Over 1.17 million birds die because of wind turbines in the United States each year. That’s a whole lot of birds, but did you know that wind turbines also cause many accidents involving humans? Wind turbine accident statistics are difficult to find because many incidents go unreported.
So, while wind turbines may be a great way to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels and help fight climate change, they also pose a serious threat to both birds and humans. If you have an accident involving wind turbines in Houston, Texas, you need to hire a wind turbine injury lawyer.
Read on for more.
What are Wind Turbines?
Wind turbines are large machines that convert the kinetic energy of wind into electrical energy. Wind turbines can power individual homes, businesses, or even entire communities.
The Risks of Wind Turbines
Wind turbines are becoming a very popular source of renewable energy, but there are some risks associated with their use. One of the most significant dangers is the potential for turbine blades to break off and fall to the ground. This can cause serious injury or even death to people nearby, as well as significant damage to property.
Another risk is the potential for turbine blades to ice up in cold weather, which can cause the turbines to malfunction and potentially collapse. This is a particular concern in countries like the United Kingdom, where winter weather can be extreme.
There is also the potential for wind turbines to interfere with aircrafts. This is a particular concern in areas where there is a lot of air traffic, such as around airports.
Shrouded In Mystery
No other death count is as shrouded in mystery as that caused by wind turbines. The US government doesn’t keep tabs on how many people have died in turbine-related accidents, and neither do most other countries where renewable energy source has been erected.
In Scotland, There have been 229 recorded fatalities associated with wind farms since the year 2000.
The Dangers of Wind Turbines Are Real
There is no doubt that wind turbines can be dangerous. Whether you’re a worker on a farm or a member of the public, if you’re near a turbine when it malfunctions, you could be seriously injured or even killed. If you or a loved one received injuries in a wind turbine accident, you may be able to file for compensation.
Human Deaths Per Year As a Result of Wind Turbines
While bird deaths receive the most attention, wind turbines can also pose a serious threat to humans. Each year, there are a number of accidents involving wind turbines. In some cases, these accidents result in death.
The study linked above by Scotland Against Spin indicates that in 2020 alone, there were over three hundred accidents caused by wind turbines in the United Kingdom, eleven of which resulted in human fatalities. The study found that the number of accidents involving wind turbines has been increasing each year, with the majority of accidents occurring at onshore wind farms.
The study also found that the majority of accidents involving wind turbines happen because of human error. This includes errors made by both workers and members of the public. The most common type of accident is when people come into contact with moving parts of the turbine, such as the blades.
Other common accidents include people who are hit by falling debris and people electrocuted by exposed wires. While the number of accidents involving wind turbines is relatively low, the consequences can be severe.
Wind Turbine Technician Death Rate
The most common danger is to workers who work in the construction, maintenance, or repair of turbines. Wind turbine technicians have one of the highest death rates of any profession.
Most of the deaths among wind turbine technicians happened because of falls. Other common causes of death include being struck by an object and electrocution.
Wind turbines can also pose a risk to the general public. In rare cases, turbines collapsed, causing property damage and injuries. In one incident in 2013, a wind turbine in Tehachapi, California, collapsed and killed a man who was working on it.
While the risks posed by wind turbines should not be ignored, it’s important to put them in perspective. The CDC estimates that tens of thousands of people are killed each year in the United States by motor vehicles. This is more than 1,000 times the number of deaths that happen because of wind turbines.
Accidents That Happen Because of Wind Turbines
In addition to the risks posed to wildlife, wind turbines can also pose a risk to humans. Wind turbines are large and heavy, and they can fall over in high winds.
Wind turbines can also cause electrical fires. In 2012, a fire at a wind farm in North Dakota destroyed six turbines. The fire happened because of an electrical malfunction.
Collisions With Birds and Other Wildlife
As previously mentioned, wind turbines can pose a serious threat to birds and other wildlife. Each year, millions of animals die because of collisions with turbines. This includes not only birds but also bats, snakes, and rodents.
Another type of accident that can happen because of wind turbines is the “flying blade.” This occurs when a piece of the turbine’s blades breaks off and flies through the air. These pieces can weigh up to 2,000 pounds and can travel at speeds of up to 150 miles per hour.
This family ran for their lives after a blade malfunction caused large pieces of debris to go flying through the air. Luckily, no one was hurt in the incident.
Wind turbines are also at risk of structural failure. In 2016, a turbine in Germany caught fire and collapsed. No one received injuries in the incident, but it caused significant damage to the turbine.
Another type of accident that can happen because of wind turbines is an “ice throw.” This occurs when ice forms on the blades of the turbine and are then thrown off, sometimes at high speeds.
Wind turbines are also at risk of exploding. The resulting debris can damage nearby homes and cars.
Who Is Responsible for Accidents Caused By Wind Turbines?
Wind turbine accidents can cause serious injuries and even death. So who is responsible for these accidents?
In most cases, the company that owns the wind farm is responsible for any damage or injuries caused by the turbines. However, there are some exceptions.
If a turbine is hit by lightning, the company that owns the turbine is not responsible for any damage or injuries caused by the resulting fire.
In some cases, the company that manufactured the turbine may be responsible for an accident. For a turbine that collapses because of a design flaw, the manufacturer may be liable.
Likewise, if a turbine catches fire because of a manufacturing defect, the manufacturer may be responsible.
It is important to note that in most cases, the company that owns the wind farm is not required to carry insurance for accidents caused by the turbines. This means that if you receive injuries in a wind turbine accident, you may have difficulty collecting compensation from the company.
What Are My Legal Options?
If you have received injuries in a wind turbine accident, you may be wondering what legal options are available to you. First, consult a Houston accident lawyer to discuss your case. The lawyer will be able to review the facts of your case and advise you on the best course of action.
You could file a lawsuit for personal injury against the company that owns the wind farm. In some cases, you may also be able to sue the manufacturer of the turbine.
If you win your lawsuit, the court may award you compensatory damages. These are monetary awards given to repay you for losses such as medical expenses, wages, and pain and suffering.
In some instances, you might also receive damages to punish the company for its carelessness. The purpose of punitive damages is to prevent the company from behaving in a similar way in the future.
Hire A Wind Turbine Injury Lawyer
According to the data, wind turbines are not as safe as people once thought. There have been a number of accidents involving these machines in recent years, and many people have suffered serious injuries. If you have received injuries in a wind turbine accident, you may want to consult with an experienced attorney.
The Morgan Legal Group PLLC in Houston, Texas, has a wind turbine injury lawyer that specializes in these cases, and they may be able to help you recover the compensation you deserve. Contact us now for a free consultation.