Many industries rely on heavy machinery, such as the oil and gas industry, transportation, and agriculture. When these machines aren’t properly maintained, used, or operated, heavy machinery accidents can cause serious injuries. Workers can become crushed, electrocuted, or struck by heavy machinery, resulting in catastrophic injuries or death.
You may be entitled to compensation if you or your loved one have been seriously injured in a heavy machinery accident in Dallas. Under Texas law, when a party’s negligence causes an accident that results in injury, the victim can hold the negligent party financially responsible. Victims only have a limited amount of time to file a compensation claim. Don’t hesitate to contact the experienced attorneys at Rochelle McCullough to schedule a free case evaluation and learn more about your legal options.
Types of Heavy Machinery Involved in Accidents
A serious accident will likely occur when workers use heavy machinery. Every year, the same equipment that enables large-scale commercial construction projects can possibly cause severe and fatal injuries that can lead to wrongful death.
From backhoes to forklifts, nearly any type of heavy equipment can be dangerous to workers and pedestrians when negligence is involved. Backhoes and trucks are among the most dangerous types of heavy construction equipment, and backhoes are involved in nearly half of all fatal accidents. Other accidents include the following types of heavy machinery:
- Paving machines
- Road graders
- Hydraulic excavators
- Articulated and back-end loaders
- Dump trucks
Many Heavy Machinery Accidents Are Preventable
Unfortunately, many heavy machinery accidents are preventable. Heavy machinery can be used safely when the operators have enough training and experience. Additionally, heavy machinery should be well maintained. The owners and operators of machines have a duty to perform regular maintenance on their machinery. They should promptly address maintenance problems to keep the machine running smoothly and safely. A wide range of negligence, mistakes, and malfunctions can cause severe or fatal accidents. Some of the most common types of accidents include:
- Getting caught behind a vehicle as it is backing up
- Falling while trying to get on or off machinery
- Becoming pinned between the machinery and a wall
- Getting a limb or piece of clothing caught in a machine
- Being run over by a moving piece of machinery or large vehicles
- Being crushed underneath a structure
- Being injured by a crane
- Malfunctioning vehicles lead to electrocution
Are There Proper Operations for Heavy Machinery & Equipment?
Operating heavy equipment takes proper training since there is such a high risk of accidents and injuries. There are key guidelines and protocols to follow that can decrease the risk of incidents occurring that involve heavy machinery such as:
- Training & certification
- Pre-operational inspections
- Site preparation and checking for hazards
- Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
- Understand load capacity and stability
- Follow lockout and tagout procedures
- Supervision and monitoring of the use of heavy machinery
Injuries Sustained in Heavy Machinery Accidents
Injuries caused by heavy machinery accidents can be catastrophic, leaving victims with limited mobility, chronic pain, and a loss of independence. Unfortunately, workers may suffer fatal injuries that result in their deaths.
If your loved one was killed in a heavy machinery accident caused by another person’s negligence, you might be able to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit. Workers who suffer catastrophic injuries may not return to work and need extensive medical care and rehabilitative treatment. Some of the most common injuries caused by these types of accidents include the following:
- Crush injuries leading to internal organ damage or amputation
- Broken bones
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
- Spinal cord injuries
- Burns due to electrocutions
Recovering Compensation After an Accident
Most Texas employers must provide employees who suffer job-related injuries with workers’ compensation benefits that cover their medical expenses and a portion of their lost income. Workers injured on the job by heavy machinery have a right to workers’ compensation benefits regardless of who was at fault for their injuries. For example, a worker would not have to prove that his or her employer’s negligence caused the accident to recover workers’ compensation benefits.
However, when a worker accepts workers’ compensation benefits, he or she must waive the right to pursue a personal injury lawsuit against his or her employer. Workers’ compensation benefits don’t cover all the damages a victim may incur due to a serious injury.
Pursuing a personal injury lawsuit could be a better strategy for recovering the total and fair amount of compensation you need and deserve. For example, plaintiffs in personal injury lawsuits can recover their medical expenses, including future medical expenses. Before you accept workers’ compensation benefits, discuss your case with an attorney and evaluate whether a personal injury lawsuit is a better option.
Proving Liability in a Heavy Machinery Accident
To recover compensation through a personal injury lawsuit, the victim needs to prove the defendant or defendant’s liability. Under Texas law, victims who become injured can hold the party whose negligence caused the accident that resulted in their injuries liable for their damages. Negligence means a failure to use reasonable care under the circumstances.
Human error is a common component in many construction site injuries. An operator may need more experience or training. The operator may fail to check for people moving around before using the machine, and accidents can happen when an operator misuses machinery or uses it at the wrong angle. In other cases, the manufacturer of a part of the machine may have been negligent in designing the part, manufacturing the machine, or warning users of the potential hazards. An experienced attorney can help you identify any parties liable for your injuries.
Damages Available In a Personal Injury Lawsuit
Injured workers can also pursue compensation for their economic and non-economic damages through a personal injury lawsuit. Economic damages for medical expenses can include costs for surgery, physical therapy, occupational therapy, transportation to and from appointments, rehabilitation, durable medical equipment, and more.
Plaintiffs can also recover compensation for their property damage, lost income, and loss of earning capacity. Non-economic damages are available in personal injury lawsuits. These damages cover the emotional and physical pain and suffering. Finally, punitive damages may be available if the defendant’s willful and wanton behavior caused the plaintiff’s injuries.
Discuss Your Case with a Dallas Heavy Machinery Accident Attorney
The attorneys at Rochelle McCullough have the experience and skill to thoroughly investigate your heavy machinery accident case and work with financial and medical experts to carefully determine all the damages you have incurred and will incur in the future. We will negotiate aggressively to pursue the total compensation you need and deserve. Contact the Dallas personal injury attorneys at Rochelle McCullough to schedule a free case evaluation.