Construction Accidents and Defective Heavy Equipment

By Mark T. Flickinger, JD on June 10, 2016

A piece of heavy construction equipmentConstruction accidents are among the most devastating in terms of the severity of the injuries that they consistently inflict on construction workers and others who happen to be present on construction sites. By their very nature, construction sites are extremely hazardous; they are even more so when safety protocols are not fully followed or when equipment does not function properly.

When heavy equipment is defective or malfunctions, and a construction worker is injured or killed as a result, any or all parties involved in the design, manufacturing, or marketing of that piece of equipment may be held liable as a result. The personal injury attorneys of Flickinger Sutterfield & Boulton are experts in litigating cases involving both construction accidents and defective equipment, giving our Provo, UT law firm an advantage in handling these unique types of product liability claims. Therefore, if you or a loved one was injured in a construction accident involving a defective piece of heavy equipment, or if you tragically lost a loved one in such an accident, we urge you to contact our personal injury law firm to arrange for an evaluation of your case today.

What Types of Heavy Construction Equipment Is Commonly Involved in Product Liability Cases?

Nearly any type of heavy equipment that is used in construction can be the subject of a product liability case, as long as the construction worker who was injured by the equipment was using it for its intended purpose at the time of the accident. Common types of heavy construction equipment that can be defective include:

  • Bulldozers
  • Excavators
  • Pavers
  • Pile drivers
  • Backhoe loaders
  • Track loaders
  • Cherry pickers
  • Cranes
  • Forklifts
  • Drilling machines
  • Tractors
  • Harvesters
  • Material handlers
  • Dump trucks
  • Wheel dozers
  • Articulated haulers
  • Steam shovels
  • Graders
  • Pipelayers
  • Skid loaders
  • Compactors

A flaw in any of type of machinery or equipment can be dangerous; however, these types of heavy equipment rely on the absolute precision of their parts to be as safe as possible. Any defects in their parts can lead to catastrophic injuries and even deaths, although the strictest safety protocols might have been followed.

The Doctrine of Strict Liability in Defective Product Cases

In many construction accident cases, injured victims and their families are limited in terms of their rights to seek damages by workers’ compensation laws. However, when third parties such as manufacturers become involved, the rights of workers expand considerably.

In defective product cases, the rights of victims expand even further as the doctrine of strict liability comes into play. According to this doctrine, it is unnecessary to provide evidence of a specific act of negligence on the part of the designer, manufacturer, or other party responsible for the defect that caused the injury to the construction worker who used the defective piece of heavy equipment - the defect is evidence enough of that negligence. What our lawyers must show is that:

  • The design, manufacturing, and/or marketing defect did, indeed, exist and could not possibly have been foreseen by a reasonable person;
  • The equipment was being used for its proper and intended use by a worker trained, skilled, and approved to use it;
  • An accident was caused due to the design, manufacturing, and/or marketing defect;
  • The worker operating the equipment and/or other people in the vicinity of that piece of equipment were injured as a result of the accident;
  • The party or parties involved with the design, manufacture, and/or marketing of the equipment are therefore liable for damages resulting from the injuries caused by the accident.

Arrange for an Evaluation of Your Construction Accident Case

To arrange for an evaluation of your construction accident case, please contact our personal injury law firm today.

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