Loaders and backhoes allow construction workers to quickly remove building materials, perform excavations, and fill holes. They speed up the efficiency of a construction site, but only when operated safely. If improperly handled by an untrained or inexperienced worker, a loader can cause a catastrophic and often deadly accident. Despite strict laws and regulations, New York City is filled with dangerous construction sites, many of which involve the misuse of loaders and backhoes. Workers involved in these accidents typically suffer extensive trauma that may leave them disabled or in a tremendous amount of pain.
If you or someone you love was injured in a loader accident, then you need all the legal help you can get. At Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro & Halperin, LLP, our New York construction loader accident attorneys can provide the strong and dedicated representation you deserve after an accident. We can investigate the nature of your injuries and advocate for full compensation from the party who injured you in a personal injury claim. Call our office at (212) 986-7353 to review your case in a free initial consultation.
Anytime a job site employs heavy machinery, managers, supervisors, and contractors need to follow every safety procedure. Construction companies are responsible for hiring and training workers who know how to handle themselves around loaders and backhoes, whether or not they will be operating these machines.
Given the size, weight, and power of loaders and backhoes, these machines should be handled with great care. They are designed to collect and move hundreds of pounds of heavy material and to help in demolitions and excavations. While some are designed with seat belts, falling-object shields, and anti-rollover structures to protect the operator, they offer little protection for other workers in an accident. Common causes of loader accidents at New York job sites include:
- Overloading the bucket with loose material
- Driving the loader at excessive speed
- Making unsafe turns without checking blind spots
- Colliding with fixed objects, buildings, or scaffolding
- Driving on uneven surfaces
- Disobeying traffic laws on public roads
- Unsafe dumping of construction materials
If a loader collides with a construction worker, it can cause a variety of devastating injuries. Victims may be left with severe crush injuries, multiple fractures, head injuries, lost limbs, and catastrophic spinal cord injuries. They may be left disabled and out of work for weeks to months at a time. Many, unfortunately, are unable to return to work and may be left with costly medical bills. However, if you were injured due to someone else’s negligence, you may have several options.
Almost all construction workers in New York are covered under their employer’s workers’ compensation policy, except for independent contractors. While you should always file a workers’ compensation claim after a construction accident, these funds may not be enough to cover the trauma caused by a loader accident. These machines are incredibly dangerous and can cause extensive damage in a collision or dumping accident.
However, if your injuries were caused by a third party, such as a contractor, property owner, or another vehicle driver, then you may be able to file a personal injury claim. Construction workers are legally barred from filing lawsuits against their employees when they are covered under workers’ compensation, but they can file claims against third parties that injured them. In addition, if the loader or backhoe was inherently defective, then you may be able to file a product liability claim against the manufacturer or rental company.
Determining whether you have a valid personal injury or product liability claim can be difficult. It requires an in-depth investigation and thorough review of accident reports, surveillance footage, witness statements, and maintenance reports. It is almost impossible to perform any of these tasks while recovering from your injuries. However, if you work with an experienced and knowledgeable personal injury lawyer, then you may be able to file a strong case for compensation against the party who injured you.
Construction sites in New York can be extremely chaotic, with numerous moving parts and a near-constant amount of noise. Workers can easily become distracted in their tasks and make serious mistakes. However, that is no excuse for dangerous negligence. Workers, employers, and contractors should all follow every safety procedure, especially when heavy machinery like loaders or backhoes are involved.
If you or someone you love was injured in a loader accident, you should contact a New York construction accident attorney immediately. Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro & Halperin, LLP, has more than 50 years of experience providing legal guidance to injured New York workers in workers’ compensation claims, third-party injury claims, and product liability claims. We can assess the details of your case and advocate for full compensation from the negligent party who injured you. Call Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro & Halperin, LLP, at (212) 986-7353 and get started on your claim today.
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