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Crane collapse kills 2 at University of Texas, Dallas

In a tragic construction accident, a crane collapse at the University of Texas killed two workers, according to school officials. Reports indicated that the collapse occurred when workers were dismantling the crane. Witnesses said that the workers were doing their work when an unexpected wind came and knocked over the heavy machinery. Those at the accident scene heard screaming when the crane collapsed onto the workers and the building.

While officials did not know the exact cause of the accident, the Chief of the fire department said that a gust of wind was likely to blame. Some authorities indicated that negligence was probably not a factor, though OSHA protections and other safety protocols should have ensured that the machinery was secured.

In a case involving wrongful death, an investigation should be able to determine why the crane collapsed and whether it should have been able to withstand the gust of wind. Images on the news showed the body of a crane twisted and toppled over the top of a building, which was under construction.

In work-related accidents, victims or their families can pursue workers' compensation claims; however they may also be entitled to additional compensation from liable third parties. While workers' compensation claims are limited, personal injury claims can be more expansive. An investigation in this case will identify all responsible parties, including individuals or entities who may have contributed to the accident.

The families of the victims may be able to recover significant compensation, including funeral expenses, medical costs, lost future wages, loss of companionship and other personal or economic losses.

Source: The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, "2 Killed in Crane Collapse at University of Texas at Dallas," Michael Schwartz, July 8, 2012.

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