On any given day, the Manhattan skyline is dominated by massive industrial cranes. Used to hoist and lower building materials on construction sites, these heavy machines are essential for civil engineering works.  

While OSHA and New York City have stringent regulations about construction crane safety, dropped loads, collapses, and hoist failures still occur at alarming rates. In fact, New York ranks among the most dangerous states in the nation for crane accident injuries and fatalities.

Crane Accident Lawyers New York Trusts

Injured construction worker next to hard hat

Crane accidents are largely preventable with proper maintenance, operator training, supervision, and fall protection measures. However, when you’ve been seriously injured on the job or as a bystander, you need a New York construction accident lawyer who is well-versed in local and federal laws. The law firm of Friedman, Levy, Goldfarb, Green & Bagley, P.C. has been fighting for victims of construction accidents for over 50 years.

To properly protect your rights to fair compensation, it’s essential to work with a New York crane accident lawyer who can determine liability and hold negligent parties accountable. Our attorneys are fierce advocates whose aggressive approach to construction site injuries has garnered numerous high-dollar settlements and verdicts. Let us navigate the legal process after a serious accident so that you can focus on your health and recovery.

Common Causes of Crane Accidents in New York

Crane accidents are the result of several different malfunctions or negligence. These large structures can create catastrophic accidents with a wide range of serious injuries, e.g., from electrocution to a collapse. There are also specific requirements regarding load hoisting procedures, authorized operation, inspections, capacity, and braking mechanisms. Understanding the different types of accidents is an essential first step in a personal injury case. Some examples include the following:

  • Contact with power lines. While many accidents involve cranes striking nearby workers, serious injuries can also occur when these machines hit overhead power lines—which can increase the risk of electrocution.
  • Improper use. Most cranes are not inherently dangerous when used correctly. But unfortunately, many operators use them outside the scope of the manufacturer’s specifications. This is dangerous because the safeguards built into these cranes only work when they are used correctly.
  • Poor crane setup. A significant part of crane safety is ensuring that they are set up correctly. When cranes are erected on uneven ground, for example, the chances that they will fall over or collapse are greater. In fact, it is a common cause of accidents.
  • Miscommunication. Accidents can also happen when workers miscommunicate. It is most common in situations where workers fail to use proper hand signals or make use of communication technology.

Other potential causes of crane accidents include:

  • Rigging and hoisting failures
  • Unstable load drops
  • Crane boom collapse
  • Inadequate training and licensure of crane operators
  • Lack of supervision
  • Equipment malfunction or failure
  • Negligent maintenance
  • Inappropriate use of equipment
  • Lack of routine inspections
  • Failure to follow operational protocols
  • Structural failures
  • Negligent crane installation
  • Lack of stabilizing outriggers

No matter how your crane accident happened, you should discuss your options with experienced legal counsel. The attorneys at Friedman, Levy, Goldfarb, Green & Bagley, P.C. can evaluate your case and provide a clear picture of its value. 

Serious Injuries Resulting from Crane Accidents

According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, crane accidents are responsible for killing approximately 44 people every year in the U.S.  Those victims who do survive a crane accident often wind up with debilitating injuries that can lead to permanent disability. Crane accident injuries can include:

  • Broken bones
  • Degloving
  • Spinal cord damage leading to paralysis
  • Loss of limb
  • Traumatic amputation
  • Severe burns
  • Crushing injuries
  • Herniated and compressed discs
  • Head trauma
  • Concussion and traumatic brain injury
  • Organ damage
  • Death

We help injured construction workers as well as pedestrians who suffered harm because safety protocols were not followed. Get the justice you deserve by working with a New York crane accident attorney with the resources to build a solid case and take on well-funded defendants.

Why You Need a Crane Accident Attorney

Construction cranes are marvels of modern engineering requiring highly-skilled tradespersons for assembly, use, and tear-down. Just as no construction project would allow a worker with limited knowledge about cranes to erect or operate one, no person suffering severe injuries in a crane accident should retain a lawyer with limited experience in crane accident lawsuits.

Most crane accident injuries are the result from:

  • Cranes that collapse due to improper setup or use in hazardous conditions
  • Contact between a crane and overhead power lines
  • Inadequate training or supervision of a crane operator
  • Mechanical failure due to poor maintenance or repair of the crane.

If you are seeking compensation for your crane accident injuries, the lawyer that you retain should analyze the cause of the accident to determine which of several parties at a construction site might be liable for your damages. Most personal injury lawyers will understand how a party’s negligence can give rise to liability. However, a construction accident lawyer with in-depth knowledge of crane operation will delve deeper into the complex dynamics of crane usage at construction sites. They do this to uncover all potential sources of compensation for your injuries.

In addition, a dedicated crane accident attorney will also have a deeper understanding of the extent of the injuries you might suffer, the challenges you face at a New York construction site, and the damages you can recover. Construction employers and insurers who are liable to pay your damages will inevitably offer low settlements and downplay the seriousness of your injuries. They may do this by comparing your accident to generic construction accidents.

Those generic accidents will likely have little or nothing in common with the types of crane accidents that happen in New York, where construction sites are tightly drawn with workers in close proximity to each other. A New York crane accident lawyer will also emphasize local rules, regulations, and practices that are specific to NYC construction sites. This can give an injured construction worker a stronger case for recovering a large damages award.

Your employer or other parties might try to dissuade you from retaining a lawyer to help with your crane accident construction claims. However, remember that serious injuries might require medical care and therapy for months, years, or even the rest of your life. The settlement offer you will get if you pursue your claims without a lawyer will likely focus solely on your immediate medical bills and a short period of lost wages. It will usually not factor in your long-term potential financial losses or the pain and suffering you experience.

An experienced construction and crane accident attorney will look at your entire range of present and future damages and will fight to recover the full measure of compensation you deserve.

Filing a Crane Accident Lawsuit

Our legal team will investigate the cause of the crane accident to determine if a lawsuit is warranted against a third party. These legal claims are primarily based on theories of negligence. If it is found that defective machinery or mechanical parts caused or contributed to the crane accident, victims could pursue a product liability lawsuit.

Those who have waived their right to sue their employer by receiving workers’ comp benefits can still take legal action against other negligent parties. Under New York labor laws, victims may have a valid claim for compensation against a property owner, an onsite contractor, engineers, maintenance companies, or crane owners.

A detailed investigation is key to identifying all liable parties and building a strong claim for damages.

Compensation Available to Victims

A personal injury or product liability lawsuit can seek damages for a wide range of losses, including:

  • Hospital and medical expenses
  • Ongoing physical therapy
  • Lost income and wages
  • Loss of future earnings
  • Assistive medical devices and equipment
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional anguish
  • In-home nursing care
  • Lost quality of life

Our legal team has the experience and knowledge to build solid injury claims supported by factual evidence and expert opinions.

Time Limits for Taking Legal Action

In New York, all personal injury actions must be filed within three years of the accident. This applies to crane accident claims that stem from negligence. If you have questions about the applicable statute of limitations for your construction site injury, don’t hesitate to reach out to our New York law firm.

Remember, it takes time to investigate and gather evidence, so it’s always wise to consult an attorney as soon as possible after your injury.

Choose the Right Manhattan Crane Accident Lawyer

For unrivaled personal injury representation after a crane accident, call the New York City law firm of Friedman, Levy, Goldfarb, Green & Bagley, P.C. The initial case review is free, and there are no costs unless we collect compensation on your behalf. We serve clients throughout the greater New York City area and Long Island.