Our California Heavy Machinery Accident Attorney Can Help You

Heavy machineries are used across various industries in California such as agriculture, construction industry, manufacturing, warehouses, etc. These powerful equipment makes the job feasible and improve work productivity, thus boosting our economy. However, the employees or operators who work on these machineries knows well the dangers inherent in heavy machineries. Whether you’re an employee caught in an incident or an employer worried about safety, understanding the dynamics of heavy equipment mishaps is key to protecting your rights and securing appropriate remedies.

From active construction zones to the tranquil areas of agricultural lands, these mishaps can occur in any setting, and gaining knowledge is the initial move towards safeguarding oneself. Our California heavy machinery accident attorney is here to help you. If you or a loved one has suffered injuries from a mishap involving heavy machinery, our expert legal team in California is ready to assist. Proficient in managing claims related to heavy equipment accidents, we have successfully secured millions in compensation for injured employees through both settlements and jury verdicts.

California heavy machinery accident
California heavy machinery accident

Types of Equipment Classified as Heavy Machinery in California

In California, the definition of “special construction equipment” encompasses a wide range of vehicles and machinery used primarily off highways for construction purposes or for construction and maintenance work on highways and railroad rights-of-way.

Key Points

      • This equipment is designed and used primarily for grading, paving, earth moving, and other construction or maintenance work on highways or railroad rights-of-way.
      • They are not primarily designed for the transportation of persons or property and are only incidentally operated or moved over the highway.

Defined Under California Vehicle Code § 565

Special construction equipment includes, but is not limited to, the following:

      • Portable Air Compressors: Used for powering pneumatic tools and equipment at construction sites.
      • Air Drills: Typically used for drilling in construction and mining operations.
      • Asphalt Spreaders: Machinery for spreading asphalt in the construction of roads.
      • Bituminous Mixers: Used for mixing bitumen for road surfacing.
      • Bucket Loaders: Also known as front-end loaders, used for loading materials into trucks or onto conveyor belts.
      • Tracktype Tractors & Crawler Tractors: Tractors designed for moving heavy materials across uneven terrain.
      • Ditchers: Machines used for digging ditches, especially for drainage.
      • Leveling Graders & Finishing Machines: Used for leveling and finishing the base material for roads and other flat surfaces.
      • Motor Graders: For creating flat surfaces; commonly used in road construction.
      • Paving Mixers: Machines used to mix cement, sand, gravel, and water to create concrete for paving.
      • Road Rollers: Heavy rollers used to compact soil, gravel, concrete, or asphalt in the construction of roads and foundations.
      • Scarifiers: Used for breaking up and removing pavement or soil in preparation for road construction or maintenance.
      • Earth Moving Scrapers and Carryalls: Equipment designed for excavating, loading, carrying, dumping, and spreading soil and rock.
      • Lighting Plants & Welders: Portable lighting equipment and welding machines used in construction sites.
      • Pumps & Water Wagons: For removing water and supplying water to construction sites, respectively.
      • Power Shovels & Draglines: Heavy equipment used for earth moving and excavating.
      • Speed Swings, Skip Loaders, Weed Mowers: Various equipment for moving materials quickly, loading, and maintenance tasks like mowing.
      • Self-Propelled and Tractor-Drawn Earth Moving Equipment and Machinery: Includes a wide range of earth-moving machinery, whether self-propelled or towed.
      • Dump Trucks and Tractor-Dump Trailer Combinations: Specifically those that are either more than 96 inches in width or, due to their size, require a special permit to move on public highways, and are used within the confines of a construction site.

    The classification of “special construction equipment” in California is broad, encompassing a wide range of heavy machinery used in construction and maintenance. These vehicles and machines are crucial for the development and upkeep of infrastructure but are regulated to ensure they do not pose a hazard when moving on public highways due to their size or weight.

    Industries Where Specialized Heavy Machinery is Used in California

    Heavy machinery and equipment, due to their diverse types and capabilities, have a wide range of specialized uses across various industries. Here are some key examples illustrating how these machines fulfill specific roles in construction, agriculture, mining, forestry, and more.

