Heavy Machinery Accident & Injury Lawyer in Fort Lauderdale

Workers across South Florida use heavy machinery on construction sites every day. This machinery can weigh thousands of pounds, and can put workers’ and pedestrians’ lives at risk if an accident were to occur. If a heavy machinery injury has caused you to miss work, you may find yourself drowning in medical bills and unable to make ends meet.

A Fort Lauderdale heavy machinery accident and injury lawyer at Farmer, Jaffe, Weissing, Edwards, Fistos & Lehrman, P.L. can help you recover fair compensation for your losses. Call today: 954-524-2820.

What are heavy machinery accidents?

Many workplaces use heavy machinery. Commonly used heavy machinery includes:

  • Forklifts
  • Excavators
  • Bulldozers
  • Tractors
  • Road graders
  • Drilling machines
  • Dump trucks
  • Cranes

Some of the most common types of heavy equipment accidents include:

  • Falling objects: Both workers and pedestrians are susceptible to getting hit by heavy falling debris. This can occur if a crane, forklift, or dump truck malfunctions and drops an object.
  • Rollovers: If someone on site improperly loads cargo onto a machine, it can tip, injuring the operator and anyone nearby.
  • Falls: Workers can fall if the machinery they are standing on malfunctions, e.g., a hydraulic crane can collapse, taking the worker with it.
  • Machine entanglement: Machine operators might find themselves in a dangerous position it their clothing, shoes, or body parts get caught in a machine.
  • Vehicle accidents: Employee drivers in charge of maneuvering trucks or heavy machinery may be involved in serious or fatal accidents.
  • Equipment collisions: Workers can suffer severe injuries if their equipment collides with another object.
  • Electrocution/electrical shock: Workers can experience direct or indirect contact with live wiring or electrical equipment.

Injuries that Occur in Heavy Machinery Accidents

Numerous injuries can occur in heavy machinery workplace accidents, including:

  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Fractured and broken bones
  • Amputation/loss of limbs
  • Burns
  • Disfigurement
  • Paralysis
  • Permanent disability

Many of these injuries and health issues require extensive surgeries, long-term hospital stays, at-home care, and physical therapy.

Recovering Damages After a Heavy Machinery Accident

Workers and pedestrians may recover damages in an accident involving heavy equipment. Workers may receive workers’ compensation from their employers, but both workers and non-workers may be eligible to file claims against negligent third parties.

Workers’ Compensation for Injured Workers

An employee who is injured or becomes disabled while on-the-job will likely be able to recover workers’ compensation benefits. Employees will receive benefits to cover medical care, permanent injuries, replacement income, and costs for retraining. Families who have lost a loved one in a workplace accident will also be eligible for benefits.

However, there are some negatives to workers’ compensation. First, receiving workers’ compensation benefits prohibits you from filing suit against your employer. Also, workers’ compensation does not take your pain and suffering or any emotional trauma in account.

Fortunately, depending on the circumstances of your accident, you may be eligible to file a third-party claim to recover more fully.

Third-Party Claims

In Florida, both employees and pedestrians may file suit against third parties they feel are responsible for their injuries. They must do so within four years of the injury.

As we stated above, employees cannot file against their employers; however, they can file a claim against a separate third party. Bystanders, such as pedestrians or drivers, injured in heavy machinery accidents may file suit against anyone responsible for the accident. These potentially responsible parties may include:

  • Manufacturers: If your heavy machinery injury resulted from a defect, you can hold the manufacturers liable for any damages you incurred.
  • Contractors: General, prime, and sub-contractors may be liable for damages depending on the amount of control they had over the workplace. Outside parties can file against any liable contractors; workers can only file against contractors outside of their company.
  • Suppliers, architects, and engineers: Professionals that are not on the site at the time of the accident may still be liable for damages. For example, if an architect or engineer created an unsafe condition which caused the accident, either of those parties could be liable.
  • Property or construction site owners: If the accident occurred because of a dangerous condition on the property, you may be able to hold the property owner liable for your injuries.

To have a valid claim, you must be able to prove the party at-fault was negligent. Proving negligence requires establishing:

  • The at-fault party had a duty to you. This duty differs for each party. For example, manufacturers have a duty to only release safe products. Contractors on site have a duty to keep the area safe for other workers.
  • The at-fault party breached this duty. To prove a breach, you will need to establish negligent behavior on the part of the defendants. OSHA and other safety standard violations and faulty equipment can help establish this element.
  • The at-fault party’s negligence was the actual cause of your injuries. You can typically prove causation with eyewitness and expert witness testimony.
  • You suffered damages in the accident. You can use evidence such as medical records, pay stubs, W-2s, and expert witness testimony to prove you suffered damages.

Our team has years of experience representing clients against all types of defendants on construction sites. We will examine your accident, determine liability, collect the necessary evidence, and negotiate a fair settlement for your injuries.

If you can prove negligence, you can recover damages from the liable party(s). Damages might include medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other economic and non-economic damages. This will allow you to focus on your physical and mental recovery rather than how you will be able to make ends meet.

Call for Help with Your Heavy Machinery Accident Claim

Recovering from a heavy machinery accident is rarely ever easy. Many accident victims require the use of their whole body to do their job. Thus, they might miss work for months or not be able to go back at all, making it impossible to pay their bills.

And while they are better than nothing, workers’ compensation benefits often barely make a dent in an injured worker’s expenses. Farmer, Jaffe, Weissing, Edwards, Fistos & Lehrman, P.L. can help you gather the evidence you need to build a strong case against the parties responsible for your injuries.

With the assistance of a qualified attorney, you can recover additional damages and get on the path to recovery. Call 954-524-2820 today to schedule a free consultation.