Crane Accidents

Beaumont Crane Accident Attorneys

Cranes are a standard piece of equipment in the construction industry. They carry heavy loads and move materials across job sites. Despite the convenience and efficiency they offer, cranes are also extremely dangerous. Workers often suffer severe injuries that can be painful and debilitating. If you were the victim of a crane accident at work, Portner Bond, PLLC can help you pursue workers’ compensation benefits.

Crane accidents caused by a mechanical defect or operator error lead to fatalities each year. It’s startling how many people don’t know how to use a crane correctly because of improper training or supervision. An employer’s lack of concern for their workers’ safety is entirely negligent. Someone who gets injured in a crane accident is entitled to receive benefits for their lost wages.

Portner Bond, PLLC can help you secure the benefits you need and deserve following a crane accident. Our skilled work injury attorneys have the experience and resources to make sure that you receive all the compensation you’re owed. Call (409) 838-4444 to schedule your free consultation, so that you can learn all about your legal options.

The Design of a Crane

To understand why cranes malfunction, you need to understand how they work. In order for a crane to function properly, it depends on a system of components working together in concert. When one component fails, it could cause the entire piece of equipment to fail.

The three major components of a crane are:

The Lever: The lever lifts heavy objects, while preventing the crane from tipping over. The horizontal beam pivots around a fulcrum (a point where one end transfers power to the other end). The shorter end carries the load while the longer end creates a force in the opposite direction. The crane remains stable as long as the weight of the load doesn’t exceed the applied force or vice versa.

Pulley: The pulley is an axle that the wire, cable, or belt moves around. They wrap around a fixed part of the crane, and a block attached to the load. The winding machine pulls the free end of the cable and prevents the force of the load from exceeding the force of the crane.

Hydraulic Cylinder: The hydraulic cylinder provides power to lift the load.

One of the most popular types of cranes you would see in warehouses and factories is an overhead crane. They contain a beam that runs along the ceiling with a line and hook. Other types of cranes used to move heavy equipment include:

  • Truck-mounted cranes
  • Crawler cranes
  • Floating cranes
  • Aerial cranes
  • Deck cranes
  • All-terrain cranes
  • Fixed cranes
  • Sidelift cranes
  • Stacker cranes
  • Loader cranes
  • Pick and carry cranes
  • Level luffing cranes

Every one of these cranes requires careful and regular maintenance upkeep to ensure the vehicles are functioning properly and safely.

What Causes Crane Accidents in Texas?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, human error causes 90% of crane accident injuries. There are four categories of operational errors that lead to almost all fatalities every year.

  • Contact with object or equipment: 61%
  • Transportation incident: 10%
  • Falls: 20%
  • Contact with electrical current: 8%

The most common causes of crane-related injuries include the following:

  • Electrocution: During operation, a cable or other part of the crane comes into contact with a power line.
  • Crane assembly: While assembling or disassembling the crane, human error or poor communication leads to the failure to follow the manufacturer’s specifications.
  • Crane boom collapse: When the operator extends the boom past the point specified by the manufacturer, that causes significant pressure on mechanical, hydraulic, or structural components when carrying loads.
  • Tip-over: An overloaded crane or unstable ground conditions lead to the crane tipping or collapsing.
  • Inadequate training: If someone doesn’t undergo extensive training, they don’t understand how to operate the crane safely or handle hazardous situations.
  • Load: Workers standing within the swing radius of a crane can get struck by the moving load.
  • Falls: Certain cranes requiring climbing to great heights to reach the cab of a crane. Human error or failure to use safety equipment leads to fatal falls.

It’s imperative that employers provide their employees with crane operation training, and that they continue to provide training updates, to avoid life-threatening accidents and injuries.

Workers’ Compensation Benefits: How They Work

If your employer provides workers’ compensation insurance, you can file a claim to receive benefits after getting injured on the job. If you sustain any type of injury from a crane accident, you must notify your employer within thirty days. Your employer will then submit your claim to their insurance carrier. If the insurer approves your claim for benefits, you’ll start receiving payments based on a percentage of your average weekly wages.

There are four different kinds of workers’ comp benefits you could receive depending on your injury.

  1. Temporary Income Benefits: Money paid to cover your lost wages until your doctor releases you from their care. Payments begin on your eighth day of missed work until you reach MMI (maximum medical improvement).
  2. Impairment Income Benefits: When you reach MMI, you stop receiving temporary income benefits and become eligible for continued payments based on your impairment rating (a rating that calculates your level of disability). Payments begin the day after your doctor issues your impairment rating.
  3. Supplemental Income Benefits: If you’re able to return to work, but your injury prevents you from performing to your full ability, you can claim supplemental benefits. Your payments are the difference between your wages before the injury and your wages once you return to work.
  4. Lifetime Income Benefits: Paid for the rest of your life for specific severe injuries that damage significant parts of your body. For example, if you lose your hands and can no longer work, you would be eligible for lifetime benefits.

Additional Benefits

  • Travel expenses: Reimbursement for driving to and from doctor appointments.
  • Vocational rehabilitation: Assistance finding employment if you can’t return to the job you had before the injury.
  • Death benefits: If someone dies because of a crane accident, immediate family (such as a surviving spouse or child) can receive compensation for a percentage of the deceased’s pre-injury wages and burial expenses.

When you’ve been injured on the job, it can be difficult to navigate the complex claims process. An experienced attorney will walk you through your options, and handle every detail of the process for you to ensure no mistakes are made, and that you’re receiving maximum benefits.

Speak to an Experienced Beaumont Crane Accident Attorney

At Portner Bond, PLLC, we understand the negative impact of getting injured on the job. You can’t return to work and worry about your lost wages. If you have a family to support and no other sources of income, it creates a hopeless situation. It’s important to know that you have options.

Workers’ compensation benefits can help you pay your medical bills and get back on your feet. Our Beaumont work accident attorneys have the knowledge and experience to make sure you receive the benefits you deserve from your employer.

All prospective clients receive a free consultation for legal advice and guidance during this difficult time. Call (409) 838-4444 today to find out how we can help you recover the benefits owed to you after a crane accident.