Downside of Useful and Large Equipment: Excavator Personal Injuries
We see excavators all the time – on construction sites, on barges, working on roadways, and more. These giant pieces of equipment are, at their very basic core, hydraulic marvels. However, excavator personal injuries are often serious, simply because of the size and weight of these monsters.
The number of excavator accidents on the job is recorded by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration on its website. The actual number of cases is surely much higher, because some are non-reported, or not occurring on the job.
These giants are very helpful but very dangerous. Operator error is a factor in injuries, but so is faulty equipment, including faulty design. Often, serious personal injuries lead to product liability lawsuits. Many times, hydraulic hoses burst – and if there is no backflow preventer, the machine will fail, often causing the boom and its associated load to come crashing down. Often this results in a serious injury, or it is fatal.
Necessity By Design: Excavators Sometimes Fail
The genius behind the design of excavators is the use of hydraulics. It is an efficient way to use energy to lift large objects, including dirt, logs, cars, and other items. However, the design can also be deadly if it does not include a so-called check-valve to stop the flow of hydraulic fluid in the event of a leak.
Often, when one is seriously injured by an excavator, a suit is brought against the manufacturer in products liability. In so doing, the legal team representing the injured party must be very agile and prepared. The manufacturers of heavy equipment, including excavators, are not prone to paying claims easily. This is because there are often accidents involving excavators, and the manufacturer does not want to admit any design or product liability.
Attorney Ed Kramer has experience taking on both U.S. and foreign manufacturers of excavators and other hydraulic equipment. “It takes experts, precise legal knowledge, and hard work” to win a case against a manufacturer of heavy equipment. Attorney Kramer has been associated by other counsel across the United States to handle cases involving serious injury from excavators. Some of these have involved millions in settlement for wrongful death and other claims.
Sometimes, even the purchasers of excavators find themselves at odds with the manufacturer of the excavator. In one case, a $2.5 million excavator caught fire, and the fire suppression system failed. The owner sued the manufacturer over the alleged defective machine, alleging faulty equipment.
Proving Future Damages in Cases Involving Excavator Personal Injuries
If a person is killed or seriously injured in an excavator case, the damages may include future lost wages. In order to show what these damages are, the injured party’s attorney will likely use an economist to calculate future lost wages. However, the attorney for the insurance company or the manufacturer of the excavator will also likely hire an economist to attempt to show that the future lost wages are not as high, or non-existent.
The scope of work that can be performed after a serious personal injury is often decided by a vocational rehabilitation expert witness. The defense will also likely hire a counter-expert to try to prove fewer lost wages.
All this adds up to a complicated legal scenario in which the real success is measured in a positive outcome for the injured party that is fair and equitable. Often times, this involves a protracted legal dispute.
Contact the InjuredGo.com Law Firm, LLC, and attorney Ed Kramer if you have any questions concerning an excavator personal injury.