Cranes are typically the biggest piece of equipment on construction sites. They have important jobs like building new structures, moving shipping containers, and demolishing buildings. Unfortunately, using a crane or working near one “in action” presents several risks.
If a crane accident occurs, the injuries are often catastrophic or fatal. If you or someone in your family has been involved in a crane injury and experienced serious injuries, or if someone you love passed away after a crane accident, you may be eligible for compensation. We encourage you to contact our legal team at Sternberg | Forsythe, P.A. to learn more about your rights.
You may find the information here helpful until you can speak to an attorney. We will cover the most common injuries that occur in crane accidents.
Causes of Crane Accidents and Common Injuries
Most injuries sustained from a crane accident occur if something falls off the crane and hits a bystander or worker. It is estimated that around 10% of injuries are to crane operators. Others who are at risk include dock and construction workers’ and other bystanders.
If a crane is not operated properly or safely, it can cause the crane to do the following:
- Cause objects to fall from significant heights
- Tip over
- Collide with nearby electric lines
- Hit other equipment or people
Due to the massive size of cranes, devastating injuries often occur after an accident. Some of the most common injuries seen include the following:
You may be hit by an object a crane is moving or the crane itself. In either situation, this can cause several broken bones. The crane’s weight almost guarantees that you will experience several severe fractures if you are struck.
A fracture is not always enough of a reason to file a personal injury claim. However, for severe fractures, compensation may be owed. If you sustain multiple fractures, you may also face extensive medical costs. These injuries will likely keep you from being able to return to work for several weeks, months, years, or ever again.
For some broken bones, you must undergo multiple surgeries involving the placement of plates, screws, and other hardware. Based on the location of your fractures, you may have to use crutches or a wheelchair for several weeks. In some cases, you will be completely immobile.
Even if you are lucky enough to recover from these serious fractures, you may face pain and discomfort for the rest of your life at the site where the breaks occurred. This pain will be enhanced if you develop arthritis in these areas.
While you may recover from multiple fractures, if you worked in the construction industry, you may have to change your profession because you may lose your ability to handle the physical demand of this work.
If your head is injured in a crane accident, the injuries may be catastrophic or fatal. For those who survive, the injuries related to head trauma leave very little chance to return to the same life you had before the crane accident happened.
With head trauma, there are two main types of injuries:
- Skull injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
Brain damage is highly likely when you experience head trauma in a crane accident. Other complications can arise from skull fractures, too, including seizures, infection, cerebrospinal fluid leakage, and bleeding.
Crane accidents do not lead to minor “bumps” on the head or a mild concussion that will heal and be forgotten after a few weeks. The victims of these accidents will likely experience a severe TBI that causes permanent brain damage.
If a crane accident victim survives five years after experiencing a TBI, they will likely experience one or more of the following:
- Live at a nursing home or long-term care facility
- Be moderately or severely disabled
- Rely on someone else for day-to-day activities
- Return to the hospital at least once
- Be unable to go back to work in their former job (or at all)
Back injuries are also common in crane accidents. Unfortunately, back injuries are some of the most challenging and painful ones to overcome. This is because individuals who suffer from back pain may find it hard to get relief, whether sitting, standing, or laying down.
Some of the injuries that occur to the back because of a crane accident include the following:
- Soft tissue damage along the spinal column
- Herniated discs
- Fractured vertebrae
- Bulged discs
If you sustain a back injury, it is common to need one or several corrective surgeries. Even after undergoing surgery, you may have to cope with the discomfort and pain it caused for the rest of your life.
For those with back injuries, the biggest struggle is often the pain that goes with it. While doctors can provide pain relief treatments, such as cortisone shots or a surgically implanted pain management device, they may not be long-term. Also, many of the pain medications used for these types of back injuries are addictive and can lead to drug abuse.
If you can return to work after a back injury, you may not be able to perform at your former levels and have to work shorter hours or do a different job entirely.
Contact Sternberg | Forsythe, P.A. for Help with Your Crane Accident Case
If you are injured in a crane accident, you have rights. Our legal team can review the facts of your case and help you recover the benefits and compensation you are entitled to.
The first step is to call our office to schedule a free consultation. Our team is here to help you recover the compensation you deserve for the impact a crane accident injury has had on your life.