Your employer, equipment manufacturer may both be liable

Accidents at work are far too common. The United States Department of Labor (DOL) reports over 2.8 million work-related injuries and fatalities annually. In a large warehouse setting, factories, the construction industry or other inherently dangerous jobs, many accidents involve equipment and heavy machinery. If the injury was due to a malfunctioning equipment accident and was potentially avoidable, determining how the accident occurred and putting safety measures in place to prevent similar accidents in the future is imperative. 

Examples of when faulty or malfunctioning equipment may be the cause of a work accident include:

  • A piece of equipment malfunctions causing an employee to become injured
  • Machinery or tools were not properly inspected or maintained, causing hazardous tools or machinery
  • Injury due to dangerously designed or defective workplace equipment
  • Improper training or supervision resulting in a workplace injury

When workplace equipment is faulty or malfunctions causing an accident or fatality, determining liability is not always easy. If you have been injured in a workplace accident or if you lost a loved one in a fatal accident on the job, consult our experienced catastrophic injury attorneys at Trammell Piazza to explore your compensation options.

Malfunctioning equipment accident: Who’s at fault?

Here is a look at who is responsible for workplace injuries that involve faulty or malfunctioning equipment:

  • Employer negligence

Your employer is responsible for maintaining a safe workplace free of known hazards. No matter the work environment, every employer is responsible for maintaining compliance with OSHA standards to assert your safety at work. 

If a workplace injury was the result of malfunctioning or defective equipment or tools, your attorney will seek to find out whether the defective equipment made the accident more likely and whether maintenance or safety measures were properly adhered to making the accident less likely. 

If your employer failed to maintain equipment or provide training using heavy machinery, your employer may be found liable for your injury. This is especially true in cases where the hazardous or defective equipment was known among your company’s management and other employees and warnings were ignored. Read more about your employers’ responsibilities under OSHA.

To win a lawsuit against your employer, you and your attorney must prove “gross negligence” or a “wanton disregard for safety.” This means proving your employer did something knowingly wrong or failed to act to correct a potential hazard even though the employer knew that employees could be injured. Many workplace injury lawsuits are based on OSHA violations, where the employer violated regulations, with full knowledge that the violations created unsafe conditions.

Article: When a Worker Injury Results in Permanent Disability.

Far too often, workplace accidents result in fatalities and permanent disability. When a worker injury results in permanent disability, navigating compensation to plan for your future can be complex. Here’s what you should know about catastrophic worker injury claims.

  • Third-party product liability against manufacturer

Workers, employers and supervisors may take every precaution to avoid an accident on the job, but when a piece of equipment or machinery is defective in design or manufacture, equipment failures causing a serious work-related injury or fatality is a likely possibility. There is no question that the injured worker is entitled to workers’ compensation benefits, which do not take liability into consideration, but you also may also have grounds to bring a separate negligence claim or third-party product liability lawsuit against the company that manufactured or supplied the equipment.

Proving liability by such parties is not as stringent as a defective product claim is not as high as the burden in an employer negligence claim. You only need to prove the machinery or equipment was defective, and the defect was the direct cause of your injuries. Defective product lawsuits often require testimony from technical experts.

  • Third-party lawsuits against vendors 

Aside from the manufacturer, you can sue third parties connected to the faulty equipment such as outside vendors responsible for maintenance, the company who incorrectly installed equipment, or a property owner (not your employer) who is responsible for machinery at your job site.

EXAMPLE: Construction accident injury due to negligent site supervision

Trammell Piazza Law Firm successfully argued a settlement for a construction site supervision negligence lawsuit for the injury of a contractor who suffered a permanent injury after falling off a ladder from the roof to a lower floor of the building. The defendant was contracted to monitor and inspect the work of subcontractors to ensure compliance with the contract and safety, and was “solely responsible for construction means, methods, techniques, sequences, and procedures” for the work.

Trammell Piazza Managing Partner Chad Trammell successfully argued the construction manager was negligent for failing to properly supervise, monitor, and inspect the ladder and safety grip installation, creating unsafe work conditions for workers accessing the roof. The firm secured a generous settlement against the defendant, including compensatory damages for past and future emotional distress, past and future disfigurement, pain and suffering, and past and future loss of capacity for the enjoyment of life. 

Trusted severe injury lawyers

Trammell Piazza can help victims of catastrophic worker injuries focus on their recovery and their family’s future while we handle the process of working the case through the legal system and achieving maximum compensation from the parties responsible. These cases involve expertise in both workers’ compensation and personal injury law.

Workplace injury claims are handled on a contingency fee basis, meaning you don’t pay us until your settlement is won. Schedule a free consultation today to determine the best course of action in pursuing your claim.