    Construction

        • Excavators: Used for digging trenches, foundations, and holes. They’re also employed in material handling, demolition, heavy lifting, and river dredging.
        • Cranes: Essential for lifting equipment, materials, and constructing high buildings. Tower cranes are particularly vital in the construction of tall structures.
        • Concrete Mixers: Specifically designed to mix cement, aggregates, and water to form concrete for construction. Portable mixers allow on-site mixing to ensure freshness.

    Agriculture

        • Tractors: The backbone of modern agriculture. They’re used for plowing, tilling, planting, and pulling heavy equipment like harvesters.
        • Combine Harvesters: Enable the efficient harvesting of crops by combining three separate operations into one process: reaping, threshing, and winnowing.
        • Sprayers: Used for the precise application of fertilizers and pesticides to crops, minimizing waste and environmental impact.

    Mining

        • Draglines: Specifically used in surface mining for removing overburden above coal and for tar-sand mining. They are among the largest mobile equipment ever built.
        • Drill Machines: Essential for creating holes in the earth to access minerals. Different types include blasthole drills, underground drills, and rotary drills depending on the mining method.
        • Loaders and Dump Trucks: For moving large amounts of extracted material within mines. Loaders also assist in filling dump trucks, which transport the material for processing.

    Forestry

        • Feller Bunchers: Used to cut and gather several trees before felling them. Streamlines the logging process considerably.
        • Skidders: Pull cut trees from the forest, using either cables or grapples, to be processed or loaded onto trucks.
        • Forwarders: Pick up and transport logs from the cutting site to the roadside. Unlike skidders, they carry logs clear off the ground.

    Maritime and Port Operations

        • Ship Loaders: For loading bulk materials and various cargoes into ships, ensuring efficient and quick loading processes.
        • Container Cranes: Specifically designed for loading and unloading shipping containers from cargo ships, crucial for international trade.
        • Dredgers: Used for excavating and removing sediment from the bottom of lakes, rivers, harbors, and other water bodies to maintain navigable waterways.

    Emergency and Disaster Response

        • Firefighting Cranes and Platforms: Provide high elevation water or foam streams for fighting fires in high-rise buildings.
        • Emergency Generators: Heavy-duty generators that can provide electricity to critical infrastructure during power outages caused by natural disasters.

    The specialized uses of heavy machinery are integral to the efficiency and success of various industries. By leveraging these machines, sectors like construction, agriculture, mining, and forestry can perform tasks that would be impossible or significantly more time-consuming and labor-intensive with manual labor alone. These specialized applications underscore the importance of heavy machinery in modern industry and infrastructure development.

    Impact of Heavy Machinery Accidents in California

    The construction industry in California, like many other places, is fraught with risks, notably from the operation and presence of heavy machinery. The repercussions of accidents involving such equipment can be severe, affecting not only the workers involved but also the industry as a whole. Here’s a detailed examination of the impact of heavy machinery accidents in the state.

     The construction industry is identified as particularly hazardous, with heavy machinery accidents being a major contributor to workplace incidents. The use of dangerous tools, toxic substances, and work at considerable heights add to the risks workers face daily. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), falls, being struck by an object, electrocutions, and getting caught in or between equipment are the leading causes of fatalities in the construction sector, accounting for more than half of worker deaths.

    Most injured workers in California are eligible for workers’ compensation, covering medical costs, disability benefits, and rehabilitation services. However, this does not account for pain and suffering. In cases where workers’ compensation laws don’t apply, injured workers might file third-party personal injury lawsuits to recover damages, including for pain, suffering, and emotional distress.

