Common Causes of Bulldozer Injuries on Construction Sites
No accident is intentional but upon thorough evaluation of the events leading to most accidents on work sites, it is determined that preventative measures may have been taken to avoid the incident. It is the responsibility of employers to provide safe work environments and the duty of workers to adhere to the safety protocols established on every work site they work on. The most common causes of bulldozer injuries include some of the following.
- Sudden jolts or jerking caused by equipment malfunctions or uneven surfaces— when a bulldozer reacts sporadically or unpredictably, it can cause harm to the operator and those who are in the immediate vicinity of the bulldozer. This is very common when the machine is being operated on uneven terrain, on an edge of a drop or on a sloped surface.
- The bulldozer falls or rolls over— this type of incident also occurs when the bulldozer is operated on a slope, the edge of a cliff or near a depression. During the fall, the operator is often forced to choose between jumping off of the machine and taking the chance of being crushed inside of it. Either scenario can result in serious injuries.
- Failure to notice worker or bystander— some accidents are the result of distractions or simply not noticing that someone is in the path of the machinery while it is moving. Injuries and fatalities can result when the bulldozer rolls over the victim.
- Collisions with vehicles— when operating near roads, it is important that the operators of any machinery pay close attention when backing onto roads as large machinery is capable of crushing vehicles with little effort and injuring their occupants.
- Leaving a bulldozer unattended— if heavy machinery is left running without an operator present it is begging for disaster. A bulldozer could slip into gear and cause destruction as it moves unguided or people who are unauthorized to use the machine may attempt to do so and harm others on the scene as a result.
- Influence of drugs and alcohol— operating any machinery at all is dangerous when under the influence of alcohol and drugs but the danger is exacerbated by the sheer power and force that can be exerted by a bulldozer.
Assessing the Impact of Bulldozer Injuries
It comes without surprise that bulldozer accidents often result in fatalities but when the victims do survive, they are often left maimed or must undergo complicated surgical procedures or walk a long path toward recover that includes life style changes and rehabilitation. While recovering from these injuries, victims are unable to work or provide for their families and the medical care required can become extremely expensive. Common injuries suffered from bulldozer accidents include the following.
- Broken or shattered bones— if the fractures are severe or compound, rehabilitation may include one or more surgeries in order to set the bones in place and keep them there long enough to heal through the use of devices such as rods, pins and screws.
- Loss of limb— it may be impossible for doctors to save a limb if lacerations result in infection, the limb is crushed beyond recognition during the accident or the limb is removed during the accident itself. The loss of an arm or a leg is often tragic and the victim will need to make significant lifestyle changes in order to cope. He or she may never be able to perform the same duties at work again.
- Traumatic brain injuries— trauma to the head can result in long term complications such as memory loss, difficulty concentrating, neurological disorders, loss of motor function and the loss of speech.
- Injuries to the spine— these injuries permanently change the victims’ quality of life by rendering them unable to move any limb that is beneath the location of the injury. The cost of caring for someone with paralysis can be expansive and exceed millions of dollars over his or her lifetime.
Understanding Your Rights and Legal Recourses
Regardless of whether you or your loved one’s injury was the result of negligence, all workers are guaranteed worker’s compensation benefits to help mitigate the financial impact of workplace injuries. If you are able to prove negligence, however, you will gain access to additional compensation which can cover the cost of rehabilitative therapy, surgeries, long term care and wages lost due to time off of work. If you or your loved one was harmed due to the reckless act of another employee or evidence can prove that the equipment was not maintained properly, malfunctioned or that the employer failed to provide a safe environment, a case for negligence can be argued in court.
The Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC’ bulldozer accident law team has specialized experience working with the families of those hurt or killed in construction accidents. Our knowledge of workplace safety laws and access to experts in relevant fields such as medicine, economics and accident reconstruction allow us to investigate the scenes of accidents and determine liability and to pursue the maximum value of damages permitted by the State of Illinois. Contact us now to schedule a free consultation with an attorney so that we can review your case, answer your questions and advise you on how you should proceed with your case.
If we cannot collect compensation on your behalf, our services will be free of charge.