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Faulty Aerial Lift Bucket: Holding Rental Companies Accountable

By Matthew Golitko on September 22, 2016

A statue of lady justice on the deskThe lawyers of Golitko & Daly have years of experience dealing with construction accidents and major work injuries throughout the Indianapolis area. We know that there are dangers at every work site, and whether they involve improper safety practice by a construction company or issues with heavy equipment malfunction, having legal representation can be helpful for injures parties.

The cherry picker or bucket truck often gets neglected in these talks. They are not as large as bulldozers or much larger cranes, and yet lift bucket accidents can be deadly. We'd like to consider these kinds of incidents right now, with a particular focus on what happens if the cherry picker is from a rental company.

Lift Buckets Are Essential But Need to Be Safe

Lift buckets and cherry pickers are essential equipment for countless construction jobs and industrial jobs. The lifting arm and basket allows workers to access high structures in a stable and secure manner that ladders simply cannot provide. This helps when working with power lines, telephone polls, clearing branches and limbs on trees, and so forth

Yet there are times when the basket or lifting system fails catastrophically. This can lead to major injuries and even death.

Potential Problems with Cherry Pickers and Lift Buckets

When injuries occur that are not related to human error by workers, the cause is sometimes the equipment itself. The guard rail or basket guard may give way, causing the worker within to lose balance and fall. The lifting arm may suddenly buckle or move in an unexpected manner. There's the possibility of a hydraulic system error or issues with the overall control panel for the cherry picker.

Types of Injuries from Cherry Picker and Lift Bucket Accidents

The most common injury in these types of accidents are serious head, spinal cord, and bodily trauma from a major fall. From a major height, the injuries sustained could be fatal. If not fatal, the injuries could cause long-lasting physical disability and brain trauma.

In addition to the effects of the fall, many workers run the risk of potential electrocution if they fall from the basket into live electrical wires or an electrical pole. These kinds of injuries can lead to major burns, lasting nerve damage, and even more severe harm to the body just given the negative effects of dangerous electrical current.

Reasons These Problems May Arise

In a number of cases, the primary reason for the above problems is poor maintenance of the vehicle and its parts. This is avoidable with proper service of equipment, but it's possible the people cut corners and disregard safety. When the cherry picker was rented out from another company to conduct work, it's imperative that the rental company be held responsible for the incident.

Rental Companies Should Be Responsible

When a rental service provides a construction company with equipment, there is an expectation that the equipment is safe and will not malfunction or cause serious harm. If the rental company fails to ensure the maintenance and safety of their equipment, they should be held legally responsible for an accident occurring. Third-party liability cases can be filed should it be proven that a rental company is responsible for renting dangerous equipment.

How Our Attorneys Can Help

Third-party liability lawsuits can post a number of complications, so having a skilled construction accident attorney on your side is quite helpful in these matters. We can examine evidence and look at the details of the incident. A lawyer can build a legal case that demonstrates negligence by the third party, and damages or a legal settlement can then be sought. You, your family, and your co-workers can focus on the day to day, which can offer a great deal of peace of mind.

Speak with Experienced Construction Accident Lawyers

For more information about your legal options following a serious injury at a workplace or work site, be sure to contact our construction accident and injury law firm today. The legal team of Golitko & Daly is here to stand by you every step of the way.

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