Workplace accidents can result in simple cuts and scrapes or may be far more serious and include burns and electrocution caused by unsafe or defective equipment. Unfortunately, some injuries can be very serious causing amputation or even death. Most of us expect to be fully trained to use any type of equipment but we also assume that the equipment does not have any safety flaws built into it. Unfortunately, this is not always the case.
Types of equipment that can malfunction
Regardless of how accustomed you are to working with machinery, there are some types of equipment that can cause injuries. Some of these are large pieces of machinery like cranes or bulldozers. However, even smaller equipment like drills, saws, sanders and nail guns can malfunction and result in serious injuries. When these types of incidents occur due to a manufacturing defect or misuse of equipment in the workplace, not only may victims be eligible for workers compensation benefits, they may also be eligible to file a personal injury lawsuit.
Who is responsible for the injury?
Employers have an obligation to ensure that employees are properly trained and have the necessary safety equipment available for all types of machinery. They may be at fault if they have failed to provide training and safety equipment. However, there are other types of flaws that could potentially cause injury that may be the responsibility of the manufacturer of the equipment, the distributor and the retailer. If your employer has a maintenance contract on any equipment, they could be liable for your injuries as well.
What rights to I have to compensation?
First, most employers are required to provide workers compensation insurance. This insurance is designed to provide you a paycheck while you are unable to work in the event of an injury. In addition, all of your medical expenses including medication and rehabilitation therapy are part of the coverage. In the event you are killed on the job, your family is entitled to specific benefits.
When your injuries or death are caused by a machine malfunction such as a fire, electrical short that causes electrocution or burns, a defect in the safety mechanism that results in broken bones, or amputation, it is important to contact a personal injury attorney immediately. There is an investigatory process which must be followed to determine who is responsible for your injuries and determine the level of compensation you may be entitled to.
While some professions are inherently dangerous, workers have right to expect the machinery they work with every day to be safe. When you are injured because of defective equipment or if you are a surviving family member of someone killed in a workplace injury, contact Skip McManes at McManes Law for a free consultation to discuss your case.