Houston Crane Accident Attorney
Were you hurt in a crane accident in Houston? If so, contact the experienced injury attorneys of Williams Hart to discuss your rights and legal options. We’re here to help you get the compensation you deserve. If you were hurt in a crane accident on the job, you could be eligible to collect workers’ compensation benefits (regardless of who was at fault for the accident) and if defective equipment, parts, or a negligent third party caused the accident, you could be owed additional compensation, depending on the circumstances. Make sure to seek immediate medical attention, and make sure your first call is to Williams Hart to discuss your rights.
On December 18, 2018, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that crane-related workplace fatalities fell to their lowest level ever recorded in the 26-year history of the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI) with 33 deaths in 2017. Even when crane accidents are not fatal, they can still cause a wide variety of very serious injuries that could lead to a lifetime of challenges for victims.
If you were injured or if you lost a loved one in a crane accident in the Houston area, know that you’re not alone and that you do not have to shoulder the financial burdens that a severe injury can place on you and your family. Williams Hart has recovered billions of dollars for our clients, and we are passionate about defending workers in our Houston community. We have the resources and skill to get you the compensation you are owed. Call (800) 220-9341 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.
Why Do I Need a Crane Accident Lawyer?
Many people who are injured in crane accidents are frequently entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. While most employers are required to carry this coverage to protect injured employees, workers’ compensation benefits are not always easy to obtain. Without assistance, some injured workers might experience denials or delays in their benefits and might struggle unnecessarily to get the benefits they’re owed.
An experienced attorney will know how to not only get you approved for workers’ compensation but also see if you might be entitled to additional compensation. While workers’ compensation does prohibit an employee from filing a lawsuit against their employer, the same immunity is not afforded to other negligent parties.
A lawyer can commence an independent investigation to review the circumstances surrounding your accident and determine the actual cause. When the negligence of other parties besides your employer caused or contributed to causing your injuries, you may be able to file actions against those parties.
You do not want to deal with the insurance company by yourself, even though one of their agents might try to contact you and tell you that you do not need an attorney. While the insurer could offer you a lump sum settlement to resolve your case, know that whatever you are being offered is almost certainly far less than you are entitled to and a lawyer will be able to negotiate for a far more just settlement.
Why Choose Williams Hart?
Williams Hart has been helping victims of pipeline injuries since 1983. Our team is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.
John Eddie Williams, Jr. is a member of the State Bar of Texas, James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy at Rice University, and Houston Police Foundation. He has been on the Board of Governors for the American Association for Justice since 2008 and served on its Executive Committee from 2008 until 2012.
Jim Hart is Board Certified in Labor & Employment Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. He is a member of the Texas Trial Lawyers Association, Houston Bar Association, and Texas State Bar Association.
Our firm can negotiate a settlement that covers all of your past, present, and future expenses, and we can also file a lawsuit to take your case to trial when a fair and full settlement is not possible. Williams Hart provides legal services on a contingency fee basis so will not pay us anything until you obtain a monetary award.
Crane Accident Cases We Handle
Cranes are a type of machinery that usually consists of a base unit attached to a mast or tower that is usually attached to a slewing unit with a horizontal jib (or working arm), machinery arm, and operator’s cab. Cranes are frequently used for loading and unloading large amounts of freight. An individual can be injured in one of the many different kinds of crane accidents. Some of the most common types that Williams Hart sees include, but are not limited to:
- Inadequate training
- Improperly set up cranes
- Improper cranes for certain functions
- Exceeding operational limits
- Improper load capacity
- Failure to maintain the crane
- Caught in-between accidents
- Struck by objects
- Dropped loads
- Swinging loads
- Transportation incidents
- Defective parts or other mechanical failures
While many crane accident cases involve construction employees, it is important to note that innocent bystanders can also suffer serious injuries in crane accidents. In such cases, the victims have the right to file lawsuits against the companies that employees might not be able to file.
Cranes need to be operated by qualified personnel who have received appropriate training and the cranes must be located on level and secure sites. Safety plans are essential to the use of cranes, and load stability needs to be checked frequently.
People can suffer many different kinds of crane accident injuries depending on the type of accident they were involved in. Injuries could include, but are not limited to, any of the following:
- Neck injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Internal organ injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Muscle strains
It is also possible that a person could die from injuries they suffer in a crane accident. When a person is killed because of another party’s negligence, their family can file a wrongful death lawsuit against that negligent party.
What should I do after a crane accident?
Medical attention should always be sought after any crane accident, even when you do not think that you were harmed. Keep in mind that seeing your doctors days or weeks later about injury symptoms from your accident can lead to an insurance company claiming that you did not treat your injuries properly and using that as justification for a denial of your claim.
One important action you can take at the scene of your accident is to take multiple pictures of everything that was involved in the accident. If a particular hazard was to blame, get pictures of it before it is corrected. If other people saw the accident, make sure you know who they are and how they can be contacted or get some kind of contact information from them. These individuals may be valuable witnesses if liability is disputed. Do not discuss your case with anybody until you have spoken to an attorney first.
What kinds of compensation could I be entitled to for my injuries?
If you have a legal claim against another party besides your employer, the case will very likely be resolved through a settlement, usually right before a trial is set to begin. Should your case actually make it to court and you are able to prove another party’s negligence by a preponderance of the evidence, you could end up being awarded compensatory damages that usually involve both economic damages and noneconomic damages. Your tangible losses like medical bills and lost wages are considered economic damages while noneconomic damages are for the far more subjective forms of harm like disfigurement or pain and suffering. Punitive damages could be possible in a very limited number of cases, but such awards are extremely rare and also require proof of malice, fraud, or gross negligence by clear and convincing evidence.
How long do I have to file a lawsuit for my crane accident?
Under Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code § 16.003(a), you have two years from the date of your crane accident to file a lawsuit. Exceptions are provided to people considered to be “under a legal disability.” The statute of limitations can be tolled (or delayed) for any person who is younger than 18 years of age or of unsound mind (unconscious or in a coma), and Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code § 16.001(b) establishes that the time of a disability is not included in a limitations period such that these individuals have two years to file after they turn 18 years of age or have their disabilities cured. The limitations period may also be tolled for a member of the United States Armed Forces serving overseas.
Crane Accidents: How Often Do They Occur?
The BLS reported that Texas had almost as many fatal occupational injuries due to cranes as the next four states combined from 2011 to 2015. There were 40 fatal injuries involving cranes in Texas during this period compared to 12 in Illinois, 11 in Florida, 10 in California, and 10 in Pennsylvania.
According to the BLS, 1992 was the year with the highest total fatal injuries involving cranes with 116. The next highest total was 97 in 1997 and there were 93 fatal injuries in 2008, but the 33 fatalities in 2017 marked the fourth straight decrease in the fatalities total.
Contact a Crane Accident Attorney in Houston Today
Did you suffer catastrophic injuries or was your loved one was killed in a crane accident in Houston? If so, be sure to contact an experienced crane accident attorney right away to discuss your rights and all of the legal options available to you. The attorneys of Williams Hart will work tirelessly to make sure every negligent party involved in your accident is held fully accountable. We can answer all of your legal questions as soon as you call (800) 220-9341 to receive a free consultation.