Aerial Lift Accident Lawyer

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Serving Workers Injured by Boom Lifts, Scissor Lifts, and Other Equipment

Many different jobs require workers to be lifted high into the air. A wide range of aerial lifts – also known as machine lifts, man lifts, and more – are used to perform work in a variety of industries, from construction to painting to tree trimming to farming to power line repair to loading and unloading warehouses.

Unfortunately, aerial lifts are a common source of accidents in the workplace. In 2020, OSHA recorded 28 accidents involving aerial lifts. All but two of these accidents resulted in the death of one or more workers.

Multiple factors make aerial lifts dangerous. If you were injured or lost a loved one in a construction accident or other workplace accident involving an aerial lift, it is important to speak to a lawyer as soon as possible.

At Patrick Daniel Law, we have the experience, resources, and tenacity to represent workers and their families effectively. Contact an aerial lift accident lawyer by calling (713) 999-6666 today for a free consultation. Patrick Daniel Law serves clients in Houston, all of Texas, and nationwide.

Houston Boom Lift Injury Lawyer | Patrick Daniel Law

Common Types of Aerial Lift Accidents

The term “aerial lift” can refer to many different devices and machines used in the workplace. Our aerial lift accident lawyer can advise you of your rights and legal options for pursuing compensation if you sustained injury or your loved one was killed on the job by a machine lift.

Boom Lift Accidents

A boom lift consists of the following components:

  • A mobile base mounted on wheels
  • A turntable unit that rotates the lift 360 degrees
  • An extendable arm
    • The arm on a telescopic boom lift is straight
    • Articulating boom lifts have an arm with multiple joints
  • A bucket or platform that holds the worker

One of the biggest dangers associated with telescopic and articulating boom lifts is overloading the bucket. When the arm is extended, excess weight can throw the lift off balance. Workers on the platform as well as those on the ground may suffer catastrophic injuries or worse if the boom lift overturns.

Scissor Lift Accidents

Scissor lifts consist of a wheeled base, a hydraulic lift, and a platform that typically holds multiple workers. These lifts are commonly used to perform work at different elevations in the same area of a job site.

Falls from scissor lifts are common on construction sites and in other workplaces. These accidents often occur due to inadequate fall protection, typically a lack of guardrails or railings that are loose or damaged.

Cherry Picker/Bucket Truck Accidents

A cherry picker is an aerial lift mounted to the back of a heavy-duty truck. The hydraulic arm moves the bucket into position for workers to repair utility lines, clean and maintain buildings, hang signs, and more.

Workers are highly vulnerable to the weather when they are atop a cherry picker. High winds, rain, and other conditions can be extremely dangerous. Other hazards workers face on bucket trucks include excess weight, defective parts, and more.

Houston Cherry Picker Accident Attorney | Patrick Daniel Law

What Are Most Aerial Lift Accidents Caused By?

Different types of aerial lifts present different dangers to workers. However, certain hazards are present no matter what type of lift you use on the job.

The most common causes of aerial lift accidents include:

