Heavy Machinery Accidents
Heavy equipment and machinery helps workers do their jobs more quickly and efficiently and even accomplish work tasks that might be impossible otherwise; however, due to the size, parts, and functionality of these items, they can also cause catastrophic and even fatal workplace accidents. Each year, many Texas workers suffer serious injuries in heavy machinery accidents, often caused by the negligence of their employer, another company working on the same job site, or other employees or workers. As an employee on an industrial worksite, you work with and around heavy machinery and equipment every single day, which puts you at a greater risk for workplace injuries or death.
Types of Heavy Machinery Commonly Found on Worksites
Any piece of equipment or machinery can be dangerous if it isn’t operated correctly, improperly maintained, or defective. On job sites across Texas, including in various industrial settings such as construction sites, warehouses, and factories, workers use many different types of heavy machinery, including:
- Boom Lifts
- Cold Planers
- Drum Rollers
- Dump Trucks
- Farming Equipment
- Scissor Lifts
- Utility Vehicles
These different types of heavy equipment allow workers to complete specialized tasks; but, to do so safely, workers must be properly trained to use the equipment, appropriate safety procedures must be put in place, and the machinery must be maintained in excellent working condition.
Complex Liability in Workplace Accident Claims
To maximize an injured worker’s potential recovery, it is important to pursue claims against any and all responsible parties to ensure that you get everything you deserve. There can be many different negligent parties in an accident resulting in a heavy machinery injury, including:
- Employer Subscribing to Workers’ Compensation: If your employer is wholly or partly responsible for your injuries and they carry workers’ compensation insurance, your medical bills and a portion of your lost wages will be paid. It is not necessary to prove who is at fault because comp automatically covers all work-related injuries without the need to prove negligence or wrongdoing. If your employer subscribes to workers’ compensation, you cannot also sue them for your injuries; however, there are likely other responsible parties involved so let a lawyer investigate the facts of your particular situation before you assume a lawsuit is completely impossible.
- Non-Subscriber Employer: In Texas, employers are not required to subscribe to the state’s workers’ compensation system; therefore, your employer may be what is called a non-subscriber, meaning they either don’t carry insurance or subscribe to private insurance. This also means you can sue them directly in a personal injury lawsuit for the damages you suffered.
- Contractor: A contractor working on the job site, either independently or employed by a company other than your employer, may be legally responsible for your workplace injury.
- Site Owner: The owner of the site on which the job is being performed may have created a dangerous environment, failed to adhere to state or federal regulations, or violated other obligations and thus also be responsible for causing you to get hurt.
- Project Owner or Operator: The project owner, manager, or operator generally runs the show on a worksite, and as such is responsible for many of the important decisions that affect the safety of everyone working there. A thorough investigation should be conducted into their role and actions in potentially contributing to or causing you harm.
- Product Manufacturer: The manufacturer of the machinery you were using, working with, working near, or otherwise harmed by may have issues with a defective design, defects in its manufacturing process, or other issues that cause its equipment to be defective and dangerous. These products liability issues may also be part of the reason why you were injured on the job.
Causes of Heavy Machinery Accidents
While there can be a variety of causes of any type of workplace accident, heavy machinery accidents, in particular, have some common causes, including but not limited to:
- Inadequate Training
- Lack of Inspections and Maintenance
- Machine Defects
- Failure to Provide Proper Protective Equipment
Amarillo, Texas Lawyers for Heavy Machinery Accidents
Sadly, many of these industrial workplace accidents result in catastrophic injuries, leaving workers with expensive medical bills and lost wages, if not permanently disabling or killing them. Employees who have been hurt by heavy equipment accidents in Texas are entitled to receive financial compensation from the responsible party or parties. Our experienced Amarillo workplace accident lawyers will work to ensure you receive the maximum amount of damages available for your injuries and other losses.
Our lawyers are Board Certified in Oil, Gas, and Mineral Law, Civil Trial Law, and Personal Injury Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. We have won awards including Texas Super Lawyers Rising Stars in Energy & Natural Resources and Texas Super Lawyers in General Litigation and Personal Injury. Many of us are rated AV-Preeminent by Martindale-Hubbell – the highest possible rating for ethics and skill in our industry. All communication is kept confidential and private.