Crane Accident Claims
Cranes come in a wide range of styles and sizes and are essential to industry and construction across the UK. If they are improperly handled or poorly maintained, the results can be disastrous.
Crane accidents, whether through poor maintenance or user error, can cause severe or even fatal injuries due to the heavy nature of the equipment and their loads.
Crane accidents are fortunately pretty uncommon in the UK, but they do happen. There have been five major incidents involving crane tower collapses since the year 2000 (HSE). While mostly construction workers are affected, the widespread damage of a crane collapse can easily ripple to members of the public as well.
It doesn’t matter if you are a construction worker or an innocent bystander. If you have been injured in a crane accident, you may very well be eligible to make a crane accident compensation claim.
To find out if you have a valid personal injury claim, call 0800 678 1410 to speak to a friendly legal adviser. If you prefer to receive a call back, enter your details into our simple online claim form.
If your life or the life of a loved one has been impacted by a crane accident in the last three years, our guide strives to help you make a successful crane injury claim.
Do I have a valid crane accident claim?
Cranes carry an inherent danger that can extend many meters upwards. In most cases, crane accidents occur due to company or operator negligence, but this does not exempt the employer from responsibility. Indeed, the risk is part of the job, but injury is not.
To qualify for a valid crane accident claim, you will have to prove that your injuries were a result of negligence at the hands of a third party, but your personal injury solicitor will take care of the details for you.
Common examples of negligence include;
- Poor training
- Lack of supervision
- Inadequate PPE and safety precautions
- Failure to carry out proper risk assessments
- Poorly maintained equipment
While your personal injury solicitor will assess your case based on the merit of your unique circumstances, you should gather as much evidence as possible to support your crane accident compensation claim. This will serve you well to speed up the process.
Where possible, take photos of the crane and surrounding area following the accident, and get the details of witnesses willing to testify on your behalf. Prepare a record of events, preferably while it is still fresh in your mind (even if it may be traumatising).
It also goes without saying that you should seek medical attention as soon as possible, even if you don’t think that you’ve been injured in the accident. Sometimes there may be no immediate visible signs of injury or emotional distress, but it can develop later down the line.
Getting assessed by your GP or at a hospital also updates your medical records with details of the accident and injuries. This will be good evidence if you want to pursue a claim later down the line.
It is also worth mentioning that you might be eligible for a crane accident claim, even if you were partly responsible for your injuries. The third-party may very well still be in breach of their responsibility. In this case, your compensation amount could be reduced to reflect your part in the incident. This is known as contributory negligence.
How to make a crane accident claim?
Navigating a crane accident claim can be daunting without the help of an experienced solicitor. A personal injury solicitor should therefore be your first port of call. They will assess your case free of charge and advise you on the best way forward.
Once they have agreed to take on your crane injury compensation claim, they will gather all of the available evidence to support your claim and build a strong case.
If the defendant readily admits negligence, they will likely agree to an early settlement out of court. This is usually ideal for both parties, as it reduces legal expenses on the defendant’s part while ensuring that you receive your compensation without unnecessary delay.
What are my employer’s responsibilities?
Unfortunately, there will always be associated risks in a construction environment, but your employer must take all the appropriate steps to mitigate these risks.
This duty of care includes maintaining all equipment, including cranes, with regular, high standard inspections. Your employer is also responsible for ensuring that all crane operators and supporting staff are fully trained and adequately equipped. Operators should also know what preventative measures to take in an emergency.
When an employer fails to take the above steps, and an accident occurs, they can be held liable for any subsequent injuries that are sustained.
What are common causes of crane accidents?
While operator negligence often results in crane accidents, it can also result from any number of issues, including human error, bad weather conditions or mechanical failure.
Let’s take a look at some of the most common causes that can give rise to a crane accident compensation claim:
- Dropping heavy material
- Crane imbalance or toppling
- Accidentally making contact with power lines
- Accidents involving the swinging hook
- Incorrect assembly and mechanical faults
- Weather like heavy winds or low visibility
- Getting trapped or squashed under the cargo
- Miscommunication between the crane operator and ground crew
- Rushing to get the project done often leads to health and safety oversights
What are common injuries caused by crane accidents?
If you consider the height of some cranes, it is easy to conjure up horrific injuries when something does go wrong. Because of their sheer size, members of the general public are also at risk of being injured in crane accidents.
The type of injuries most commonly seem from crane accidents include;
- Scrapes, cuts, bruises and lacerations
- Head injuries
- Crush injuries
- Broken bones
- Injuries to internal organs
In severe accidents, injuries can be instant and can, unfortunately, be fatal.
How much compensation will I receive for a crane accident injury?
The amount of compensation you could be awarded for a crane injury claim all depends on the extent of your injuries. Your personal injury will calculate the maximum compensation you may be entitled to based on special and general damages.
- General damages will cover the cost of the pain and suffering, be it mental or physical, and the impact this has had on your life or continues to have.
- Special damages will vary in relation to the associated expenses, like loss of earnings, current and future medical costs, alterations to your home, and transport costs for treatment.
The exact amount of compensation for your crane accident claim will be based on the guidelines of the Judicial College. The information below only acts as a rough estimate, but do keep in mind that there will be variations based on your specific circumstances.
Brain/Head injury claims
- Relatively moderate injuries with full expected recovery – £2,070 up to £11,980
- Brain damage at the lower spectrum – £13,070 up to £36,740
- Moderate brain damage that will impact your independence – £40,4100 up to £205,580
- Moderate brain damage with long-term disability – £205,580 up to £264,650
- Severe brain damage – £264,650 up to £379,100
Neck injury claims
- Minor injuries with full recovery but severe short term pain – from £2,300 up to £7,410
- Fractures, dislocations and spinal fusion – from £7,410 up to £36,120
- Severe neck injuries resulting in various fractures and/or nerve damage, long-term disability, and paralysis – from £42,680 up to £139,210
These figures only serve as guidelines and are not cast in stone. Your injury solicitor will be able to give you a much clearer estimate based on the specific details of your injury and circumstances.
Can I make a no win no fee claim?
As with most personal injury claims, a solicitor may agree to take your crane accident claim on a no win no fee basis. This eliminates any upfront fees and enables you to make your claim without putting yourself at any financial risk.
If your claim is successful, your solicitor will be paid a percentage of the awarded compensation, known as a success fee. This fee is capped at 25% of your total compensation and is negotiated before starting your claim.
If your claim is unsuccessful, the no win no fee service means you won’t pay a penny. This gives you peace of mind, as the last thing you want after suffering an injury is to be worrying about legal fees.
We understand that making a claim can be daunting. But we hope this guide has explained when and how a crane accident claim can be made and answered some of the most common questions.
If you would like to find out more or are interested in making an injury claim, call free on 0800 678 1410 to chat with a legal adviser. If you would prefer to receive a call back, you can arrange this by entering your details into our online claim form.