An Overturned Drilling Rig in Portland — and a Trapped Operator — Make for a Scary Reminder of the Dangers of Industrial Accidents

When you’ve endured a serious workplace injury (or a workplace accident has claimed the life of a loved one,) there are limits to what your family can recover through the workers’ compensation system. However, many workplace accidents present an alternate outlet for getting the compensation you need: a third-party action. These lawsuits can represent crucial lifelines for injured workers and/or their families to receive the full recovery they need. Third-party industrial accident cases also can be especially complex legal matters, so if you’ve been hurt on the job, make sure you consult an experienced Oregon industrial accident lawyer about your situation.

A harrowing industrial accident occurred just last month in Southwest Portland when a 50-ton drilling rig tipped over at the Oregon Health and Science University. For reasons unknown at the time OregonLive published its report, the rig overturned and pinned its operator inside. Portland Fire and Rescue eventually extricated the man from the rig’s cab and transported him to a nearby trauma center with serious injuries.

When these kinds of accidents happen, serious or fatal worker injuries often are the result. According to OSHA, approximately 1 in 5 worker fatalities in the private sector involves someone working in construction, and many of these fatalities involve heavy equipment such as trucks or cranes.

This past May, the families of two victims killed by a Seattle crane collapse secured a civil judgment of more than $100 million. The collapse also killed two ironworkers, one of whom lived in Oregon City and was a member of Iron Workers Local Union 29, which is based in Portland. The legal action on behalf of those families remains ongoing.

One of the most common causes of accidents like this is dangerous working conditions. (For example, in the Seattle crane collapse, the accident occurred during a period of “high wind gusts,” according to OregonLive’s reporting.) Another is a lack of proper equipment management, such as negligent inspection, maintenance, and/or repair.

How a Third-Party Action Can Help

In many construction/heavy equipment accidents, those responsible for the harm you endured often extend beyond just your employer. Perhaps a third-party contractor was contractually responsible for ensuring all workers’ safety at the site. Additionally, your employer possibly retained a third-party company to inspect, maintain, and repair the equipment you were using. If either or both of those entities were proven to have failed to fulfill their responsibilities and their negligence led to your injuries, then yours are injuries from which you potentially can recover damages in a third-party industrial accident action.

Beyond just those possibilities, your heavy equipment accident may have been, at least in part, the result of flaws in the equipment’s design or manufacture. When that is the case, then you have the possibility to pursue — and recover from — the entities that designed and manufactured the equipment you were using.

As noted above, third-party industrial accidents have a high possibility of being complicated and intricate, requiring not just a legal professional with experience, but a lawyer with the right experience. For your industrial accident-related legal needs, rely on the knowledgeable Oregon industrial accident attorneys at Kaplan Law LLC, where we offer clients representation that is both personalized and specialized, drawing upon our years of handling exactly these sorts of actions. Call us today at (503) 226-3844 or contact us online to set up your free consultation.

50 SW Pine St 3rd Floor Portland, OR 97204 Telephone: (503) 226-3844 Fax: (503) 943-6670 Email:
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