and payments for your pain and suffering. To determine if you have a case, contact our office, and schedule a free consultation today by calling (877) 475-2905.

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