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Crane Accidents

cranes on a NYC construction siteNJ worksite injury attorneys serving Morris, Passaic, Hudson, Essex, Middlesex and Bergen counties, as well as Long Island and NYC.

New York is known for its towering skyscrapers and impressive architecture. Yet, few people know the true perils involved in working on these construction sites. Many workers in New York City and New Jersey are wholly unaware of the corners cut that could put their lives at risk.

The New Jersey construction accident lawyers at Eisbrouch Marsh have decades of experience helping crane injury victims and their families recover maximum compensation for medical bills, lost wages, loss of ability to work, and wrongful deaths.

For a complimentary consultation with a leading personal injury lawyer in northern New Jersey, we invite you to contact our firm today.

Corners are being cut in NYC

Jim Hoffer, reporting for ABC News in New York, found that the NY Buildings Department recently made stricter licensing requirements to deter crane accidents, but the crane operators are allegedly “still cutting corners.” According to the news report, “Most of the dangers posed by the 300 cranes that operate daily in New York City never get reported.”

There are dozens of examples where cranes are operating without proper licensing, defective equipment is still running, and cranes are improperly set up, posing a risk to public safety. Eyewitness News found records showing that 27 cranes operated without a license and 30 violations occurred where cranes were operating in an unsafe manner or with defective equipment.

The City has revoked or suspended the licenses of 21 crane operators over the past five years – but those are just the ones who got caught. Eisbrouch Marsh crane accident attorneys are dedicated to holding those who cut corners fully accountable for their negligence.

Dangerous cranes still operate in New Jersey

The NY Daily News reported that massive tower cranes have been banned in NYC following several high-profile accidents, but continue to operate in New Jersey. Tower cranes can reach up hundreds of feet and lift loads of 40,000 pounds. However, one of these behemoths dropped 14,000 pounds of steel 100 feet, nearly crushing several World Trade Center workers. Shortly thereafter, the same crane operating at the same site dropped 48,000 pounds of steel 48 stories and crushed a tractor trailer truck. Luckily no one was injured, but the incidents were scary enough to prompt action from the New York City Buildings Department, which banned the cranes.

The NY Daily News also reports that these tower cranes – deemed unsafe – are part of a Port Authority project in New Jersey. According to the news story, Port Authority Commissioner Robert Sartor was financially tied to the engineering company involved with the project and may have overlooked a few “minor details” for his buddies. After being questioned by officials, Sartor resigned from his post “to spend more time with family.”

These are the sort of situations that the NJ construction site accident attorneys at Eisbrouch Marsh are adept at uncovering. With more than 25 years of investigation and trial experience in Hackensack, Paramus and throughout northern NJ, you’re in good hands with our personal injury law firm.

Crane accident statistics

There are about 125,000 cranes operating on construction sites in the U.S. each day, according to the Occupational Safety & Health Administration. Another 80,000 to 100,000 operate in the maritime shipping industry. When these massive cranes are not well-maintained, the results can be devastating.

Data collected from 1992 to 2006 found that:

  • 610 construction workers died in crane accidents at a rate of 42 per year
  • Two-thirds of crane accidents are caused by tower-style cranes, which have recently been banned in NYC

The most recent data, collected in 2008, found:

  • Crane collapses killed 28 workers and injured 73 that year
  • Power line electrocutions killed 10 workers and injured 8
  • Crane load strikes killed 6 and injured 10 workers
  • Crane arm and body contact killed 6 and injured 7 workers
  • Eight other deaths and 28 injuries were due to crane activities

Types of crane accidents

Construction workers aren’t the only people injured in crane accidents. A report by the Center for Construction Research and Training found that there were 54 deaths and 100 injuries involving construction workers from 1992 to 2006, but also four deaths and 26 injuries of non-construction workers, including innocent bystanders and rescue workers.

Crane accidents may include:

  • Scaffolding collapses
  • Failure to provide adequate safety equipment
  • Failure to inspect and maintain aging cranes
  • Roofing collapses
  • Electrocutions & burns
  • Impacts from falling objects
  • Falls from heights
  • Crane tip-overs
  • Crushing accidents
  • Improper safety training
  • Intrusion of cranes onto sidewalks
  • Run-over by operating equipment
  • Supervisor negligence
  • Crane manufacturer negligence
  • Employers who ignore necessary workplace safety standards

Crane accident injuries

While there are many types of construction accidents, crane injuries are some of the most serious. They include:

  • Back and spinal cord injuries, including paralysis
  • Concussions, skull fractures and brain bleeding
  • Limb fractures and amputations
  • Injuries resulting from electrocution
  • Wrongful death

Who is to blame for construction accidents?

It is recommended that anyone wishing to pursue a New Jersey construction accident lawsuit find a dedicated attorney to handle the proceedings, as identifying and proving liability is often a challenge.

Possible causes of crane injuries may include:

  • Inadequate training
  • Inadequate supervision or communication
  • Faulty, damaged, poorly designed or poorly maintained equipment
  • Failure to follow safety protocol
  • Poorly securing the load
  • Mechanical failures

You may file a construction accident lawsuit against:

  • The general contractor
  • A subcontractor
  • The building architect
  • The property owner
  • The property management company
  • A product manufacturer or distributor
  • Parts manufacturers

While New Jersey law stipulates that workers’ compensation must cover on-the-job injuries, regardless of fault, the money obtained may not be enough to cover all medical expenses. Victims can then file a personal injury lawsuit to recover damages for wrongful death, past / present / future medical bills, lost wages, loss of consortium, diminished earning capacity, pain and suffering, and permanent disability. There are also punitive damages designed to punish grossly negligent parties and deter future wrongdoing.

Family of NJ construction worker given $1 million in wrongful death suit

There are many stories of local people injured in construction accidents, but one recent report stands out. The family of 30-year-old Michael Simermeyer of Burlington County settled a wrongful death suit for $1 million, according to a report by NY Daily News.

In April 2012, the Simermeyers’ son was crushed by a huge tractor crane that collapsed when a frayed cable snapped. Though Yonkers Contracting never admitted wrongdoing, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration found that they had not conducted required safety inspections of the old crane. In addition to the settlement, the company was ordered to pay 10 violations totaling $68,000 in fines. Gross negligence like this is happening all the time. Let Eisbrouch & Marsh fight for your rights in settlement talks or in court.

Eisbrouch Marsh construction accident attorneys can help

David Eisbrouch, Eileen Marsh and their team of expert NJ construction accident lawyers serve Bergen, Hudson, Passaic, Morris, Essex and Middlesex counties, in addition to all five boroughs of New York City, as well as Long Island, Westchester and Rockland. All you need to do is call 201-342-5545 for a free consultation. We work on a contingency basis, so we only get paid if you win.

  1. NY Daily News – Exclusive: Parents of Construction Worker Killed In Crane Accident Given $1 Million Settlement
  2. ABC News – Investigating the Dangers of NYC Cranes
  3. NY Daily News – Owners & Operators At Fault For Scary Spike In Crane Accidents
  4. OSHA – Crane & Hoist Safety