Nashville Construction Accident Lawyers Handling Crane Injury Claims

Experienced legal representation for Tennessee workers hurt by heavy machinery

Nashville has been exploding in size over the last decade, and that means using more and more heavy machinery and vehicles. Cranes are popping up like weeds, swaying over construction sites and city streets alike. While crane accidents are rare, they are also deadly. If you get hurt, or your loved one is killed, you’re going to need smart, aggressive help from the start.

The Nashville construction accident attorneys at Rocky Law Firm fight for injured workers. We understand how devastating it can be not to have an income. We understand how serious work injuries change lives. We’re dedicated to helping you get the medical care you deserve and the financial compensation you need to survive.

Why crane accidents happen

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires that companies train their workers on how to use cranes and other types of heavy machines. Generally, the people who operate cranes need to be licensed. But having a license doesn’t guarantee that using a crane is safe, and it doesn’t guarantee that mistakes won’t be made. Their long arms make them difficult to control. They can swing widely from side to side if the operator is inexperienced, there are heavy winds, or the load is unstable.

Some of the contributing factors to heavy machinery accidents, in addition to poor training, are:

  • Poor maintenance of the cranes
  • Mechanical and electrical failures during operation
  • Overloading (even heavy machines have their limits)
  • Dropping loads in unsafe places
  • Striking power lines
  • Operating the machines in rain, wind, and other types of bad weather
  • Debris that falls into the machinery, making operation difficult
  • Not installing or using the proper safety devices
  • Failing to issue safety warnings to other workers

Other types of heavy machinery that can cause serious injuries

Construction of buildings, roads, and other structures requires all types of heavy machinery. Most sites rely on forklifts, cranes, backhoes, and bulldozers to clear the ground so construction can start and to build above the ground. Other types of heavy machines used in construction include, according to a leading machinery manufacturer:

  • Asphalt pavers, dump trucks, and rollers
  • Backhoe loaders – a combination of a tractor, backhoe, and loader
  • Articulated trucks – a combination cab and tractor for hauling heavy loads
  • Milling machines/cold planers to remove concrete and asphalt
  • Compactors for crushing and reducing the size of materials
  • Feller bunchers, which gather cut tress and “bunch” them together

Additional heavy construction machines include excavators, forwarders, harvesters, loaders, motor graders, off-highway trucks, skidders, telehandlers, and wheel tractor-scrapers. Many of these machines are huge in size and weight.

Death and injuries from heavy machinery accidents

The sheer size and scope of heavy machines makes them deadly. If the machines drop their loads without warning, anyone who is struck is likely to be killed. If someone is pinned by a machine or run over by a machine, they are also likely to be killed. Survivors often suffer permanent injuries which require a lifetime of care. Common machinery accident injuries in construction work include traumatic brain injury, spinal cord damage, broken bones, nerve damage, and injuries to internal organs.

Personal injury claims for heavy machinery accidents in Nashville

Employees who are injured due to a crane or heavy machinery accident normally must file a workers’ compensation claim. There are two major exceptions.

Independent contractors can file a negligence claim against the construction site owner and anyone responsible for the operation of the machinery. In personal injury cases, our experienced trial lawyers work to show the company or contractor failed to follow OSHA regulations or industry standards. We also inspect the machine and the scene of the accident to show what safety precautions should have been taken and why the operator and others were careless.

If a defective machine caused death or injury, the manufacturer can be held liable if the product was defective when used and the defect caused the worker’s injuries or caused the worker to die.

In both negligence and product liability claims, survivors can demand damages for:

  • Medical expenses
  • All lost wages
  • Loss of future earning potential
  • The daily physical pain and emotional suffering
  • Amputation, scarring, and disfigurement

If a loved one is tragically killed, the family of the deceased worker can file a wrongful death claim against the responsible parties.

Workers’ compensation claims for crane and other heavy machine accidents

Most Tennessee employees who are injured during construction work will file a workers’ compensation claim. In most machinery accident cases, the supervisor is aware that an accident has occurred. Still, the victim should notify the supervisor if there is any doubt.

Usually, the worker will be taken to a local emergency room. Surgery may be required. Victims usually need to treat with numerous doctors and therapists in order to regain normal functioning. Extra time is often needed for the worker to return to work. Some workers suffer a permanent partial or a permanent total disability. In these cases, the worker often either can’t return to the same job or can’t work at all.

Workers’ compensation is a trade-off with employers. The trade means that workers do not need to prove fault. They do not need to prove OSHA rules or Tennessee building rules were violated.

Hurt by a crane or piece of construction machinery? Time to call Rocky

The Gladiators in Suits at the Rocky McElhaney Law Firm are experienced work injury attorneys. We’ve been fighting for workers and accident victims for years, and we’re ready to fight for your too. If you sustained a worksite injury because of a crane or other piece of heavy machinery, let us help. Please call us at 615-425-2500 or fill out our contact form to schedule an appointment in our office in Nashville or in Hendersonville.