NYC Heavy Equipment Accidents Attorney

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When working at a construction site, hazards are often just a part of the job. But when an accident involving heavy equipment happens, the consequences can be devastating for construction workers, from broken bones, spinal cord injuries, missing limbs, and traumatic brain injuries to permanent disabilities.

But you don’t have to face this alone. Whether you seek a personal injury lawsuit or a third-party lawsuit, the team at Richman Law Firm PLLC knows the ins and outs of New York laws. We’re committed to helping workers recover fair compensation. Contact us today for a free consultation.

Common Causes of Heavy Equipment Injuries

Heavy machinery accidents are frequently the result of negligence or oversight at a construction site. Here are some common causes:

Lack of Proper Training

Operating heavy machinery demands specialized skills and knowledge. When construction workers receive inadequate training, they’re more prone to make mistakes that can lead to serious injuries.

Equipment Failure

Even the best training can’t prevent accidents caused by faulty or defective equipment. Ongoing maintenance and inspections are crucial to protecting the workers on the job site.

Safety Violations

Ignoring safety regulations can have disastrous consequences. Whether it’s failing to provide adequate protective gear or neglecting to enforce safe work practices, these violations can directly contribute to heavy equipment accidents.

Possible Recoverable Damages

The costs can quickly add up when you’re injured in a heavy equipment accident. Workers’ compensation benefits cover medical expenses and a percentage of lost wages for employees injured on the job.

However, it frequently fails to fully compensate for all damages, such as loss of future earning capacity or pain and suffering. That’s where a personal injury lawsuit can make a significant difference. Here’s a brief overview of the types of damages you may be able to recover:

Medical Expenses

These can include everything from an initial emergency room visit to surgeries, medical equipment, prescription medications, and physical therapy. If your injuries require ongoing care, future medical expenses may also be factored into your compensation.

Lost Wages

If your injuries prevent you from working, either temporarily or permanently, you may be entitled to fair compensation for lost income. This may also include lost earning capacity if your ability to earn a living has been diminished by severe injuries.

Pain And Suffering

After a heavy equipment accident, victims might also be able to seek compensation for pain and suffering, which can include mental anguish. Serious injuries that change the trajectory of your life can result in mental and emotional pain and suffering as you learn to adapt to the new reality.

Rehabilitation Costs

A heavy equipment injury often requires extensive rehabilitation. Whether it’s physical therapy to regain mobility or occupational therapy to relearn daily tasks, these costs may be included in your claim.

Remember, every case is unique. The potential damages depend on the circumstances of your case. That’s why it’s so important to have a skilled personal injury attorney to assess your case and fight for the compensation you deserve.

New York Labor Law and Industrial Code

In New York, labor laws protect the rights of workers, especially those in high-risk industries like construction. These laws set standards for safety and working conditions and hold negligent parties accountable when accidents occur.

  • Section 240 of the New York Labor Law, often referred to as the “Scaffold Law,” places liability on property owners and contractors for gravity-related accidents, such as falls from heights or being hit by falling objects.
  • The Industrial Code contains specific regulations regarding the use of heavy machinery on construction sites. For instance, it requires that only competent individuals operate machinery and equipment. This rule could be relevant to your case if an untrained or unsupervised operator caused your accident.

Frequent Accidents Involving New York Heavy Machinery

Heavy machinery is inherently dangerous, and even a minor lapse in safety can lead to severe accidents. Here are some of the most common types of heavy equipment accidents we encounter:

Crush Accidents

These occur when a worker is trapped between heavy machinery and a solid object. The resulting injuries can be life-changing, often leading to broken bones, internal injuries, or even death.

Welder’s Eye

Also called arc eye or flash burns, this severe condition is caused by exposure to ultraviolet light in welding equipment. Welders are susceptible to temporary or even permanent vision loss without proper safety measures like eye protection.


Heavy machinery like bulldozers and dump trucks have large blind spots, making it easy for operators to run over workers on the ground accidentally. Rollover accidents are also common and happen when machinery tips on its side, often leading to catastrophic injuries for construction workers.


