Defective Machinery: Workers’ Comp vs. Filing a Lawsuit
If you or a loved one have been injured on the job due to defective workplace machinery, you may have rights to pursue a lawsuit against negligent parties. Generally speaking, most workers cannot sue for injuries incurred at the workplace, and instead must file workers’ compensation. An exception to this rule are workers who were injured by defective products on the job. Such employees can sue product manufacturers, third parties, or employers for their injuries.
In a defective workplace machinery lawsuit, compensation can be sought for the full value of past and future medical and rehabilitation costs beyond that which is provided through workers' compensation, lost wages, and compensation for pain and suffering. The potential restitution from a lawsuit far exceeds the standard amount given to workers’ compensation recipients. Since many workers harmed in defective workplace machinery accidents face months or years of therapy, workers’ compensation typically does not come close to covering expenses. The damages won in a lawsuit can, however, relieve the financial burden for accident victims, allowing them to focus on healing.
A lawsuit can secure considerably more compensation than workers' compensation claims, allowing you to cover medical expenses and other costs related to your injury.
When a Manufacturer May Be At Fault
Liability for your accident may fall upon the machine manufacturer for an unsafe design. For example, a machine, such as a saw, that is too easily activated can cause accidental contact during operation, or project debris onto workers. A design should follow relevant safety codes, and makers should reasonably foresee problems during the design and manufacturing process. If potential design problems are not reasonably detected, or detected and ignored, the manufacturer may be liable for related injuries. Even when a product is properly designed, manufacturing errors can render the machinery dangerous.
When Third Parties May Be At Fault
Sometimes an outside party is responsible for maintaining a product or training personnel on using the product. When they are negligent in their duties, a claim may be made against them. For example, a contractor may maintain equipment for an employer, but fail to exercise proper care during safety inspections.
The three main areas where third parties may be found negligent include:
- Failure to properly maintain machinery and other equipment
- Failure to train employees on the safe use and operation of equipment
- Failure to provide proper supervision of employees who use potentially dangerous equipment
When an Employer May Be At Fault
Pursuing a claim against an employer for a defective workplace machinery accident can only be done in limited circumstances. There are two main instances when a claim can be filed against an employer for a defective workplace machinery accident:
- If you were injured due to your employer's intentional conduct
- If your employer does not carry sufficient workers' compensation insurance
Other Common Accident Scenarios
Injuries occur relatively frequently on construction sites because of the inherent danger involved in working with heavy machinery, working at great heights, and other factors. Common construction site accidents include:
- Fall Accidents - There are many different types of fall accidents, including falling from heights (from a roof, ladder, or scaffolding) and slip and fall accidents.
- Heavy Machinery Accidents - Construction sites are full of heavy machinery that can be dangerous, even when workers follow all safety protocols. Lift buckets, forklifts, bulldozers, and cranes are all commonly involved in accidents resulting in injuries. When a machinery accident occurs on a construction site, the results can be devastating.
- Vehicle Accidents - Vehicles are commonly involved in construction site injuries. Hazardous conditions, obstructed roadways, and the negligence of other employees can all contribute to serious auto accidents on construction sites.
- Collapse Accidents - Buildings can collapse during construction, resulting in extensive damage and devastating injuries. Trench collapses are among the most serious types of construction accidents. There are many rules and regulations designed to ensure the safety of all workers performing their job duties in these situations. When failure to meet these regulations results in injury, our attorneys can create a compelling case on your behalf to help you secure the compensation you need.
- Falling Debris - Numerous mistakes can lead to dangerous conditions on construction sites that result in falling debris. When falling objects such as tools and construction materials strike the body, they can cause severe lacerations, broken bones, head trauma, and death.