Skid steer loaders, often called “Bobcats” even though a variety of manufacturers produce this equipment, resemble mini bulldozers and are often found in widespread use in construction and agriculture lifting dirt and pallets, for example. These machines are small and compact, yet powerful, with the capability of up to 120 HP. While an important part of a variety of industries, skid steer loaders also come with the risk of serious and deadly accidents and injuries.
If you have been injured in a skid steer loader accident, contact Mike Agruss Law for a free consultation. We are a Chicago-based injury law firm representing individuals (and their families) who have suffered an injury in an accident. We will handle your case quickly and advise you every step of the way, and we will not hesitate to go to trial for you. Lastly, Mike Agruss Law is not paid attorneys’ fees unless we win your case. Our no-fee promise is that simple. You have nothing to risk when you hire us – only the opportunity to seek justice.
Causes of Skid Steer Loader Accidents
There are a variety of causes of skid steer loader accidents. These include the following:
- Operator error – As with forklifts, skid steer operators are required by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to be trained in their usage according to CFR 1926.21, which states:
(1) The employer should avail himself of the safety and health training programs …
(2) The employer shall instruct each employee in the recognition and avoidance of unsafe conditions and the regulations applicable to his work environment to control or eliminate any hazards or other exposure to illness or injury.
When a skid steer operator is not trained, improperly trained, or takes dangerous risks such as bypassing the safety mechanisms on the machine, the results can be deadly.
- Defective design – A skid steer loader that is defective in design and/or manufacture puts both the operator and bystanders at-risk for accidents. In the event that a skid steer is improperly designed or manufactured, anyone involved in the chain of distribution could be found liable for any damages the defective equipment caused.
- Rollovers – Skid steers feature locking wheels on each side which allow for the loader to turn quickly in tight spaces. When a skid steer loader becomes unstable, out of balance, or they are used on uneven surfaces, rollovers can occur. Often, there is not enough time to react and skid steer loader operators are at-risk for being crushed under the heavy machine.
If you or a loved one has suffered injuries due to negligence on the job site or a defective product, an experienced personal injury lawyer can review your claim and determine if there were unsafe working conditions, potential OSHA violations, and other hazards that may have existed at the time of your accident. They will also determine who may be liable for your injuries and damages and what compensation you may be entitled to.
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