An electric shock on a construction site can be a serious incident with the potential for severe injury or even fatality. Workers operating heavy machinery near power lines or using equipment that hasn’t been properly grounded are at risk of severe electrical burns or fatal electrocution.

Liability in Heavy Equipment Accidents

Determining liability in a heavy equipment accident can be complex. It often involves multiple parties, each with responsibilities and potential for negligence. Here’s a brief overview of who might be held liable:

Employers’ Responsibilities

Employers must provide a safe work environment. This includes providing proper training, ensuring equipment is maintained and safe, and adhering to all relevant safety regulations. If an employer fails these duties, they could be liable for injuries.

Equipment Manufacturers’ Duties

Heavy machinery manufacturers must ensure their products are safe when used as intended. If a piece of equipment is found to be defective and this defect leads to an accident, the manufacturer could be held responsible.

Contractors and Subcontractors’ Roles

Contractors and subcontractors also must maintain a safe work environment. This includes certifying that workers are properly trained and that equipment is safe. If a contractor or subcontractor fails these duties, they could be liable for any resulting injuries.

Heavy Equipment Injuries

Every New York construction site should be a safe place for workers. Unfortunately, construction site accidents are still common, especially in the presence of heavy machinery. Heavy equipment accidents can result in a wide range of consequences, many of which can be severe or even life-threatening. Here are some of the most common types of injuries we see:

Broken Bones: Heavy machinery can exert enormous force, and broken bones often result when things go wrong. These injuries can range from broken bones that heal with time and rest to complex breaks that require surgery and extensive rehabilitation.

Spinal Cord Injuries: Depending on the nature of the injury, victims of spinal cord injuries may suffer partial or complete paralysis, chronic pain, or other long-term complications.

Missing Limbs: In severe cases, heavy equipment accidents can result in amputations. Losing a limb is a devastating trauma that comes with significant physical and emotional challenges.

TBIs: Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) can occur when a worker is struck by heavy machinery or falls from a height. TBIs can range from minor concussions to long-lasting brain damage, with symptoms ranging from headaches, memory loss, and mood changes to cognitive impairment.

Burns: From electric shocks to fires and explosions, there are many ways workers can suffer burns on a construction site. Burns are extremely painful, can lead to permanent disfigurement, and may need intensive treatment.

Permanent Disabilities: Unfortunately, some heavy equipment accidents result in permanent disabilities. These might include paralysis from a spinal cord injury, cognitive impairment from a TBI, or the loss of a limb.

Steps to Take After a Heavy Machinery Accident

Knowing how to protect your health and legal rights is crucial if you’ve been involved in a heavy machinery accident. Here’s what you should do:

Seek Medical Attention: Even if you don’t believe you’re seriously injured, it’s essential to get checked out by a doctor. Some conditions may not be immediately recognizable, and a medical evaluation can provide crucial evidence if you decide to pursue a legal claim.

Report the Accident: Inform your superiors as soon as possible. Make sure the accident is documented and you have a copy of all documents.

Document Everything: If you can, take photos of the accident scene and write down everything you remember about what happened. This can be valuable evidence later on.

Contact an Attorney: Before contacting insurance companies or signing any documents, consult an experienced personal injury attorney. They can guide you through the process and ensure your rights are protected.

Contact Us for a Free Consultation

At Richman Law Firm PLLC, we know that dealing with the aftermath of a heavy equipment accident can be overwhelming. The expenses don’t stop at medical bills; they also involve lost wages, pain and suffering, and potential rehabilitation costs.

But remember, you don’t have to face this alone. At Richman Law Firm PLLC, we understand what you’re going through, and we can help with your construction accident case. We believe in standing up for those who have been wronged and working tirelessly to get them the justice they deserve. Contact us for a free case evaluation.


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    Mr. Richman is the Managing Member and Founder of Richman Law Firm PLLC. In his role as Managing Member, Mr. Richman oversees the day-to-day operations of the firm and handles the litigation of the most complex legal matters across a vast array of practice areas and disciplines. ​

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