Cranes are huge and powerful machines that can create a catastrophic accident if they’re misused. If you’re harmed by a crane operator or a faulty crane, you may be entitled to financial compensation to pay for your injuries.
Don’t struggle with medical bills for an accident you didn’t commit. We can help you get money to put your life back together after a crane accident. Call Morelli Law and speak with our St. Louis crane accident lawyers to learn your legal options.
Eligible Damages after a Crane Accident in St. Louis
The damages you can receive after a crane injury depend on your situation. First, if you were injured on the job, you may be limited to only filing for workers’ compensation. Workers’ compensation lets you receive economic damages with some limitations.
If you are eligible to file a personal injury lawsuit though, you can receive non-economic and even punitive damages in your claim. Our St. Louis crane accident attorneys can explain if your case qualifies for a personal injury lawsuit. Here are the different types of damages you may be able to collect, along with a description of each.
Economic damages are financial losses caused by your accident. Any money you’re prevented from earning or forced to spend because of your accident can qualify. Losses you’ll sustain in the future because of your accident can also qualify. Specific damages you’ll probably have after a crane accident include:
- Medical expenses, including future medical costs
- Lost wages and decreased ability to earn
- Property damage
Non-economic damages are the personal impacts caused by an accident, often involving things that are irreplaceable. They can be worth quite a lot, which is why some states limit the maximum amount people can recover. Here are some non-economic damages that may apply to your case:
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Emotional distress
- Loss of consortium
- Diminished quality of life
Punitive damages in crane accidents are rare. They are a punishment by a court for gross negligence or intentional harm caused by the defendant. That’s up to a court to decide.
Unless someone deliberately swung a crane in your direction, you’re not likely to receive these. But if you are, we will pursue them.
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How Do I Know if a Settlement Is a Good One?
Victims rarely know how much their cases are really worth, so when they receive a settlement offer, they might want to jump on it. Restrain yourself from taking an offer until you’ve had a lawyer look it over. You could leave significant money on the table.
A St. Louis crane accident attorney can give you a better estimate of what your case is worth. If you work with Morelli Law, we will investigate your situation to find every dime of compensation you’re owed. That will help you know if the offer is fair or not.
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Sharing Responsibility in a Crane Accident in Missouri
A defendant or their insurer may try to argue that you shared responsibility for your crane accident if you sue them. If they can prove this, Missouri uses a pure comparative negligence standard to split responsibility.
Under this standard, you can still collect compensation as long as you are less than 100% responsible for the accident. However, your final judgment will be reduced by your fault percentage, which could significantly lower how much you could get.
Without a lawyer on your side, arguing against these claims may be impossible. An insurer might even preemptively assign a percentage of fault and offer you a lowball offer. Don’t accept any offer from an insurer without speaking with a lawyer first.
Will I Need to Go to Court?
Most crane accident claims are settled out of court. Going to trial is unpredictable for both sides, and it takes longer than accepting a fair settlement offer. While you could get more by going to trial, you also run the risk of losing everything and you’ll have to pay more legal fees.
However, there are some situations where going to court is the right decision. We can advise you about your legal options, your chances, and whether going to court is advised. Whatever route you take, we’ll be with you every step of the way.
If you are only using workers’ compensation, you do not need to go through the court system. However, if your claim is denied or far less than you expect, you can appeal your workers’ comp decision at a hearing.
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Know the Statute of Limitations in Crane Accident Lawsuits
There are deadlines for starting lawsuits known as statutes of limitation. In Missouri, you have a generous five years to start your lawsuit. If you let this deadline pass by, the court will say you took too long to start your case and deny your compensation.
However, there are some situations where this deadline can get shortened, so you should not delay your consultation with a lawyer. By working with a lawyer as soon as possible after your accident, we can make sure that all the paperwork for your claim gets started in time.
Note that you don’t have to finish your case by the time the statute of limitations expires. As long as it has started, the case can take as long as it needs to. Most cases do not go to trial, so the odds are good that your case will settle long before the deadline.
Hire a Crane Accident Attorney in St. Louis
Cranes are massive pieces of machinery. Injuries involving cranes are often severe, and you could be owed substantial compensation to cover them. Find out if your case qualifies for more than workers’ compensation with one call to Morelli Law’s crane accident attorneys in St. Louis.
We can also help you with your workers’ compensation claim to maximize your compensation or represent you in a hearing if your claim is denied. You have limited time to appeal a rejection or sue, so start your claim now by calling or emailing our offices.