Were You Injured by a Defective Aerial Lift?

Construction worker high up on an aerial lift. | Patrick Daniel Law
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Working at heights involves inherent risks; however, a defective aerial lift should not be one of them. The use of aerial lifts, including boom lifts and scissor lifts, is widespread in construction, maintenance, and various other industries. When these pieces of equipment are defective, they can cause severe injuries or even fatalities.

We trust designers, manufacturers, and vendors to have our best interests in mind when supplying us with products. Heavy machinery needs an even more stringent safety protocol because a defect in this equipment could cause severe injury or death.

If you’ve been injured or lost a loved one because of a defective aerial lift, understanding your legal rights and options is essential. At Patrick Daniel Law, our Texas aerial lift construction accident attorney does have your best interest in mind. Call (713) 999-6666 today to schedule a FREE case evaluation

Understanding Aerial Lifts & the Associated Risks

Aerial lifts are mechanical devices used to provide access to inaccessible areas, typically at height. They have replaced ladders and scaffolding in many different work settings due to their versatility and convenience. Despite their advantages, operating or working near a defective aerial lift can lead to catastrophic accidents, including falls, electrocutions, and equipment collapses.

Types of Defective Aerial Lift Accidents

Understanding the different types of defective aerial lift accidents is crucial to determining responsibility and seeking appropriate compensation. These types of accidents may include:

  • Mechanical Failures: Mechanical issues can cause unexpected movements, collapses, or falls.
  • Design Flaws: Inherent design defects can make the aerial lift unstable or unsafe for use.
  • Insufficient Safety Features: Lack of adequate safety features or warnings can lead to accidents and injuries.
  • Manufacturing Defects: Errors during the manufacturing process can create unsafe conditions, leading to accidents.

Read More: What Are the Causes of Aerial Lift Accidents?

Common Injuries from Defective Aerial Lift Accidents

Victims of defective aerial lift accidents may suffer from serious injuries, such as:

These injuries, often catastrophic, can necessitate extensive medical treatment and prolonged recovery periods and can lead to permanent disability or death.

Legal Options for Victims of Defective Aerial Lift Accidents

In the United States, victims of defective aerial lift accidents have several potential legal avenues by which to pursue compensation:

Product Liability Claim

Victims can file a claim against the manufacturer, distributor, or retailer if the aerial lift was defective. Parties involved in the assembly, distribution, and sale of a defective product may be liable for injuries sustained as a result of the flaw. Defective booms, turntables, and other components can lead to catastrophic accidents involving lifts. Expert examination of the lift is critical to prevailing in a defective product claim.

Third-Party Injury Claim

Negligent maintenance of tools and machines is a common factor in workplace injuries and deaths. The owner of the property and/or the general contractor responsible for the work site may be held liable in a personal injury or wrongful death claim for accidents caused by the failure to repair and maintain lifts. If negligence by a third party (not the employer) contributed to the accident, victims may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit.

Workers’ Compensation Claim

Employees injured on the job may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. They may have recourse to their employer’s workers’ compensation insurance for recompense of medical bills, lost wages, and more. Death benefits may be available to families of a worker who is killed on the job.

Unfortunately, Texas does not require employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance. Many employers—especially in the construction industry—take advantage of the lax laws to save money. However, this leaves the uninsured employer open to civil liability in the event of an accident.

Read More: Who Is Liable for Aerial Lift Accidents?

An experienced attorney can review the details of your lift accident and advise you of your options for recovering fair compensation. You may have multiple options for filing a claim.

Navigating Legal Complexities

Filing a defective aerial lift accident claim involves navigating complex legal and regulatory frameworks. Standards set by OSHA and federal regulations (29 CFR § 1926.453) apply to aerial lift safety and must be considered in legal claims. Skilled legal representation is paramount to effectively address these complexities, establish liability, and ensure victims secure the compensation they deserve.

Role of an Aerial Lift Construction Accident Lawyer

A proficient lawyer can play a significant role in your defective aerial lift accident claim by:

  • Conducting a Thorough Investigation: Gathering evidence, interviewing witnesses, and analyzing accident reports and medical records.
  • Establishing Liability: Determining the responsible parties, whether it’s the manufacturer, distributor, or another entity.
  • Filing a Timely Claim: Ensuring that all claims are filed within the appropriate time frames per state laws.
  • Negotiating Compensation: Negotiating with insurance companies and other parties to secure fair compensation for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages.
  • Representing in Litigation: If a fair settlement cannot be reached, representing clients in court to advocate for their rights and interests.

Case Study: Genie® Aerial Lifts

Over the years, Genie® has issued safety notices and recalls for lifts from multiple years of manufacture. The most recent was a 2020 recall on the TZ-50 and TZ-34 due to the bolts connecting the slew turntable bearing to the chassis being loose, affecting the stability of the unit and “increasing the risk of personal injury.”

Aerial lifts are among the most dangerous pieces of equipment on a construction site. Workers may suffer severe injuries and even death as a result of operator error, product defects, and more. Patrick Daniel Law has experience investigating aerial lift accidents involving defective Genie® lifts.

While safety notices and recalls are meant to inform the owners of faulty machines of an issue and often include instructions for returning the machine to service, many companies are likely to disregard these warnings and continue to use unsafe lifts. Removing a machine from service to make repairs takes time and costs money. Far too many construction companies are willing to put workers’ lives in jeopardy to save a buck.

Take Prompt Action

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Genie® have tools that will allow you to check your lift’s VIN or serial number for any safety notices or recalls. Registering your machinery so the manufacturer can get in touch should a defect be discovered is also recommended.

The problems with Genie’s products are just the latest in a long line of issues with aerial lifts in the construction industry. Aerial lift accidents are a major contributor to some leading causes of serious injury and death on construction sites, including falls, electrocutions, and more. Vigilance is vital to protecting yourself and other workers from harm.

Contact a Defective Aerial Lift Attorney Today!

The aftermath of a defective aerial lift accident is overwhelming and filled with medical, financial, and legal challenges. Timely and dedicated legal assistance is invaluable in facing these challenges and ensuring you obtain the justice and compensation you are entitled to. If you or a loved one has been injured due to a defective aerial lift, don’t hesitate to contact a qualified aerial lift construction accident lawyer to discuss your case and explore your legal options.

At Patrick Daniel Law, we are Strategic, Meticulous, and Merciless. Our team thoroughly investigates each case, develops innovative legal strategies, and ruthlessly pursues the results our clients deserve.

Contact Patrick Daniel Law today for a FREE case evaluation. Our attorney serves the victims of defective aerial lift accidents throughout Houston, all of Texas, and nationwide.

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