    Injuries Suffered by Victims in Heavy Machinery Accidents in California

    Victims of heavy machinery accidents in California can suffer from a range of severe and catastrophic injuries. These injuries often result in permanent disability and significant financial losses. Some of the most common injuries include:

        • Lacerations: These can lead to extreme bleeding and a host of medical complications.
        • Crushing Injuries: Heavy machinery can cause injuries that crush parts of the body.
        • Broken Bones: The force exerted by heavy machinery can break bones.
        • Nerve Damage: Injuries can involve damage to the nerves, leading to various complications.
        • Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI): Victims can sustain brain injuries that affect their cognitive and physical abilities.
        • Spinal Cord Injuries: These injuries can lead to partial or complete paralysis.
        • Amputation: Loss of limbs can occur in severe accidents.
        • Loss of Vision or Hearing: Accidents can result in sensory losses.

    These injuries underscore the importance of safety measures and proper training when working with heavy machinery. Victims may need extensive medical treatment and rehabilitation and could be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits or other forms of legal recourse to cover their losses and expenses. Heavy machinery accidents in California’s construction industry have profound impacts, ranging from the tragic loss of life and severe injuries to substantial economic and legal repercussions for companies. If you need any legal help, seek legal consultation from a skilled California heavy machinery accident attorney to understand how you can recover damages.

    Recovery Options Available for Heavy Machinery Accident Victims in California

    In California, victims of heavy machinery accidents, particularly those occurring in construction or industrial settings, have several recovery options to consider. These options aim to provide compensation for their injuries, lost wages, and other damages. Here is a detailed overview of the available recovery options:

    Workers’ Compensation Benefits

    Victims may seek workers’ compensation benefits, which cover a range of expenses and losses, including:

        • Medical Expenses: Costs associated with medical care directly related to the injuries.
        • Temporary Disability: A portion of the wages lost due to the inability to work while recovering. This is typically two-thirds of the worker’s average weekly earnings up to a statutory maximum.
        • Permanent Disability: If the injury results in a long-term loss of bodily function, victims may be eligible for permanent disability benefits, calculated based on the extent of the disability.
        • Job Displacement Benefits: For those who cannot return to their previous job but can work in a different capacity, a voucher may be available to help cover retraining costs.

    Personal Injury Lawsuits

    In certain situations, victims of heavy machinery accidents can pursue personal injury lawsuits outside of the workers’ compensation system. This may be an option if:

        • The employer does not have workers’ compensation insurance.
        • The employer intentionally caused harm.
        • The injury was caused by exposure to a toxic substance.
        • A defective product contributed to the injury.
        • A third party, such as a contractor or subcontractor, was responsible for the injury.

    Types of Damages Recoverable

    Victims can seek compensation for various damages through a personal injury lawsuit, including:

    Economic Damages

        • Lost earnings and missed job opportunities.
        • Past and future medical expenses.
        • Compensation for damaged personal property.

    Non-Economic Damages

        • Pain and suffering.
        • Mental anguish.
        • Loss of life enjoyment.
        • Loss of consortium for spouses in wrongful death claims.
        • Permanent disabilities or disfigurement.

    Punitive Damages

    In cases where the defendant acted with malice or extreme negligence, punitive damages may be awarded to punish the defendant.

    Given the complexity of heavy machinery accident cases and the various avenues for recovery, securing the services of an experienced California heavy machinery accident attorney can be crucial. A lawyer can navigate the legal system, help prove negligence in third-party claims, and ensure victims receive the maximum compensation possible for their injuries and losses. Victims of heavy machinery accidents should explore all available recovery options to ensure they receive the comprehensive compensation they deserve for their injuries, losses, and future needs.

    Speak with Our California Heavy Machinery Accident Attorney if You Have Been Involved in A Heavy Machinery Accident

    With Pacific Attorney Group, you are in safe hands. If you have been involved in a heavy machinery accident, it is crucial that you seek legal counsel immediately. Our California heavy machinery accident attorney is exceptionally experienced in handling such cases. We are committed to ensuring that you get the compensation you deserve for your injuries and losses.

    Our attorney is well-versed with the complexities of these accidents and can guide you through the legal process while protecting your rights. Don’t bear the burden alone; allow our expert team to stand by your side and navigate this challenging situation on your behalf. We work on a contingency basis, which means you do not pay attorney’s fees unless you secure a financial recovery. Call us immediately, we won’t disappoint you!