Whenever you work hard to make a living, you depend on your equipment to help you get the job done. Unfortunately, due to no fault of your own, the tools and machinery you use can malfunction and cause harm in the process.
While occupational machine deaths decreased by 32% between 1992 and 2010, there are still many injuries regarding unsafe equipment. Objects and equipment are the second highest cause of lost workdays. No workplace should allow the use of faulty equipment. As a worker, you have the right to a safe environment, with tools that won’t cause you harm.
If you have been in an accident due to malfunctioning equipment, you need to know what to do.
File for Workers’ Compensation
You must file for workers’ compensation as soon as your injury occurs. The deadline for submission is usually around 30 days. Each state has a different deadline to submit a claim, so it is essential to take care of it quickly.
After you have completed all of the necessary steps of a workplace injury comp claim, you need to determine if you are going to receive fair compensation. If your workers’ compensation is not substantial enough to cover your necessary expenses, you may want to think about hiring a workers’ compensation lawyer to help you work through your next step.
Whenever you are reviewing your claim, the fault usually falls onto two entities: the employer or the third party.
- Employer: Proving your employer’s fault puts a significant burden of proof on you but may be necessary if you believe that the equipment failed due to negligence. If the machine or tool you used malfunctioned due to it not being inspected or maintained correctly, your employer should be held responsible.
The OSHA states that regular equipment maintenance and upkeep is necessary. If your employer is not actively maintaining your workplace and equipment, they can be held liable for machine malfunction.
- Third-Party: Third-party liability requires less legal burden of proof on you as long as you can prove that the machinery you used caused your injury. Third-parties include those who inspect, maintain, or manufacture the product that you use. Design flaws or faulty parts can make machinery or tools dangerous and cause injury.
Getting Fair Compensation
Whenever you are assessing your options for compensation, there are usually two options you can take:
- Accept workers’ compensation
- File a lawsuit
Accepting a Workers’ Compensation Settlement
If you determine that your employer took all of the necessary steps to ensure your safety, receiving workers’ compensation is a safer option. However, before you sign off on an amount, make sure to consult with a legal expert. The workers’ compensation insurance system can be complicated, and an experienced attorney can help you through the process.
Filing a Lawsuit
While it may be tempting to accept workers’ compensation immediately to receive income, it is essential to consider if you need to file a suit to get the full amount you deserve. Speaking with an experienced attorney can help you to make that decision.
Determining fault is essential to a lawsuit. If you believe that your employer is responsible due to gross negligence, a claim for your full medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering may be necessary.
If the machinery or tool that you used broke due to faulty parts or design, the manufacturer or maintainer of the product is responsible. To prove fault on behalf of a third-party, follow the same steps you would for a property case. Keeping a clean and concise record of events and evidence is crucial to your success. A third-party lawsuit can also be filed in conjunction with
If you have been injured by faulty equipment on the job, don’t face your situation alone. Contact the Alberhasky Law Firm to set up a free consultation. We’re here to answer any questions you have and fight for the compensation you deserve.
About the Author
When it comes to workers’ compensation cases, Randy Alberhasky has over 25 years of experience. During his legal career he has personally tried over 200 workers’ compensation hearings and jury trials in courts throughout the State of Missouri. Many people who have suffered from a workplace injury and illness are unaware of the legal action they can take to receive the financial compensation that they deserve. The Alberhasky Law Firm, P.C. is proud to help our clients receive the compensation they deserve.