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Crane Collapses and Other Accidents on Construction Sites

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Attorney at Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers

Crane Collapses and Other Accidents on Construction Sites

By John Cooper, Virginia Injury Lawyer

A crane accident this month in New York made headlines when a massive construction crane plunged down onto a street, killing a Wall Street worker and leaving three people hurt by debris.

The mobile crane’s boom ended up across an intersection. It smashed the roofs of several cars and debris ended scattered across a block. The collapse killed David Wichs, who worked at a computerized trading firm. Wichs was a math whizz who emigrated to the US from the former Czechoslovakia when he was a teen.

Crane accidents do not happen often but when they do fall, the result is often a loss of life. An investigation is ongoing into the cause of this tragic incident.

In a list of 10 infamous crane collapses of modern times, all but one proved to be deadly. New York City has seen a series of crane collapses, including a 2008 incident in which a crane collapsed, destroying a townhouse and killing seven people.

Scaffolding and Construction Site Accidents

Crane accidents are just one of a number of things that can go wrong on a construction site. Safety planning should be an integral part of operations on a construction site, but many workers continue to be killed and to suffer serious accidents every year. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, fatal work injuries in the construction and extraction occupations rose 5 percent in 2014 to 885. It was the highest number of deaths recorded by construction workers since 2008. A recent building boom in cities such as New York has led to an increase in fatalities. Improperly constructed scaffolding is a significant cause of workers falling to their deaths.

Falls were the cause of a large number of deaths in the construction industry. In 2013, for example, there were 291 fatal falls out of more than 800 deaths in the industry, according to figures from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

In research by the Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS), 72 percent of workers who were injured in scaffold accidents attributed the accident either to the planks or support giving way, or to the employee slipping or being hit by a falling object.

If you are injured or if you lose a loved one in a construction site accident, you have rights against the owner of the site, or your employer or a management company. The attorneys at Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers have written a book about accidents such as slip and falls, detailing your rights. Call us for a free consultation at (757) 455-0077 or see


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John Cooper

John Cooper is a veteran of personal injury law practice in Virginia. A native Virginian, he was raised in Norfolk and Virginia Beach. He has more than 20 years of experience handling personal injury cases and recently handled the largest auto accident settlement in 2010, according to VA Lawyers Weekly. The award provided $3.5 million to a child whose young father died when the vehicle he was a passenger in was rear-ended by a careless truck driver.

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Jim Hurley

Jim Hurley has been practicing law throughout Virginia for more than two-and-a-half decades. During his career, he has tried more than 100 jury trials — a staggering number — and handled hundreds more that were settled out of court. He is guided by the principle that the client is in charge of his or her case and should be kept fully aware of the litigation process. Jim has been awarded an AV Rating by Martindale-Hubbell, the highest rating given, for his practice of law. He was named in Virginia Super Lawyers in 2014, 2015, 2016.

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Bill O’mara

Bill O’Mara started his legal career in 2008, moving back to his home town of Chesapeake, VA. He has practiced in the field of plaintiffs’ personal injury and other litigation. He has gained extensive court room and trial experience, including contested trials before judges and juries across Hampton Roads. In 2014, Mr. O’Mara joined Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers as an associate attorney. He became a partner in 2017.

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