Fighting for the Rights of Workers Injured in NY Crane Accidents

construction craneAnyone who lives or works in Manhattan is accustomed to seeing cranes at large construction sites. Cranes are massive pieces of construction equipment that can weigh up to 4,000 tons. When such large machinery is being used with so many construction workers around a site, accidents can and will happen. Unfortunately, because of the size of cranes and the heights they are used at, crane accident injuries can be devastating.

If you or a loved one has suffered injuries in a crane accident, you may be able to pursue compensation for your damages and losses. Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro, Moses & Halperin, LLP, has helped many people injured in crane accidents. Let us help you secure a settlement that helps you and your family heal and move on from this difficult chapter of your lives. We can be reached at (212) 986-7353.

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Common Causes of New York Crane Accidents

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) sets federal laws and construction industry regulations meant to keep workers and the public safe around construction sites. Even with these strict rules about crane use, mistakes still get made, accidents happen, and people get hurt. The most common cause of crane accidents is a crane striking a power line. This accounts for about 40% of all crane accidents. Here are the most common causes of crane accidents our clients have reported over the years:

  • Cranes striking power lines
  • Crane rigging failure
  • Crane mechanical failure
  • Dropped crane loads
  • Cranes overturning
  • Improper operation of the crane
  • Crane boom collapse

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Recent Crane Accidents

While it would be difficult to track every single crane accident that happens in New York, some memorable ones from the past few years are worth considering:

  • June 20, 2017 - On another Tuesday afternoon, a massive load of building materials crashed down through a building under construction onto three workers down in the basement. The materials had been lifted up by a crane and placed on the roof for construction up there, but the load was too heavy and tore through the roof. Two of the men in the basement were critically injured in the accident.
  • November 22, 2016 - Just after noon on a Tuesday, a massive I-shaped beam that weighed around 6,500 pounds came crashing down from a crane. It slammed into the cab of the crane and killed the operator inside, as well as another construction worker who was guiding the crane operator from a second vantage point. A failure in the crane's rigging was determined to be at fault, rather than operator error.
  • February 5, 2016 - On a cool Friday morning, construction workers grew concerned about gusting winds and the massive crane they had overhead. They decided to lower the boom of the crane, but it began coming down much too quickly and ultimately entered a free-fall. It crashed down across two city blocks, killed one person who was walking on the street, and injured three others. People panicked and fled the crash, which shook buildings and sent debris for miles. The city found that the operator had failed to lower the boom properly and revoked his license after the accident.

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Wrongful Death Due to a Crane Accident

Any wrongful death is a tragedy, because the accident could have been avoided if people were more careful or mindful of the safety of others. A wrongful death from a crane accident can be devastating, since the massive scale of these accidents can impact entire blocks of the city. That means a person might be nowhere near the crane, yet still be killed when the crane comes down. That is why it is so important for crane operators and construction companies to follow rules and regulations meant to keep people safe.

Nothing can replace a lost loved one. Damages from a wrongful death case are meant to ease the burden of the loss as much as possible, and to hold those at fault responsible for their actions.

In a wrongful death suit, you may seek damages for costs, such as funeral expenses, and also potential losses in earnings. For example, you can be awarded damages to compensate for what your loved one would have earned in the future and contributed to your family. You can also seek damages for emotional trauma and pain and suffering, including the loss of companionship if you have lost a husband or wife. It is important to have a knowledgeable attorney by your side to fight for your rights and handle as much of the case as possible to ease your burdens in such a difficult time.

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Frequently Asked Questions About NYC Crane Accidents

What are the most common New York City crane accident injuries?

What are the OSHA regulations for crane use at construction sites?

Who can be held liable for crane accidents at construction sites?

What are the New York construction site laws?

How much is my New York crane accident case worth?

Q: What are the most common New York City crane accident injuries?

A: Here are the most common accidents our clients have reported over the years:

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Q: What are the OSHA regulations for crane use at construction sites?

A: OSHA sets strict regulations about crane use at construction sites. Here the specific rules about crane use that must be followed:

  • If a crane operator cannot visually maintain a safe clearance, another person at the construction site must be designated to visually observe the proper clearance.
  • Do not use cage-type boom guards, proximity warning devices, or insulating links as a substitute for grounded and de-energizing lines.
  • Electrical and transmission lines must be de-energized.
  • If lines are not de-energized, cranes can only be operated if a safe distance can be maintained.
  • Insulated barriers that are not part of the crane must be used to prevent contact with power lines.

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Q: Who can be held liable for crane accidents at construction sites?

A: Under general workers' compensation law, construction workers are usually barred from bringing negligence claims against their employers. However, crane accidents are different situations. Because cranes are operated by crane company contractors not in charge of the site, they may be held liable for crane accidents. These are the parties most commonly held liable in New York City crane accidents:

  • Crane maintenance companies
  • Crane and crane parts manufacturers, distributors, and retailers
  • Other on-site contractors

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Q: What are the New York construction site laws?

A: Due to Manhattan being one of those areas where construction is constantly happening, New York State labor law has set up specific rules for construction site safety:

  • New York Labor Law Section 240(1): this law requires contractors and building owners of construction sites to furnish and safely erect scaffolding, hoists, ladders, blocks, pulleys, braces, ropes, and other devices to give proper protections to construction workers.
  • New York Labor Law Section 241(6): this law requires that equipment and machinery at construction sites be shored, equipped, arranged, operated, and conducted to provide reasonable and adequate protection for people working the site.

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Q: How much is my New York crane accident case worth?

A: This completely depends on the severity of the injuries you suffered in a New York City crane accident. Until you've begun medical treatment, there's no way of estimating how much your claim may be worth. An experienced New York crane accident lawyer will attempt to pursue the maximum compensation available for your injuries.

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Contact an Experienced New York Crane Accident Attorney

The New York construction site injury attorneys at Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro, Moses & Halperin, LLP, can help you pursue the settlement you need to cover medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering after a crane accident. Contact us today at (212) 986-7353.

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Additional Information