A Michigan excavator accident lawyer can get you justice if you were injured due to this type of heavy machinery. Many of these accidents involve the excavator itself, while other injuries are caused by being struck by the bucket. These injuries are preventable with proper care and maintenance, but negligence often leads to catastrophic consequences.
If you or someone you care about suffered a serious physical injury from an excavator, you should contact The Buckfire Law Firm now to start your case. There are strict time deadlines for filing claims and lawsuits in Michigan, so it is important to act now.
- Struck by Excavator Bucket and Attachment Injuries
- What are the Reasons for Excavator Accidents?
- Most Common Injuries from Excavator Accidents
- Am I Limited to a Workers Compensation Claim?
Information About Excavators
Excavators, often called “diggers,” are used on most large construction projects. They are essential for moving large debris and material handling. In addition to construction, they are used for landscaping, demolition, mining projects, trenching, and river dredging.
Many excavators weigh up to 90 tons. The major parts are the boom, dipper, and bucket and they connect to the cab that sits on a rotating house. The cab sits on either tracks or wheels for movement and can usually rotate 360 degrees at the command of the operator. The bucket can be swapped out for an auger, drill, ripper, or rake for different uses on a project.
Six Types of Excavators
There are six primary types of excavators. Most are used for earth-moving projects and have buckets that allow the operator to move the bucket and boom with a hydraulic system.
- Crawler Excavators: most common type used for mining, trench digging, and landscape grading. They sit on tracks which makes them ideal for rough and uneven terrain.
- Dragline Excavators: this type uses a hoist rope and dragline system to clear dirt and soil for underwater projects, pile driving, or road excavations.
- Suction Excavators: this type uses water jets and a high-pressure vacuum to clear dirt, soil, and debris. for underground applications, debris cleanup, and other delicate excavation projects.
- Mini Excavators: a small version of heavy equipment used for smaller projects, like landscaping, or in narrow job sites when larger excavators will not fit in the space.
- Wheeled Excavators: like other excavators but on wheels and often used for projects on finished highways and roads.
Struck by Excavator Bucket and Attachment Injuries
Struck by excavator bucket incidents are a leading cause of death and serious non-fatal injuries to construction workers. Many of these injuries result from problems with the quick coupler, a part used to allow the bucket to be detached and changed for other parts quickly on the job.
These quick couplers have been known to fail due to operator error or product malfunction. When a bucket detaches or falls off the heavy machine, the results can be catastrophic. It is for this reason why workers should never work underneath a bucket or other attachment.
The machine owner must regularly inspect all couplers to make sure they are in good condition to prevent an unexpected release. Operators should perform visual inspections before starting a project. Manually installing locking pins is also smart practice.
Other Common Types of Excavator Injury Accidents
In addition to injuries caused by being struck by an excavator bucket, other common types of these heavy machinery accidents are:
- Being hit by the swinging arm
- Being run over by the equipment, like pedestrians and construction workers
- Rollover accidents
- Electrocutions from the bucket contacting live electrical wires.
- Slides in trenches.
The injuries caused in these accidents are often catastrophic and many times fatal. It is essential that these heavy machine operators have the proper skill and training necessary to operate them. Construction site workers and the public are both at a high risk of injury with any type of excavator accident.
What are the Reasons for Excavator Accidents?
The most common reasons to explain the cause of most excavator accidents include:
- Inadequate safety training for the operator
- Inadequate protective equipment
- Lack of protective equipment
- Defective and poorly maintained equipment
- Failure to locate utility lines and power lines near the worksite.
- Negligent, reckless, and careless operation by the machine operator
Our Michigan excavator accident lawyers understand how these incidents occur and how every accident was preventable. We hire the best heavy equipment industry experts to provide testimony explaining why the injury or death was preventable with proper practice.
Trench Collapses and Cave In-Injuries
Trench collapses are unfortunately common and rarely survivable. From 2003 to 2017 there were a total of 373 trenching fatalities, with more than 80% of them in the construction industry. Dirt and other walls can collapse without warning and trap and smother an unexpecting construction worker. Properly working engineering controls, protective safety equipment, and safe work practices can prevent trench cave-ins.
Most Common Injuries from Excavator Accidents
The injuries caused by heavy machinery accidents are always very serious. The most common injuries from excavator accidents include:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries, including paralysis and quadriplegia.
- Broken bones and fractures
- Damage to internal organs
- Suffocation from a wall collapse
- Death due to a traumatic injury
Our award-winning personal injury lawyers will gather your medical records to prove the seriousness of your injury. We also hire top medical experts to explain the permanency of your injury and your medical prognosis, which helps get you the maximum possible settlement.
Who Can I Sue for an Excavator Accident?
You can sue the excavator operator and excavating company if you or someone you care about was injured in an excavator accident. The evidence must prove there was negligence or reckless conduct that caused the injury to sue for pain and suffering damages.
If the accident caused a fatality, the surviving family members can file a wrongful death lawsuit. These cases seek damages for the loss of the loved one.
Am I Limited to a Workers Compensation Claim?
Under many state laws, including Michigan, an injured worker may be limited to filing a claim for workers compensation benefits. These benefits pay for lost wages and medical expenses, but do not include compensation for pain and suffering.
There are exceptions to the workers compensation claim-only rule. For example, an injured worker employed by another company may be able to sue another company for pain and suffering damages. The same may be true for an independent contractor.
Our attorneys have the legal expertise to determine if you qualify for pain and suffering damages and will carefully evaluate your case to see if you can file this type of personal injury claim. Many times, you may be able to file for both workers compensation benefits and file a separate claim for pain and suffering damage compensation.
How much is a Michigan Excavator Accident Settlement?
Settlements in excavator accident cases include money damages for pain and suffering, psychological damages, disability, and loss of enjoyment of life. These awards can be in the millions of dollars depending on the nature and permanency of the injuries.
For cases involving a death, the surviving family members can sue for damages under the Michigan wrongful death laws. These cases demand compensation for the pain and suffering of the loved one prior to passing away, the loss of companionship by the family members, and claims for financial losses suffered by the family from the death of the loved one.
Our No Fee Promise for Personal Injury Cases
The Buckfire Law Firm will represent you under our No Fee Promise. This means that we only get paid a fee when we settle your case. It costs you no money to start your case and if your case is unsuccessful for any reason, you owe us nothing.
Contact Our Michigan Excavator Accident Lawyers
Call The Buckfire Law Firm now to get started on your case. We will listen to your story and begin working on your case immediately. It is important to get started as soon as possible, so our attorneys and investigators can get the evidence needed to prove and win your case.
There are strict time deadlines for filing excavator accident cases in Michigan, so call us now!
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