New York Aerial Lift Construction Accident Attorney
Aerial lifts have replaced scaffolding and ladders on many New York construction sites. These machines allow workers to work at elevated heights while providing mobility and flexibility, but there is also some risk involved.
Accidents involving aerial lifts can result in severe and devastating injuries. The risk of an aerial lift accident increases when safety gear is not provided, when workers are not properly trained, or when equipment is defective.
If you or someone you love has been injured in an aerial accident caused by someone else’s negligence, it is in your best interests to consult with a legal representative. You may be entitled to recover compensation for your medical expenses and other losses. A New York construction accident attorney can explain your legal rights and help you determine whether you have a valid claim to compensation.
The law firm of Hill & Moin cares about your recovery, and we will do what we can to offer you support following the accident. As our clients say, when you hire our law firm to represent you, “it’s like having a lawyer in the family” on your side. Call us at 212-668-6000 or start a live chat on this page to schedule a free case consultation.
What is an Aerial Lift?
Aerial lifts are mobile platforms that lift workers to elevated heights. There are different types of aerial lifts, including:
- Scissor lifts
- Aerial ladders
- Boom lifts
Smaller lifts are used in warehouses, stores, and other facilities to access items placed on tall shelves. Larger lifts are commonly used outdoors and reach heights of over 40 feet.
Jobs that require the use of outdoor aerial lifts include forestry, electrical lineman, construction, farming, sign installation, and structural work.
The Dangers of Aerial Lifts
The following are some of the most common causes of aerial lift injuries and fatalities:
- Falls: According to the CDC, falls are the leading cause of construction worker deaths and among the most common types of aerial lift accidents. Forklift falls can occur when the lift is on unstable ground, used during inclement weather, or hit by a vehicle or object.
- Tip-over: An aerial lift may tip over as a result of a bucket cable or boom breaking, uneven terrain, high winds, exceeding load limits, and other problems.
- Electrocution: Serious injuries and fatalities can result when workers come into contact with power lines. A worker may be lifted across an active power line due to a faulty lift or operator error.
- Caught in between: Another cause of aerial lift accidents is when workers get caught in between the lift and another object such as a beam, tree, roof, or wall. Also, workers on the ground could also get caught when a lift tips over.
- Struck by objects: Injuries occur when debris, objects, or equipment fall onto the worker in the bucket or the unsuspecting workers on the ground.
- Vehicle accidents: When a boom truck is hit by a car on the ground, it could knock the lift operator out of the vehicle, causing serious injury or fatalities.
How to Prevent New York Aerial Lift Accidents?
OSHA has established guidelines for aerial lifts that regulate everything from how they should be designed to how they should be operated. It is often when workers fail to follow OSHA safety guidelines that accidents occur.
OSHA strongly recommends that all workers be properly trained before operating a boom truck or another aerial lift. It is the job of the employer to ensure the safety of his or her employees by providing adequate training.
The following are some safety guidelines regarding aerial lifts:
- Inspect the equipment: The lift should be thoroughly inspected before use to ensure that everything is functioning as it should. This includes checking the hydraulics, extendable pole, braking system, safety mechanism, steering, alarm, and more.
- Inspect the worksite: Aerial lifts should only be used on firm and stable ground. Before anyone enters the lift, check the work area for any hazardous conditions such as uneven surfaces, bumps, hills, and elevated obstacles such as electrical wires.
- Avoid power lines: Operators of aerial lifts should be trained on how to steer clear of all electrical wires. They should keep a minimum distance of 10 feet from any overhead lines.
- Check the weather: If the aerial lift is being used outside, it is important to check the weather before a worker goes up in the bucket. High winds can cause a lift to tip, and rain, fog, lightning, and other inclement weather can also be hazardous.
- Use safety equipment: Hard hats, safety harnesses, and other safety equipment should always be utilized while using the cherry picker or other aerial lifts.
- Ensure loads are stable: Telehandlers and other lifts are often used to haul heavy materials on a construction site. It is important that all weight restrictions are adhered to and that the loads are not uneven.
Who Can Be Held Liable for a New York Aerial Lift Construction Accident?
New York employers are required to provide their employees with workers’ compensation insurance that compensates for losses in the event of an accident. Generally, workers’ comp will also protect the employer from being held liable for negligence. However, there could be other third parties to hold liable for your aerial lift construction accident.
Consider, for instance, the involvement of the following parties in the incident:
- The employer – If negligent or failed to provide workers’ comp
- A third-party safety inspector
- A product manufacturer who produced defective equipment
- A third-party driver who caused the bucket truck accident
- An employee of another company working on the construction site
In some situations, more than one party may be liable for an aerial lift accident. A New York construction accident attorney will be able to investigate the cause of your accident and file a claim against all liable parties.
Genie Lift Recalls
There are a number of different companies that manufacture and sell scissor lifts, boom trucks, aerial ladders, and other aerial lifts. Genie, for one, is a commonly recognized brand of aerial lift that has been in business for over 5 decades.
In recent years, Genie has issued safety notices and recalls on various models of their lifts. Most of the safety issues were regarding the bolts in the turntable of the chassis coming loose, causing the turntable to separate from the chassis of the lift. This can result in the vehicle tipping over, collapsing, or experiencing other mechanical failures.
Unfortunately, many construction companies do not want to spend the time and money it would take to have the Genie lifts repaired. They put profits ahead of their workers’ well-being by ignoring safety recalls and continuing to use the machines on the job site.
Why Hire a New York Aerial Lift Construction Accident Lawyer?
Some lawyers may refuse to file a workers’ compensation claim on behalf of an injured employee due to concerns about the costs of their premiums increasing. They may also fail to file the necessary documents on time or correctly, causing a payout to be delayed or denied. A construction accident lawyer can represent the best interests of a worker who has been injured in an aerial lift accident.
Consider some of the work an experienced construction accident lawyer can accomplish on your behalf:
- Investigating: Your personal injury lawyer will investigate the cause of your accident and work to build a solid case for you. This may involve gathering evidence such as eyewitness statements, photos or surveillance videos of the accident scene, copies of police reports and medical records, and more.
- Negotiating: Insurance companies want to payout as little as possible after a construction accident. Most personal injury lawyers are skilled negotiators and will not back down until the client recovers fair compensation.
- Defending: Some construction companies may refuse to file a workers’ comp claim or try to place the blame for the accident on the injured party. A personal injury lawyer can defend his or her client’s legal right to compensation.
- Resolving: At Hill & Moin, our compassionate lawyers understand following an accident our clients need compensation as quickly as possible to cover their medical bills and living expenses. We strive to resolve construction accident claims as quickly as possible for our clients.
- Representing: The majority of construction accident claims are resolved out of court during negotiations with the insurance company. However, in some situations, a fair settlement cannot be reached and the case may be presented before a judge and jury. Your personal injury lawyer, though, will not be intimidated but is prepared to present your case in court.
Contact a NY Aerial Lift Construction Accident Attorney Today
Have you or someone you love been injured in an accident involving a boom truck or another type of aerial lift? If so, you may be entitled to receive compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, or other damages.
At times, undocumented workers hesitate to seek legal help after a construction accident because they are concerned about being deported. However, undocumented workers do not need to worry about getting in trouble or being deported for filing a claim. The only ones who will need to be concerned about legal trouble are their employers.
At Hill & Moin LLP, we take cases on a contingency fee basis, which means you do not pay any upfront costs or fees. Our law firm only gets paid if we get you a settlement.
Call our law office in New York City today at (212) 668-6000 to schedule a free case evaluation and learn about your Personal Injury Recovery SolutionsⓇ.
Don’t wonder about your rights!