  • Falls: Falls from heights (including aerial lifts) are the number-one cause of fatalities in the workplace. Workers may fall from an aerial lift if they lose their footing or reach too far over the edge of the guardrail. However, other factors typically come into play in these accidents.
    • Ex: OSHA regulations require employers to provide workers with adequate fall protection when they work on aerial lifts. Fall protection may include a harness (required on boom lifts), guardrails that fully enclose the platform (required on scissor lifts), etc.
  • Collapses: An overloaded aerial lift is an accident waiting to happen. All aerial lifts have weight limits, but it is not uncommon for the lift to become overloaded with workers, tools, and materials. Failure of the hydraulics on an aerial lift can cause workers to fall to the ground. Alternatively, the lift itself may buckle under the weight, causing it to fall over or collapse.
  • Electrocution: Electrical shock is another major cause of construction accident fatalities. Work performed at heights must be planned and supervised correctly to avoid contact with overhead power lines.
  • Contact with other objects: Aerial lifts must be spaced from structures, equipment, and other hazards. Poor positioning of the lift and errors in operation can cause the bucket to collide with other objects, potentially resulting in a fall, crush injuries, and other serious trauma.
  • Defects: Any product can suffer from defects that make it unsafe. For construction workers, faulty aerial lifts and other equipment can lead to devastating accidents.
  • Inadequate training: Employers may be cited by OSHA for aerial lift accidents where lack of training or inexperience of the operator was a factor. Unfortunately, the threat of citations is rarely enough for a construction company or a contractor to invest in employee training and certification. As a result, lifts are often operated by workers with minimal knowledge and limited appreciation of the dangers.
  • Failure to inspect: Another serious error on the part of construction companies, contractors, and other employers is a failure to inspect aerial lifts regularly and perform necessary maintenance. Wear and tear has an adverse effect on the safe operation of any type of construction equipment, potentially leading to an accident.

Workers using aerial lifts are not the only ones who may be in danger. Tip-over accidents, collapses, and objects falling from a lift can all seriously injure or kill workers immediately below and in the vicinity of the equipment.

It is crucial to investigate the cause of an aerial lift accident promptly to determine what happened and who is responsible. At Patrick Daniel Law, we are Strategic, Meticulous, and Merciless. We know what it takes to build these claims and pursue the compensation you deserve.

Contact an aerial lift accident lawyer at Patrick Daniel Law for free today.

Who Is Liable for Aerial Lift Accidents?

The majority of aerial lift accidents occur in the workplace. Although you may believe that workers’ compensation will cover your injuries (and you could be right, if your employer has opted to carry insurance), benefits can be difficult to recover.

Unlike most states, Texas does not require employers to carry workers’ comp insurance. If this is the case, the only way to recover compensation is to prove that one or more parties are at fault for the aerial lift accident that caused your injuries or led to the wrongful death of your loved one.

Multiple parties may be liable for an aerial lift accident, including:

  • Your employer: State workers’ compensation programs typically bar workers from suing their employers. If your employer is uninsured, however, you have the right to sue. To recover compensation, you must be able to show that negligence on the part of your employer (such as failing to maintain the lift, failing to provide fall protection, etc.) led to the accident with an aerial lift.
    • Depending on the circumstances, your employer may also be liable for negligence on the part of a coworker. These claims generally arise from aerial lift accidents stemming from a worker who is improperly trained or fails to follow safety procedures.
  • A contractor: Construction is a complicated business. Multiple general contractors may be involved in a project, each of them responsible for hiring workers, acquiring equipment, etc. It is the contractor’s responsibility to ensure that the aerial lift is in good working order, workers know how to operate it safely, and workers using the lift have the protective equipment they need to avoid falling.
  • The manufacturer of the lift: If an aerial lift fails due to a faulty design, errors in manufacturing, and other issues, one or more companies may be included in a product liability claim. Defective product cases generally require extensive investigation and expert testimony to establish what caused the accident and who is responsible.

Are Genie Lifts Dangerous?

Many different companies manufacture and sell aerial lift equipment. One of the most recognizable names on the market is Genie, the maker of a number of popular telescopic and articulating boom lifts, scissor lifts, vertical mast lifts, and other equipment.

A number of safety issues are associated with various Genie lifts. In 2021, Genie issued multiple safety notices due to problems with the bolts connecting the turntable to the base of select boom lift units.

Read More: Were You Injured by a Defective Aerial Lift?

In addition to the risks posed by Genie lift defects, owner noncompliance is a frequent contributor to aerial lift accidents. When an owner is notified of a safety issue and fails to take steps to correct it, this constitutes negligence.

Houston Genie Boom Lift Accident Attorney | Patrick Daniel Law

What Compensation Can I Recover for an Aerial Lift Accident?

