Injured by Defective Construction Equipment?
Written by AskTheLawyers.com™ on behalf of John Romano with Romano Law Group.
Construction sites have many potential dangers. With heavy machinery, equipment, and materials being moved to and fro, often at great heights, accidents happen. When a piece of construction equipment is defective, the risk of injury increases exponentially.
While workers’ compensation is one avenue through which an injured worker can seek compensation for medical bills and lost wages, if the product was defective, there may be an additional avenue for recovery. If you or a loved one were injured by a piece of defective construction equipment, reach out to a product liability attorney to learn more about your options for compensation.
Employers are required to ensure proper upkeep and maintenance of the equipment used by workers.
Employers are required to provide a basic standard of safety for their employees. This could mean offering adequate personal protective gear, or enforcing industry safety regulations as necessary. When a piece of construction equipment causes an injury, it is important to look into the maintenance and repair history of the equipment.
Some items are supposed to be replaced after a certain time; other types of equipment may require routine servicing to make sure they stay safe and effective. If an employer fails to follow these instructions or allows a recalled product to continue being used during construction, the injured party may be able to file a personal injury claim against the employer, even while seeking workers’ compensation benefits.
If the defect occurs due to an error in the equipment’s design or manufacturing process, a third-party claim may be viable.
When an injury occurs regarding a piece of construction equipment that is not due to user error, a defect in the equipment may be responsible. It can be hard to differentiate between user-error and a defective product, so if there is any doubt it’s a good idea to reach out to a workplace injury attorney. These attorneys offer free consultations and will be able to identify a potentially defective product with much greater accuracy than the average person.
If a defect occurred in the design process making it unsafe for use, or if a defect occurred in the manufacturing process altering the safety of the design, a product liability claim may be viable. A construction worker injured by a potentially defective piece of equipment might be eligible to file a third-party claim against the designer or manufacturer.
One of the first things an injured worker should do is apply for workers’ compensation.
Workers’ compensation, commonly referred to as “workers’ comp” is a form of insurance designed to offer compensation to injured workers while protecting the employer from liability. The only situations in which an injured person may receive workers’ comp benefits in addition to filing a personal injury claim against their employer is when the employer was negligent in their attention to safety. Similarly, a worker may file for workers’ comp benefits and a third-party claim at the same time.
However, experts in the field recommend filing for workers’ comp benefits before pursuing additional legal action. Lawsuits can take a long time to wrap up with a successful verdict, but it is important that injured workers begin to receive the financial help they need for medical bills and lost wages right away. If you have been injured by a potentially defective piece of construction equipment, seek medical attention right away, inform your supervisor and Human Resources (HR) Department, and then reach out to a workplace injury attorney to learn more about your options.