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Jonathan Rosenfeld

March 2, 2023

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Heavy Equipment Accidents & Workers Comp Lawyers

Many industries have workers that run heavy equipment such as paving machines, earth moving machines, and other large equipment. These heavy equipment operators may be working on a commercial construction site, building roadways, digging underground, or somewhere else.

Due to the nature of their jobs, these workers are exposed to the risk of heavy equipment accidents and severe injuries both from the equipment they work with and the environments where they are needed.

Were you injured in a construction accident involving heavy equipment? Did you suffer construction injuries or lost a loved one from a preventable fatality?

The construction accident attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC represent injured victims harmed in hazardous conditions. Contact a Chicago heavy equipment operator injury lawyer today at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone call) to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case.

We can help injured workers who have been struck by accidents or have other serious injuries from heavy equipment accidents. Injuries sustained from heavy machinery don’t have to change your life forever if accidents occur.

chicago heavy equipment operator injury Lawyer

Types Of Heavy Equipment Used on Construction Sites and Other Industrial Environments

There are many different types of heavy equipment that require a skilled operator to run them. In 2010 there were over 400,000 workers that ran heavy equipment in the U.S.

These workers were almost all employed, with only 4% being self-employed. The top industries that employed these operators were:

  • Road and bridge construction
  • State and local government projects
  • Utility companies
  • Specialty trades

These workers may be driving and maintaining equipment such as: paving or asphalt equipment, cranes, backhoes, bulldozers, front-end loaders, excavators, or pile-driving equipment. These machines are heavy and have many moving parts, putting a significant risk on their operators.

If you or a family member were injured while working as a heavy equipment operator during a construction accident, you are likely entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. Contact the construction injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC for more information and a free review of your legal rights and options.

We try to prevent accidents and bring heavy equipment accident cases for the most common types of heavy machinery incidents, like these:

  • Heavy machinery malfunction, including the entire machine
  • Power lines including live power lines
  • Backup alarms
  • Rollers scrapers
  • Cherry pickers
  • Vehicles backing up like trucks
  • Maintenance failure (especially if left unchanged)
  • Lack of training

Most cases of negligent machinery usage and accident may not involve these most common types of events. Yours could involve a different process, vehicles, machinery, etc.

Heavy Construction Equipment Accident Attorney

How Heavy Equipment Accidents Happen

According to OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration), more than 5300 workers died in a construction accident in 2019. On average, construction fatalities from accidents accounted for more than 100 every week, or fifteen preventable deaths each day.

Over 1050 workplace fatalities occurred that year in the construction industry, accounting for 20% of all worker deaths nationwide. The most common OSHA standard violations for that year included:

  • Failing to use fall protection on construction sites when working at any height
  • Fatal injury construction accident caused by scaffolding problems, including falling and collapses
  • Lockout/tag-out fatalities from failing to control hazardous energy
  • Failing to use adequate respiratory protection to avoid inhaling toxic chemicals
  • Falls from ladders, scaffolding, lifts, crane, and other elevating equipment
  • Construction accidents involving powered industrial trucks
  • Fatal injuries involving heavy machinery and machine guarding
  • Fatal injuries from not wearing face and eye protection or no training
  • Electricity failures including faulty controls

Statistically, worker deaths dropped by more than 40% in the last five decades from thirty-eight deaths each day in 1970 to 15 deaths daily in 2019. The reduction of construction accident claims is likely due to improved safety regulations at the work site.

Employees who suffered critical injuries from negligent parties on the ground can obtain benefits intended for recovery. Call us to see who is responsible for hark that employees suffered.

Heavy Equipment Operator Injuries

When operating heavy equipment, the operator must be concerned with their safety and the safety of others. These large pieces of machinery can be deadly to both those operating them and those working on the same site.

Some common causes of heavy equipment accidents are:

  • A Tip or rollover construction injury accident. According to a 2006 study by the Journal of Safety Research, over half of the heavy equipment operator deaths are from rollover construction accidents
  • Collision or backup injuries. A significant source of injuries involving heavy equipment involves backing up into or hitting workers that are on the ground.
  • Repetitive motion injuries. As heavy equipment operators often work controls for several hours a day, repetitive motion injuries are common to muscles and tendons.
  • Hearing loss. The constant excessive noise that is associated with many types of heavy equipment can cause hearing damage.

Highway and street construction is one of the leading employers of heavy equipment operators. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, this construction results in an average of 100 fatalities a year and over 20,000 construction accident injuries. Of all these injuries, 30% involve heavy equipment operators.

There are established controls and a process for the maintenance of heavy machinery including a vehicle, cranes, and other tools. Otherwise, problems can arise like burns, strikes, vehicle crashes, and other things. Call us if your boss did not follow these controls and you were hurt.

construction equipment accident law firm

Do Heavy Equipment Accidents Result in Death?

Construction accidents happen every day, where workers suffer traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord damage, broken bones, and wrongful death. Typically, the worksite is extremely dangerous, placing every worker at risk of injury in a construction accident.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, two construction workers lose their lives each day nationwide in a construction accident. A construction accident can occur when safety regulations are violated by the worker, foreman, subcontractor, or general contractor.

