Skid steer loaders can injure and kill due to defects and rollover accidents. Talk to a trial lawyer and find out if whether a product liability case can be filed. Free Case Review
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Skid steer loaders which resemble mini-bulldozers with wheels or tracks are in widespread use for construction and agriculture. Skid steer loaders are compact machines with an immense amount of power up to 120 HP. The major manufactures of these skid loaders include Bobcat, CAT, Case, New Holland, John Deere and many others. Unfortunately they also pose significant risks and are responsible for a large amount of injuries and deaths each year. The most commonly reported cause of death and serious injuries happen when operator of a skid steer loader gets crushed or when involved in rollovers.
Most often the skid loader operator is blamed for improperly operating the skid-steer loaders. However in some skid steer accidents, defective controls, and safety devices can be the cause of the accident. The risks of injuries with skid steers are similar to other types of construction machinery. However, skid-steer accidents result at a higher rate than other forms of loaders and machinery because of features that expose the operators to additional forms of injury risks.
Most skid steer loaders are designed with the operator entering and exiting through the front of the machine by stepping over the lowered arm and whatever attachment is on the skid steer. This design puts the operator in serious risk of injury or death if he/she is caught between the skid steer lift arm and its attachment if the control levers are activated during the entry or exit. By activating the skid steer arm, the consequences of a skid steer accident can be devastating as the arm or leg may crush the operator as it is lowered down into the loader and traumatically amputated in the accident.
Like other forms of farm and construction equipment, skid steer accidents are also caused by rollovers. Skid steers feature locking wheels on each side that allow for the loader to turn quickly in tight spaces. When a skid steer becomes unstable or out of balance from carrying loads up high or operating on uneven surfaces, skid steer rollovers occur. Often times, there is not enough time to react and once the rollover starts it is too late. Because of their weight and often heavy loads being carried, the propensity for them to turn too quickly and rollover remains a serious risk of injury and death.
One skid steer accident occurred when a worker was operating a skid steer loader in order to smooth out dirt for home construction. During the operation, one of the bucket bolt pins, which connects the loader arm to the bucket fell out. The worker proceeded to exit the vehicle while the skid steer loader was still running. While the worker was attempting to realign the loader arm hole with the bucket hole to reinsert the bucket bolt pin, he became trapped between the bucket and the main frame of the skid steer loader and was crushed. Unfortunately the design defect of the loader allowed for operation of the controls from outside of the vehicle.
Another skid steer accident involved a worker attempting to repair a fluid leak in the loader. He drove the skid steer loader to the warehouse to begin repairs. Because of the ease of bypassing controls, he was able to bypass the safety bar by jamming it down without being seated in the cab. The worker started the loader and raised the bucket over the cab. During his exit of the loader, his foot caught the down pedal for the bucket causing the arm and bucket to lower and trap him between the lift and the cab. The worker then hit another lever which caused the skid steer loader to go in reverse which crashed into another piece of equipment and the worker was killed.
If you or your loved ones have suffered a severe and debilitating injury caused by an accident with a skid steer loader, the Willis Law Firm is here to help you get the compensation you may be entitled to. Often a skid steer accident lawsuit must be immediately filed to protect the evidence at the scene, preserve the skid loader in the accident condition before any repairs are made and other critical evidence needed to win the lawsuit and damages for the clients. Call for a free case evaluation. Talk to a Board Certified Personal Injury Trial Lawyer with over 30+ years of accident and injury lawsuit experience.
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