Virginia Bulldozer Accident Lawyers
Construction zones are dangerous and hazardous workplaces. Statistics released in 2020 by the Bureau of Labor Statistics found that fatalities in the private construction industry have increased by 5 percent, reaching the highest level since 2007. In 2019, 1,061 workers lost their lives while on the job. These accidents aren’t just happening in other states. In Virginia in 2019, the same report recorded 180 worker fatalities for the year.
Frequently, construction accidents involve big equipment and heavy machinery. Bulldozers are often at the heart of serious and even fatal construction accidents. While recovering from a catastrophic bulldozer injury, workers may face debilitating or disfiguring conditions. They must figure out how to pay for the enormous medical bills related to their accident. After a traumatic bulldozer accident that wasn’t the worker’s fault, is it fair to ask the victim or their family to pay for the repercussions?
[Firm-name] prides itself on helping victims wade through the complicated and challenging task of seeking fair compensation after a devastating bulldozer accident. We can investigate the accident, establish liability, and give victims a rundown of their legal options for recovering compensation. Ready to talk about how we can help you? Contact the Virginia construction accident lawyers of CHASENBOSCOLO at (703) 538-1138 for a free consultation today.
Common Causes of Bulldozer Accidents
No one ever sets out to have a bulldozer accident. Collisions are the culmination of an unfortunate set of circumstances. However, unsafe working conditions or negligence on the part of a company or manufacturer may play a role in creating an environment where accidents are much more likely to take place.
Bulldozers are immensely large and heavy pieces of equipment and can be inherently hazardous to operate because of their unwieldy size and shape. Failing to adhere to proper safety protocols or creating an unsafe work zone in any way ups the danger to both bulldozer operators and workers on the ground. Some of the most common causes of bulldozer accidents are:
A fall or rollover
- Bad terrain, uneven surfaces, sloping terrain, worksites near cliffs, or depressions in the earth can all increase the chance that a bulldozer will fall or rollover.
Sudden jolts or jerking motions
- Equipment failure or mechanical defects can result in sporadic or unpredictable jolts, jerks, and other sudden movements. These movements can surprise both the operator and those on the ground nearby, causing serious accidents and injuries. Jolts and unexpected sporadic movements may also be caused by an inexperienced or improperly trained bulldozer operator.
- Communication is key when it comes to operating a bulldozer. There must be a constant flow of information between the operator and ground crews. Visibility in a bulldozer may be limited, and operators and ground crews must always be aware of each other’s whereabouts and what the next move is going to be. They communicate so they can avoid collisions running over fellow workers or having collisions with other vehicles.
- Clear communication can allow bulldozer operators to be made aware of potential hazards they may not be able to see because of dust, debris, or steam releases in their surrounding environment. Proper communication can include a combination of hand signals, radio communication, and spotters.
Collisions with vehicles
- Bulldozers working on sites near traffic have the added hazard of having to constantly be aware of other drivers. Not only can a bulldozer operator easily miss seeing a smaller passenger vehicle in a blind spot, but reckless drivers may also avoid slowing down or head warning signs when entering construction zones, taking a bulldozer operator by surprise. In either scenario, a bulldozer versus a vehicle accident can take place. Similarly, there could be numerous worker and company vehicles moving back and forth on a job site which could also cause a serious bulldozer collision.
- Unfortunately, even bulldozer operators aren’t immune to the lure of phone calls, text messages, and other forms of distraction while on the job. Operating a piece of heavy machinery can be challenging, and adding even a single distraction to the equation can spell disaster for an operator or those on the ground nearby.
Drugs and alcohol
- Operating heavy machinery while sober is difficult enough. Trying to do so under the influence of drugs or alcohol is exceedingly reckless, dangerous, and illegal.
Inexperience or improper training
- All operators should be screened for proper qualifications and credentials before getting behind the wheel of a dangerous machine like a bulldozer. These pieces of heavy equipment should only be used by operators who have been properly trained. An inexperienced or improperly trained or non-certified operator can cause serious work zone accidents.
Improper or neglected safety inspections
- All bulldozers should be regularly inspected for safety. This can include pre-shift inspections of brakes, fluid levels, signals, and tires. Failing to inspect a machine after it is unloaded at a job site or before operation could lead to serious equipment or mechanical malfunctions and failures. Those malfunctions could cause an accident.
