New York Bucket Truck Accident Lawyer
Bucket trucks are used in a variety of different industries throughout New York. Also known as “cherry pickers,” these trucks are more commonly used to fix utilities, such as power lines or even tree cutters. Workers will climb into a bucket and be lifted into the air to reach high places. While bucket trucks are necessary in several industries, they can be dangerous.
If you have been injured or a family member has been killed in a bucket truck incident, call Hill & Moin right away. You work hard to take care of your family. The last thing you need is a personal injury or wrongful death setting you back. Our law firm has helped our clients win millions of dollars in damages. Our goal is to help you get the compensation you deserve.
Call Hill & Moin today at (212) 668-6000 for a free case evaluation. There is no fee unless you win.
Causes of New York Bucket Truck Accidents
While safety standards for bucket trucks have improved, there are still too many injuries and deaths. These sometimes deadly consequences are often the result of improper use and negligence. Here is a list of the most common causes of New York bucket truck accidents.
Poorly maintained trucks
As with other vehicles and machines, bucket trucks need to be maintained to ensure safe use. This also means following the manufacturer’s guidelines on keeping the truck running well. Some companies may decide it is cheaper to skimp on regular maintenance and wait until a serious issue develops. Doing so puts workers at risk of injuries and death. This puts liability squarely on the employer’s shoulders.
Inappropriate use of the trucks
It is possible to use a bucket truck inappropriately. It was designed for specific tasks and was not meant to be a permanent platform. In those cases, maybe scaffolding would be a better choice than standing in a bucket for a long period. Also, moving the bucket over live wires or using it on uneven ground can increase the risk of an accident.
Several falling dangers can happen on a construction site. One type is a falling object, like a tool, that can accidentally be dropped by someone working on a bucket. That tool can strike a person on the ground and cause serious injuries, including a traumatic brain injury. OSHA requires employers to provide employees with proper head protection when there is possible risk of injury.
Lack of bucket truck training
If you were not properly trained on how to use a bucket truck and were injured as a result, your employer can be held liable. It is his or her responsibility to ensure you know what you are doing before assigning a task.
What’s more, bucket truck users must be certified. Sadly, some employers do not pay for training courses or require certification before employment. This can lead to dangerous situations on the job site.
Neglecting to use safety gear
The main cause of bucket truck injuries and deaths is the result of workers falling out of the bucket while it is raised. Falls from the bucket can be the result of workers leaning too far over the edge or losing their balance. If they are harnessed, these types of incidents could be prevented. Thus, another problem is when negligent employers fail to provide safety gear to keep employees from falling.
There are a variety of mechanical defects that can create unsafe working conditions while using a bucket truck. These defects can harm workers both on the ground level or while they are lifted off the ground.
Bucket lift defects can include:
- Hydraulic defects: Hydraulics are used in the boom to lift the bucket, which can fail
- Turntable defects: A turntable is used to move the bucket, which can disconnect from the boom
- Loose railing defects: The bucket has railings to help protect workers, which can break
Being pinned against objects
The bucket can lift a person, lower them down, and move them in a variety of directions. Many bucket truck injuries and deaths are caused by workers being pinned against trees, walls, ceilings, and buildings. Most of these incidents are user errors that can happen due to a lack of training.
Overloading the bucket
Bucket trucks are used in a variety of industries. It is often not just workers being lifted, but other objects and tools. Examples include paint, shingles, and wires. It is possible to overload the bucket so much that it is too heavy to keep upright. There is a max weight limit on how much a bucket truck can lift, so employers must keep this in mind.
Construction sites are often places under development. There may not be a secure concrete slab to park a bucket truck on. The ground could be soft, muddy, and uneven, which may increase the risk of problems developing. Uneven terrain can make it easier for trucks to overturn, especially when overloaded.
Bad weather conditions
Some workers have no choice but to work in bad weather, such as linemen fixing a power outage after a storm. Other times, severe weather can hit without warning, putting employees in danger. Heavy rain, lightning, and other types of bad weather can add risk to working high up in a bucket.
Contacting power lines
Electrocution accounts for many bucket truck injuries and deaths. An inexperienced operator can strike overhead power lines, meaning this situation is due to user error.
Who is Liable After a Bucket Truck Accident?
If you have been injured in a bucket truck accident, you may decide when it’s time to pursue compensation for your injuries. But the sooner, the better. You have the statute of limitations to worry about, and establishing liability takes time.
This is where having a personal injury attorney can come in handy. Personal injury victims may realize their employer’s role in the incident first, but there may actually be several parties who can share liability.
Your employer may or may not own the bucket truck that caused your injuries. It could have been rented or leased from a third party. The owner would be responsible for performing regular safety checks and maintenance to ensure the vehicle is safe to operate. Failure to do so can contribute to an accident.
The property owner you were working on when the injury happened may hold some responsibility for the accident. Property owners must provide the workers they hire with a safe working environment.
All vehicles are designed before being sent to the manufacturer. Many times, a design is flawed from the very beginning. These flaws can turn into unknown defects that later cause injuries.
The bucket truck itself may have a defect from the time when it was manufactured in the factory. Those defects may not have been spotted beforehand, so the manufacturing company could be held liable.
Your employer may be the main party who is liable for your injuries. It is his or her responsibility to ensure you have a safe work environment. This includes providing the necessary safety equipment to keep workers from being injured.
If this is the case in your situation, you may be barred from suing your employer. However, you may be able to file for workers’ compensation benefits. If you have any questions about who to sue for compensation, call Hill & Moin today.
What Types of Damages Can Be Claimed After a New York Bucket Truck Accident?
Every New York bucket truck accident is unique. Your personal injury attorney will investigate the details of the incident to pull together all the evidence. Along with these details will be your medical reports detailing the injuries you suffered. This is done to calculate how much in damages you are owed.
There are two types of damages an accident victim can collect: economic and non-economic.
Economic damages are any expenses you may incur, including:
- Lost wages
- Current and future medical bills
- Lost earning capacity
- Property damage
- Out-of-pocket expenses
Non-economic damages may account for a larger percentage of an accident victim’s compensation. The difficult part is that non-economic damages can be challenging to calculate. The insurance company may attempt to disagree on what they feel is fair.
Non-economic damages may include:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional anguish
- Loss of enjoyment of life
How to Pursue New York Bucket Truck Injury Compensation?
If you were injured while working on a bucket truck, you have the right to pursue compensation. You have a limited time to file a claim, so you should contact a personal injury attorney right away. There are several steps you could take to help win your case.
Seek medical attention
Work injuries can be painful and embarrassing. Some people who get injured on the job feel like they must play it tough or face getting ridiculed. Workers might even worry that taking time off to recover would jeopardize their job.
The smart decision here is to always seek medical attention after an injury. If you later decided to sue for compensation, you can use that medical proof of your injuries.
Call Hill & Moin right away
Workers’ compensation is one type of benefit available to employees who are injured at work. You are legally entitled to these benefits without fear of losing your job, and even without fear of deportation as an undocumented worker. Employers are thus required to carry workers’ compensation insurance.
In New York, you cannot sue your employer after being injured on the job. However, you can file a third-party lawsuit when someone other than your company is liable. A personal injury attorney can help you determine whether others are responsible for your injuries.
At Hill & Moin, we have been taking care of our clients’ legal needs for over 40 years. With the experience necessary to take on even the biggest bucket truck accident cases, our goal has always been to provide compassionate services to those who have been devastated by personal injuries.
Call Hill & Moin today at (212) 668-6000 for Personal Injury Recovery SolutionsⓇ you can trust. There is no fee unless you win.
Don’t wonder about your rights!