Multiple factors can impact the compensation that may be available in your aerial lift accident claim. One of the most significant issues is whether or not your employer has workers’ compensation insurance.

If your employer is insured, workers’ comp will pay medical benefits and a percentage of your average weekly wage if you are unable to work. Workers’ compensation also pays death benefits (a percentage of the deceased worker’s average weekly wage) and burial expenses if a worker is killed on the job.

Because Texas does not require employers to have workers’ compensation insurance, the sad reality is most construction workers will need to sue in order to recover fair compensation for their injuries. Although proving fault for an aerial lift accident can be challenging, the advantage of a personal injury or product liability claim is that you can pursue recovery of all of the damages in your case.

Potential damages in an aerial lift accident claim include:

  • Medical expenses (both current and future)
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of earning capacity (if you are unable to work after the accident)
  • Other expenses you incur, such as paying for assistive devices, modifications to your home and car, household services, travel for medical appointments, etc.
  • Pain and suffering
  • Mental and emotional distress
  • Disability
  • Loss of consortium (a general term for the loss of society, companionship, and services to your family)

If your loved one died in an aerial lift accident, you and your family can pursue compensation for all of your losses in a wrongful death claim. You may be entitled to recovery of medical expenses prior to your relative’s death, costs associated with a funeral and burial or cremation, loss of your loved one’s income, pain and suffering, loss of society and companionship, and more.

Fair compensation in any workplace accident claim can be difficult to calculate. You may not have to settle for workers’ comp benefits alone. Aerial lift accident lawyer Patrick Daniel will fully investigate to determine who is at fault and aggressively pursue recovery of all of the damages you and your family have sustained.

Damages in an Aerial Lift Accident Claim | Patrick Daniel Law

Building Your Aerial Lift Accident Claim

The importance of prompt investigation after an aerial lift accident cannot be overstated. Employers, contractors, and other parties may simply try to write off the accident as “nobody’s fault” and get back to business. However, this is far easier said than done for the workers who are seriously injured in aerial lift accidents, as well as the families left to grieve the loss of a loved one.

Until you hire a lawyer, you do not have anyone looking out for your best interest. It is important to act quickly to protect your legal rights and preserve your claim.

Attorney Patrick Daniel partners with a leading expert in aerial lifts to build an effective claim on your behalf. Expert testimony can help establish crucial facts about how and why the aerial lift accident occurred, including:

  • The condition of the aerial lift (i.e., was the lift properly inspected and maintained)
  • Whether the aerial lift suffered from any defects
  • Operational errors that may have led to the aerial lift accident

We hire professional investigators to collect evidence, take photographs, speak to witnesses, and more. Our firm also works with other expert witnesses – such as medical experts, economists, and others – to calculate the full extent of damages in your claim accurately.

Patrick Daniel Law has extensive experience handling claims involving construction accidents, farm equipment injuries, and other workplace accidents where aerial lift defects and negligence are a factor. We understand the complexity of these cases, and our team will do the hard work so you can focus on healing.

Contact an Aerial Lift Accident Lawyer Today

Despite their usefulness on the job site, aerial lifts can be extremely dangerous. From lack of fall protection to defects to insufficient training, workers in construction and other industries face a number of risks when using this equipment.

If the worst happens and an aerial lift accident occurs, you need an experienced lawyer on your side. Patrick Daniel has been recognized by America’s Top 100 Attorneys as a High Stakes Litigator in areas such as construction accidents and product liability. He is distinguished by his willingness to take complex cases to trial, as well as the results he achieves for clients.

Every member of our team embodies our core values of exceptional legal service and dedication to winning. We are Strategic, Meticulous, and Merciless, and we are here for you.

If you were seriously injured or lost a loved one in an aerial lift accident, please call Patrick Daniel Law at (713) 999-6666 today for a free case review. Our aerial lift accident lawyer serves clients throughout Houston, all of Texas, and nationwide.

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