More men die each year in construction accidents than women. Some of these accidents are the result of defective tools from the equipment manufacturer or supplier.

Other fatalities involve falling, electrocution, being struck by an object, or crushing injury when caught between objects. Of course, most injuries aren’t as severe (i.e. broken feet, burns, etc.) but you should be aware of all possible risks.

Injured Construction Workers: Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim

Nearly every construction worker is eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits when involved in a construction accident in the workplace.

In some states like Illinois, the worker’s compensation “no-fault” system is a monetary benefit program paying benefits to employees injured on the job until they heal sufficiently to return to work.

An injured employee harmed on the job does not have to prove that someone else’s negligence led to their work injuries. The employee only has to prove that they suffered a construction injury and that it happened during the scope or course of their employment.

Nearly every employer and general contractor must carry workers’ compensation insurance to pay out on any construction accident injury claim for an employee injured at the work site to cover their costs, like these:

  • Hospitalization costs
  • Emergency room expenses
  • Medical bills
  • Lost wages from time away from work

Future lost earnings due to a temporary/permanent partial or total disability

For validation purposes, the worker must document that their injuries from the construction accident are real.

To receive workers’ compensation payments, the injured employee must agree not to sue their employer unless the employee can show that the employer’s negligence was egregious or intentional.

Our construction accident lawyers know that many families have unanswered questions about filing and resolving an injury case involving construction site negligence. Our law firm has answered some of those questions by clients below.

Contact the construction accident attorney now at (888) 424-5757 to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case. We are here to help.

law firm for construction equipment accidents

Additional Construction Worker Benefits to Filing a Third-Party Claim

In addition to receiving worker’s compensation benefits, the injured employee might be entitled to file a civil lawsuit or claim against a third-party person or entity.

Typically, third-party claims might involve subcontractors, vendors, architects, suppliers, engineers, on-site visitors, equipment manufacturers, heavy equipment rental companies, or others.

A construction accident lawyer working on behalf of injured victims might be able to prove a case against a third-party following the law that includes:

  • Someone else or another company had a duty to act reasonably and safely to prevent a construction accident
  • The third-party failed to perform that duty leading to negligence or intentional act, and victims were injured as a result of the third party’s negligence.

Common construction accidents and cases involving a third-party might involve the situation including:

  • The victim fell from scaffolding because it was improperly erected
  • A truck driver or heavy equipment operator drove recklessly, leading to a construction accident
  • The construction accident involved defectively designed safety equipment, including fall protection and harnesses, leading to the worker’s injury
  • Defective equipment led to an electrical shock through faulty or exposed wiring
  • The victim suffered repetitive motion injuries
  • The injury was the result of bad decisions or faulty equipment leading to spilled or leaking hazardous chemicals/toxins like asbestos
  • The victim was injured due to an improperly built barrier trench that collapsed

Sometimes, the victim is injured due to equipment malfunction due to substandard manufacturing or faulty design. A personal injury attorney can file a product liability lawsuit against the manufacturer, designer, or supplier if so.

Contact Heavy Equipment Accident Lawyers with Experience Prosecuting Injury Cases

There is a significant risk of injury on the job for those who operate and work close to heavy equipment on a construction project. Employers have a duty to their workers to maintain a safe work environment and provide adequate protection from injury.

If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a heavy machinery accident, you need a law firm experienced in construction accidents to advise you on your legal rights.

The construction accident attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC are ready to work with you to get the best financial compensation your case deserves.

Our construction accident law firm accepts all personal injury cases and wrongful death lawsuits through contingency fee agreements, meaning you will pay no upfront fees until we have secured financial compensation for your family.

Call a construction accident lawyer at (888) 424-5757 to schedule your free consultation. We can help ensure the value of your personal injury claim is maximized under the law to provide for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain from the responsible party.

Resources for construction accidents:

Client Reviews

Jonathan Rosenfeld was professionally objective, timely, and knowledgeable. Also, his advice was extremely effective regarding my case. In addition, Jonathan was understanding and patient pertaining to any of my questions or concerns. I was very happy with the end result and I highly recommend Jonathan Rosenfeld.

- Michonne Proulx

Extremely impressed with this law firm. They took control of a bad motorcycle crash that left my uncle seriously injured. Without any guarantee of a financial recovery, they went out and hired accident investigators and engineers to help prove how the accident happened. I am grateful that they worked on a contingency fee basis as there was no way we could have paid for these services on our own.

- Ethan Armstrong

Jonathan helped my family heal and get compensation after our child was suffered a life threatening injury at daycare. He was sympathetic and in constant contact with us letting us know all he knew every step of the way. We were so blessed to find Jonathan!

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This lawyer really helped me get compensation for my motorcycle accident case. I know there is no way that I could have gotten anywhere near the amount that Mr. Rosenfeld was able to get to settle my case. Thank you.

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Jonathan did a great job helping my family navigate through a lengthy lawsuit involving my grandmother's death in a nursing home. Through every step of the case, Jonathan kept my family informed of the progression of the case. Although our case eventually settled at a mediation, I really was impressed at how well prepared Jonathan was to take the case to trial.

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