Heavy machinery can cause serious injuries. In the worst cases, they can cause fatalities. A high percentage of these accidents are preventable. If you or your loved one suffered a heavy machinery accident someone else caused, you may be able to recover compensation for the damages.
In some cases, the damages could be covered under workers’ compensation coverage, but you need to file a claim to receive the benefits.
Get in touch with our Atlanta construction accident attorneys at Hansford McDaniel – Workers’ Compensation Attorneys to fight for compensation following a heavy equipment accident. We can handle the legal aspects of a heavy machinery or equipment accident claim including filing paperwork, gathering evidence, and negotiating with insurance companies.
Common Types of Heavy Equipment Accidents and Machinery-Related Injuries
The Greater Atlanta area is home to over 6 million residents, and the state of Georgia is one of the leading states in new construction. Industries that use heavy machinery, such as the construction industry, are vital to Atlanta’s economy.
As the demand for projects grows, so does the risk of heavy machinery accidents for construction workers and employees of other industries. Heavy machinery is used in various commercial and residential sites, including construction sites, manufacturing facilities, oil and gas extraction, and warehouses.
The heavy machinery and equipment at a construction site often include forklifts, excavators, cranes, scrapers, and other dangerous equipment. For example, even a minor oversight by a construction company or defect can cause serious injury.
The most common injuries in such heavy machinery accidents include back injuries, neck injuries, shoulder injuries, amputation, paralysis, traumatic brain injuries, lacerations, and burns. The most common types of heavy equipment accidents include:
- Exposure to toxic chemicals or substances
- Struck-by accidents
- Load handling accidents
- Unsafe and defective equipment
- Caught-between accidents
- Construction equipment collision
Some injuries from heavy machinery or equipment are not traumatic. For example, you can suffer repetitive motion injuries, such as tennis elbow or carpal tunnel syndrome, when using such heavy machinery.
Along with physical injuries, you can also suffer from mental health issues as a result of the accident. For example, victims of construction accidents can suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Legal Aspects of an Atlanta Heavy Machinery Accident
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) sets certain health and safety standards for workplaces. If the employer is found guilty of violating the regulations, they could be penalized. The penalties for violation depend on several factors, including the categories of violations such as willful violation, repeated violation, and failure or abate.
Negligence plays a key role in insurance claims and lawsuits that involve heavy machinery accidents. The negligence of construction companies is a common cause of construction site accidents. If the negligence of one party resulted in harm to the other, then the at-fault party is liable for the damages. However, if the employer has workers’ compensation coverage, then neither party has to prove fault.
To be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, the injured party must be an employee. Independent contractors may not be eligible for these benefits, but it is a good idea to speak with an attorney, as there is a balancing test to determine whether you are an independent contractor or an employee. In addition, you must have sustained the injury while performing work-related duties that are within the scope of your job.
The statute of limitations for a personal injury lawsuit in Georgia is two years. This means you have a two-year window to initiate your personal injury claim. Otherwise, you could lose your right to recover compensation. However, the statute of limitations to file a workers’ compensation claim is only one year from the date of the injury.
How to Recover Compensation For a Heavy Machinery or Construction Site Accident
Georgia requires all employers with three or more employees to have workers’ compensation insurance. If you are an employee, you are likely covered under workers’ compensation insurance. However, it’s best to verify this with the help of an attorney as many employers attempt to avoid liability by classifying workers as independent contractors when they may be actual employees.
If you have workers’ compensation coverage, you can file a claim to recover your damages. Workers’ compensation benefits may cover a percentage of your lost wages, medical treatment, vocational rehabilitation expenses, and death benefits.
If you are not covered under workers’ compensation insurance, you will need to file a third-party liability lawsuit against the at-fault party. This means you will need to gather and present evidence that proves that you got hurt as a result of someone else’s negligence or wrongdoing. Multiple parties can be held liable for a workplace accident, including your employer, a safety equipment or heavy machinery manufacturer, a supervisor, coworkers, or any individual or entity directly responsible for your losses.
Why Hire Atlanta Construction Accident Lawyers?
While you can seek compensation for your injuries without hiring a construction accident attorney, you can maximize your chances of full and fair compensatory damages if you have a lawyer on your side.
The trauma of heavy machinery or construction site accidents can often have a life-altering impact, and you should hold the liable party accountable to the fullest extent of the law. An attorney can play a vital role in this process as they are well-versed in Georgia law for heavy machinery accidents and workers’ compensation laws.
A heavy machinery accident attorney can help you with all the intricate legal, technical, and regulatory aspects of heavy machinery accident cases. From gathering evidence to taking the case to trial, you will have expert legal advice and representation throughout the entire process. If you got injured due to your employer’s negligence or violation of OSHA rules, an experienced attorney can use this to build a strong case and get the maximum possible compensatory damages for your losses.
Contact a Heavy Machinery Accidents Lawyer
For most construction workers, suffering a heavy machinery accident is a highly traumatic experience. The injured worker can suffer from physical and mental health issues. We can help you get compensation to provide some financial relief while you recover from your injuries.
At Hansford McDaniel — Workers’ Compensation Attorneys, we work on a contingency-fee basis so you won’t have to pay anything unless we recover compensation. This ensures there is no undue financial burden on you. When you are ready to consult with a heavy machinery accident lawyer, call us to set up a free consultation with one of our Atlanta construction accident lawyers.