Crane Accident Lawyers in Seattle
Travel anywhere in the Puget Sound, and look up! You will see a skyline dotted with tower cranes. In fact, developers are constructing high-rise buildings at a dizzying rate. Seattle alone has 59 construction cranes performing heavy lifting work. There’s a good reason why there are so many tower cranes. They haul and lift heavy construction equipment and materials as high as the buildings are designed. They do work that is essential to modern day construction. The people in charge are crane operators who are certified and trained to do the work they do In fact, crane operation work is so dangerous that two government agencies are in charge of health and safety protocols. Despite the regulations, serious crane accidents continue to occur.
Humans are not perfect, and they make serious errors in judgment. When this happens, workers and the general public alike are seriously injured including loss of life. Have you or someone you love been hurt in a crane accident? Get Help Now for Your Crane Accident! Call Premier Law Group today at 206.285.1743 for a FREE Consultation! You will speak directly with one of our experienced Seattle personal injury attorneys, not just a paralegal or intake specialist.
Notable Crane Accidents in Seattle and Beyond
Sadly, crane operator errors have caused several notable crane accidents in our area. The most recent have been:
- Google Seattle Office Building – in 2019, in this case, a tower crane’s bolts were loosened improperly during high winds. Subsequently, the crane collapsed during disassembly. Four people lost their lives: two ironworkers, and two drivers in their vehicles, on the street next to the construction site.
- Belltown Seattle – in 2017, a high rise construction crane dropped a load of plywood. The load fell on a construction worker causing serious injuries, and there were property damages.
- Tower 333 Project in Downtown Bellevue – in 2006, a tower crane foundation gave way, and the crane fell over, hitting three buildings. A resident in one building was killed, and the crane operator and other workers were seriously injured. Further, there were extensive property damages.
Beyond Seattle, the Bureau of Labor Statistics compiled US crane accident fatalities. From 1997 to 2006, there were (818) crane accident deaths in the United States. In 2006 alone, 72 people lost their lives.
There are four states leading the country in fatal crane accidents. They are:
- Texas – 42 Fatalities
- Florida — 27 Fatalities
- California – 25 Fatalities
- Louisiana – 17 Fatalities
While cranes are essential and important construction tools, crane accident statistics show a bigger reality. Crane operator errors cause serious injury accidents and fatalities.
Cranes and Safety Rules
Two government agencies manage the health and safety regulations for construction cranes use and operations. They are:
- OSHA — United States Department of Labor/Occupational Safety and Health Administration
- WISHA — Washington Industrial Safety and Health Act
OSHA regulations are found here in: 29 CFR 1926, Subpart CC. These regulations govern the following:
- Tower Crane Parts Inspection: All parts require inspection prior to crane assembly
- Crane Operators’ Certification: Training, qualification and certification credentials
- Site Conditions: Evaluated and assessed for health and safety conditions
- Construction Site Work Plans: Evaluated for federal and state health and safety standards
WISHA is in charge of crane operator’s health and safety qualification and certification credentials. The following code sections govern crane operation requirements in Washington:
- 1st, WAC 296-155-53300, Operator Qualification and Certification
- 2nd, WAC 296-155-53400, Crane Operation General Requirements
- 3rd, WAC 296-155-53304, Crane Repair, Inspection, and Maintenance Employee Qualifications
- 4th, WAC 296-155-53409, Training Standards Regarding Crane Operation
- 5th, WAC 296-155-53900, Tower Cranes – General Requirements
- 6th, WAC 296-155-53905, Tower Cranes – Additional Inspection Criteria
- 7th, WAC 296-155-53915, Tower Cranes – Operations
OSHA and WISHA Regulations, certifications and quality standards are important, as baselines governing crane operations. And still, crane accidents are happening, and causing catastrophic injuries and property damages.
Figuring out who is liable and who to file injury claims with in major construction projects can be a nightmare. Victims of crane accidents need the expertise of a Seattle personal injury attorney, as soon as possible.
More About Fatal Crane Collapses
In 2007, the governor signed a bill with strict regulations governing construction cranes assembly, disassembly and crane operators’ certifications. This bill protects workers, the public, and victims of crane accidents.
The bill was in response to statistical data that showed the following:
- 25 percent of crane fatalities – are caused by accidental electrocutions
- 21 percent of crane fatalities – happen when crane loads strike people
- 20 percent of injuries – occur when hit by crane or parts of the crane
- 14 percent of fatalities – are caused by crane collapses
While the intent was to protect workers and citizens alike, serious crane accidents continue to happen. Why?
How Do Crane Accidents Happen
Crane accident victims have broken bones, cuts, disfigurement, facial injuries, traumatic brain injury, paralysis, chemical burns, electrocution, loss of limbs and death.
According to OSHA, most crane accidents happen due to:
- Electrocution – when the boom or crane hits energized power lines
- Crane collapse
- Dropped loads and material spills
- Crane operators and workers falls
- Improper assembly/disassembly of cranes
- Operating cranes during bad weather, including – high winds, lightning storms, tornadoes, snow, ice and other weather events
Most certainly, crane accidents cause debilitating injuries with financial, emotional, and physical costs to the victim and his or her family.
Get Compensation for Your Serious Injuries
Crane accident victims have to focus on regaining their health. Victims have to prove fault and negligence in crane accidents to receive a just and fair settlement. Unfortunately, many crane accident records are not available to the victims of crane accidents. That’s another reason why having a experienced team of attorneys on your side can help! We will gather the records for you and do all the leg work, you just need to focus on getting better!
Contact a Dedicated Crane Accident Attorney!
Call Premier Law Group! You will always work directly with an attorney and we are available to you 24/7. Our expert Seattle personal injury attorneys will fight for you to get the justice you deserve. Not only that, but we have decades of experience fighting against the insurance companies. We know the the tactics they use to minimize peoples claims, and we wont stand for it!
Give us a call for a FREE Consultation! Call 206.285.1743 today, and Schedule your Free Accident Case Review!