Know your rights when it comes to claiming workers’ compensation benefits.
Industrial accidents that involve heavy machinery can often cause serious or even life-threatening injuries.
Millions of Americans work around heavy equipment daily, and the chances of getting injured (such as losing a finger, hand, or arm) can have life-changing consequences.
Most workplaces must follow various federal, state, and industry regulations concerning safety around large machines and manufacturing equipment. Yet even when all the rules are followed, tragic accidents still happen.
If you or a loved one has been hurt — or worse — while on the job using heavy machinery, contact the Atlanta workers’ compensation attorneys at Gerber Holder Law immediately so we can go to work for you.
Don’t take your employer at their word if they say your workplace injury isn’t covered.
Contact us today for your free consultation.
Heavy equipment accident statistics
Someone who works around large moving dump trucks or skid-steers, or inside a factory using 20-ton presses, is at higher risk of injury than other workers. The U.S. Bureau of Labor keeps statistics on heavy equipment accidents and reports that the death rate can be as high as 400 people every year. Within the construction industry, dump truck accidents are the most prolific, with about 15 workers killed each year.
According to OSHA, out of the 4,674 worker fatalities in private industry in 2017, 917 deaths (or 20%) were in construction. Falls represented 381 of those 971 deaths, followed by “struck by object” at 80, electrocutions at 71 and “caught-in/between” at 50.
Types of dangerous heavy machinery
Heavy equipment accidents happen in more ways than most people imagine. They typically involve:
- Large trucks
- Dump trucks
- Scissor lifts
- Cement mixers and pumps
- Road graders
Injuries can also happen while someone is using power tools such as grinders, saws, punch and drill presses. The dangers posed to construction workers at job sites are countless. The loss of a finger or limb can change a person’s life in the blink of an eye and can mean they are incapable of working, which affects an entire family, not just the injured worker. Workers must be extremely cautious when using pneumatic nail guns, meat slicers, conveyor belts and other sharp or highly powered tools.
Types of injuries covered by Georgia workers’ compensation claims
Common causes of heavy equipment injuries & accidents
Sometimes all the rules can be followed to keep workers safe, but tragedy still strikes. It could be due to faulty shut-off switches, poor maintenance, blocked lines of sight, missing safety guards or lockouts, or even a lack of training.
Another common denominator in heavy equipment accidents is the number of accidents that occur at construction sites. Accidents on construction sites caused by operator error can happen at any moment, so workers must remain vigilant at all times.
Compensation for workers injured or killed by a heavy machine
Workers’ compensation settlements come in many different shapes and sizes. In the event of a heavy equipment accident, your benefits may fall into one of the following categories:
- Permanent total disability. This means you can’t return to work, whether for your current employer or any future employer.
- Permanent partial disability. This is when you suffer a permanent injury that partially restricts your ability to work.
- Temporary total disability. This is when you’re completely prevented from working for a limited period of time.
- Temporary partial disability. This means you’re prevented from doing some, but not all, of your job functions for a limited amount of time.
If you were injured on the job as a result of faulty equipment or machinery, you might be entitled to file a lawsuit against an at-fault third-party. This can be an outside vendor responsible for equipment maintenance, a company that incorrectly installed the equipment, or a property owner who is responsible for equipment at the job site. Cases where a third-party is sued can be especially complex, which is why you should hire an experienced workers’ compensation attorney in these scenarios.
Our record of winning accident cases in Georgia speaks for itself:
Contact our Atlanta workers’ compensation attorneys today
If you were injured on the job, you should seek medical attention and notify your employer right away so that you begin the process for workers’ compensation. Then, reach out to the attorneys at Gerber & Holder Workers’ Compensation Attorneys to get help navigating the intricacies of workers’ compensation cases as they relate to heavy equipment accidents.
The attorneys at Gerber-Holder Law are experienced in handling cases involving injuries incurred by heavy equipment while on the job because we have over 75 years of combined experience. Reach out today to see if you have a case and learn more about the process of acquiring workers’ compensation.