What Can I Do If My Work Injury Was Caused by Defective Equipment?
An accident because of faulty workplace equipment may result in injuries that could significantly change your life.
It could cause physical pain and limitations that make you unable to work and earn income. You could also suffer from psychological distress because of trauma.
You may thus wonder if you can claim compensation to cover accident-related financial losses like medical expenses and lost income.
While claiming workers’ compensation is an excellent choice for your situation, you should also consider filing a product liability case. This article explains both options to you.
Hazards Caused by Defective Workplace Equipment
Power tools and heavy machinery are vital for various industries like construction, warehousing, and manufacturing. However, these tools may also cause significant risks, especially when they have technical defects.
For example, a harness’ faulty support line may suddenly tear apart and cause a worker to fall from an elevated point. Another example is when defective heavy equipment goes out of control and hits or crushes a worker.
Defective equipment accidents may thus result in devastating injuries like:
- Internal organ damage like brain injuries
- Spine damage
- Bone fracture and dislocation
- Severe laceration
It is thus crucial to ensure safety when using these workplace tools, like by:
- Requiring intensive safety training for workers
- Providing personal protective equipment
- Properly maintaining the workplace equipment
However, defective equipment accidents may still happen, despite your company following safety protocols. You should thus know your legal options if you sustain injuries from such accidents.
Compensation Claims for Defective Equipment Injuries
You have two primary legal options to claim compensation for injuries from defective workplace equipment. Calling a Glendale workers’ compensation lawyer helps you understand these choices:
1. Claim Workers’ Compensation Benefits
You may claim workers’ comp if you sustain any injury in the workplace or while performing work-related activities, including defective equipment injuries. This compensation will cover:
- Medical treatments
- Lost wages
- Vocational retraining if you need to transfer to another job position
- Death benefits for a deceased worker’s loved ones
However, remember that you can only claim workers’ comp within one year after the accident that caused your injuries. Moreover, you must submit an injury report to your employer and request a workers’ compensation claim form.
Consulting a Glendale workers’ compensation lawyer helps you have a professional guide throughout the claim process.
2. Claim for Product Liability
While claiming workers’ comp, you may also sue the equipment manufacturer if they committed negligence and produced a faulty product. Aside from medical expenses, lost wages, and death benefits, this compensation may also cover non-economic damages or your injury-related pain and suffering.
In this third-party lawsuit, you must generally prove any of these cases:
- There was a manufacturing error that caused the product defect
- The equipment’s faulty design increased the risk of malfunction
- The manufacturer didn’t provide sufficient instructions and warnings while selling the product
You should remember, however, that you can’t claim product liability if the defect has resulted from poor maintenance or product misuse.
For example, the manufacturer provided a complete manual and warnings about the equipment, but an operator error caused it to malfunction. In this situation, you can’t sue the equipment manufacturer for liabilities.
Workers’ Compensation Attorney in Glendale to Claim Defective Equipment Injury Benefits
You deserve compensation after sustaining severe injuries from a defective workplace equipment accident. So, claim workers’ comp and product liability benefits to receive sufficient benefits to cover financial loss and suffering because of your injuries.
A Glendale workers’ compensation lawyer could help you file both lawsuits and receive your deserved benefits.