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Golitko & Daly

Pursuing Defective Workplace Machinery Claims

Defective workplace machinery on a construction site or other premises can result in catastrophic injuries that cause lifelong ailments, emotional distress, and complications for the injured party and their family. The trusted lawyers at Golitko & Daly in Indianapolis, IN, can fight to hold the manufacturer, third party operator, or the employer accountable for harm caused by defective workplace machinery. Let us stand up for your rights and secure the compensation you need to move on positively from your accident.

A worker with a hard hat examines machinery
Defective machinery or equipment that is not properly maintained can cause significant injury to workers. 

Common Causes of Machine Malfunction

Working with machinery on the job comes with certain risks, which can be minimized with proper maintenance and safety procedures. When a machine is improperly maintained or malfunctions, it can mean disaster for operators or persons nearby. Some common reasons why machinery malfunctions include:

  • Machine is poorly designed or lacks safety features such as a shield to protect workers from moving parts
  • Machine emits toxic fumes or chemicals without a proper shield to prevent leaks or splashes
  • Machine lacks adequate systems to shut down in the event of an accident or malfunction
  • Machine’s maintenance schedule has not been followed (usually in an attempt to save costs)
  • Machine is “past its prime” and should be replaced
  • Poorly considered operational systems

Workers’ Compensation vs. Damages Won in 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:

  1. Failure to properly maintain machinery and other equipment
  2. Failure to train employees on the safe use and operation of equipment
  3. 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:

  1. If you were injured due to your employer's intentional conduct
  2. If your employer does not carry sufficient workers' compensation insurance

Fighting for Your Rights

Assembling evidence and making a strong argument for your defective workplace machinery case is difficult and should be left to the experts. The attorneys at our firm have decades of experience fighting for workers’ rights. Contact us today online, or call us at (800) 500-1644 to schedule your free case review.

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