Failure to use safety equipment
- Bulldozers come equipped with seat belts and other safety features. These should be used every time an operator gets behind the controls. Being ejected by a falling bulldozer means that an operator could be instantly crushed by the machine. Hard hats and other personal protective equipment may also be necessary.
Use only as intended
- Serious accidents are more likely when a bulldozer is used for a job that it is not specifically designed for. These machines are not meant to carry passengers in their buckets. Certain types of dozers also have different functions. A track dozer does a different job than a wheel dozer. All equipment should be used only as the manufacturer intended.
Injuries Associated with Bulldozer Accidents
Accidents involving bulldozers are often devastating, even fatal events. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration keeps records of serious bulldozer-related accidents. A look at the first page of their report shows that 16 of the last 20 incidents resulted in a fatality. Many of these accidents result in the bulldozer operator being crushed after being ejected from the machine or a ground crew member being run over by a bulldozer operator.
Those who survive a serious bulldozer accident may face life-altering injuries which prevent them from returning to work and significantly change their quality of life. Some of the most common injuries associated with bulldozer accidents include:
- Traumatic brain injury
- Crushing injuries
- Broken bones
- Amputations (loss of limb)
- Eye injuries
- Wrongful death
Injuries this serious can lead to permanent disfigurement or disability. This means that not only will a victim have to contend with expensive medical bills directly after the incident, but they will also most likely have to face mountains of related medical costs for the foreseeable future.
In addition to the financial costs related to the accident, many victims also find that their injuries prevent them from returning to work. With mounting medical bills and no way to earn a living to pay for treatment, victims may feel lost and helpless. Will workers’ compensation be enough? How can you ensure you get the compensation you are entitled to?
Contacting an experienced bulldozer accident attorney is the best way to sort through your legal options and seek the full and fair amount of compensation that you deserve. Bulldozer accidents can be life-changing. Before you trust your future to an insurance company or anyone else, get in touch with an attorney who prioritizes your best interests, not someone else’s.
Liability for Bulldozer Accidents
Liability for a bulldozer accident isn’t always a black and white issue. There may be several factors at play, and more than one party may even bear responsibility for the circumstances of the accident. A thorough investigation into the cause of the accident may be required to determine who was at fault and who may be responsible for paying out compensation to a victim.
Depending on the accident, one or more of the following parties could be liable for causing a bulldozer accident:
- The driver
- The construction company
- A third-party property owner
- The bulldozer manufacturer
- A parts manufacturer
In some situations, the construction company may be responsible for the circumstances of an accident triggering a workers’ compensation claim. In the case of a mechanical defect or a defective part, the manufacturer of the bulldozer or the manufacturer of the defective part may be responsible for compensating a victim.
Workers’ compensation claims, insurance claims, or potential third-party lawsuits can all be complicated situations for a newly injured worker to navigate. How can you be sure that you are getting the full and fair compensation that you deserve?
The circumstances of a bulldozer accident can be complicated, and more than one party may be to blame for your injuries. Hiring an attorney to work on your behalf is the best way to seek a positive outcome for your situation.
The lawyers at CHASENBOSCOLO can conduct a complete investigation into the accident and determine who should be held liable. With this information and evidence in hand, we can then help you pursue financial compensation for your injuries. Our attorneys have experience both at the negotiating table and in the courtroom and can help you go after the compensation that you deserve.
Contact a Bulldozer Accident Attorney in Virginia Today
If you have been catastrophically injured in a bulldozer accident, or if you’ve lost a family member to a serious bulldozer accident, you may be owed financial compensation. At CHASENBOSCOLO we understand what a life-altering event this can be for a victim or their family. We are dedicated to offering you compassionate service while aggressively pursuing the negligent parties responsible for the accident.
Are the medical bills already giving you anxiety? You can still afford quality legal representation. At CHASENBOSCOLO, we offer victims a “No Fee Guarantee.” That means you don’t pay us unless we win or settle your bulldozer accident case.
To help get you started, take advantage of our free consultation. Schedule yours by calling (703) 538-1138 and talk to an experienced attorney of CHASENBOSCOLO about your situation today.