Heavy Machinery Accident Attorneys in New York

Injured by Heavy, Dangerous Machines?

Of all the accidents that occur in workplaces, those involving heavy machinery are most likely to result in major injuries and death. In the wake of such accidents, injured workers or the families of deceased workers can suffer severe financial losses in addition to physical and emotional trauma. However, workers' compensation is available to those who have been injured while on the job to deal with these losses.

construction machineryWhile your injury may match all criteria to qualify for workers' compensation, the process of receiving benefits is not as easy as you may think. To find success in your application, it is vital that you fully understand your rights as a worker. Through a free consultation with the NYC accident lawyers at Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro & Halperin, LLP, you can be better prepared for the process ahead. We can be reached at (212) 986-7353. We have helped workers throughout New York find the compensation they need to cope with their losses.

The Dangers of Heavy Machines

Heavy machines are found at construction sites and other workplaces involving manual labor, helping workers complete tasks they could not do on their own. When mistakes are made, these pieces of equipment can suddenly become serious dangers. Equipment like tractors, cranes, and dump trucks are not only tall and weigh several tons, they also are mobile. This means that these vehicles can topple over and land on workers, drop heavy objects that they were carrying, or send other machines toppling over.

Usually, those who are injured by heavy machines are not in control of the machinery, but are doing their own work at the site. These accidents can occur in a matter of moments, giving workers little time to get out of the way or shield themselves. Even high-quality safety gear may not be enough to protect against heavy machinery.

Common Accident Causes

Because of the complex nature of heavy machinery, there may be multiple causes behind an accident. Understanding what led to the accident that caused your injuries is a vital aspect of proving that your losses occurred while on the job, proving qualification for workers' compensation and also finding out if a claim against a third party is a viable option.

  • Worker errors: Properly operating a piece of heavy equipment requires thorough training, on-the-job experience, and great concentration. Should a worker be lacking in any of these areas, he or she may make a crucial mistake that quickly ends in a major accident.
  • Improper directions: Supervisors and others in positions of authority have the responsibility to make sure that workers are doing their job properly and have the right training for the work they are doing. If they do not, or instruct employees to take dangerous actions, an accident could result.
  • Dangerous surroundings: Often, worksites that use heavy machinery have dangerous elements, such as incomplete structures, unstable ground, and other pieces of equipment. These may cause or worsen an accident.
  • Malfunctions: If the machinery has been defectively designed or manufactured, these defects often remain unknown until they cause an accident. Additionally, improperly maintained machinery may break down over time and become a danger to workers.

Common Injuries Caused by Heavy Machines

Just as different factors can cause serious accidents at a worksite, a wide range of different injuries can result. But certain injuries are fairly common when it comes to heavy machinery, including:

  • Lacerations: Minor cuts and bruises should be treated promptly to avoid infections. More serious lacerations require medical treatment, including stitches, and can impact a person's ability to work.
  • Broken bones: Bones can be easily broken or crushed in an accident with a heavy machine. Broken bones often need medical treatment to ensure they set properly and can require weeks or months of recovery. More serious breaks and fractures can require multiple surgeries and extensive physical therapy afterward.
  • Internal injuries: Some of the most serious injuries cannot easily be seen, including damage to the lungs, heart, or other organs. Internal injuries often result from an impact or compression, and require medical care both to detect and to properly treat.
  • Soft tissue damage: Injuries to muscles, tendons, and ligaments are not only painful, but require a great deal of time for recovery. Muscle tears often cause aches, and tendon and ligament tears decrease a person's mobility as well as being very painful.
  • Traumatic amputations: Some injuries are so severe that they result in the amputation of a body part. This can include fingers, toes, hands, feet, or entire arms or legs. Traumatic amputation can be the direct result of a heavy machinery accident, though severe tissue or limb damage can require surgical amputation after the fact.
  • Neck and shoulder injuries: Injuries to the neck and shoulders are painful, often impacting a person's mobility and quality of life. Even minor neck and shoulder injuries can take a long time to heal and affect someone's work, personal life, and sleep schedule.
  • Spinal cord injuries: Minor injuries to the spine can be very painful and require surgery and physical therapy. Severe injuries may result in paralysis, either partial or total, and can disable a person for the rest of his or her life.
  • Traumatic brain injuries: Injuries to the brain are often fatal. If not, they can change someone's personality, lead to cognitive impairments, may take months or years to be fully understood.

Accident and Injury Prevention: Machine Guarding

Different types of guards are used for different types of machinery, but they all serve the same purpose: providing protection between a machine operator or other employees and the machine itself. Some common forms of machine guarding and similar prevention methods include:

  • Point of operation guarding: This is the most common form of machine guarding and is located where the operator of a machine actually does work. On a large saw, for example, this would be the area around the saw itself and include a guard over the saw blade.
  • Barrels, containers, and drums: Machines with revolving barrels, containers, and drums must have guards that enclose the drive mechanism. This keeps people from coming into contact with these moving parts.
  • Blade guarding: Fan blades that are less than seven feet above a work area need to have guards over them to protect workers.
  • Anchoring for fixed machinery: Heavy machinery that is always used in the same location should be anchored securely in place. This keeps the machine from moving while in use, which can harm people around it.
  • Lockout/tagout systems: A lockout/tagout system is essential to controlling energy in a machine and keeping people safe while they repair or maintain it. This is a system that locks a machine out of use during repairs, and uses tags to let others know not to try to operate it.

Recovering Through Deserved Compensation in New York

The NY construction accident lawyers at Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro & Halperin, LLP, have helped countless clients recover from a wide variety of losses that they suffered in the course of their job. Whatever the cause of your injuries, we may be able to help you recover from physical and financial damage and find the compensation to support your needs and the needs of those who depend on you.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a heavy machine accident, get in touch with us today by calling (212) 986-7353. The information you gain from a free consultation with our legal team can get you on the right path to recovery.

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Contact Us: Free Consultation

If you or a loved one has been seriously injured, it is important to seek legal representation as soon as possible. Contact the New York personal injury attorneys at Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro & Halperin, LLP today for a FREE, no obligation consultation today:

The Graybar Building
420 Lexington Ave. Suite 2750 New York, NY 10170
Phone: (212) 986-7353 Fax: (212) 953-4308

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NY Heavy Machinery Injury Attorney Disclaimer: The legal information presented at this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer or attorney client relationship. Any results set forth here were dependent on the facts of that case and the results will differ from case to case. Please contact a lawyer at our law firm offices. This web site is not intended to solicit clients for matters outside of the State of New York, although we have relationships with attorneys and law firms in states throughout the United States.

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