A person can suffer injuries at almost any workplace, but a job that involves handling machinery is inherently more dangerous and likely to cause an injury. Workers who work for construction companies, factories, and manufacturing units handle high-powered machinery daily.
Although the Occupational Safety and Health Administration provides various guidelines regarding the safety requirements and maintenance of heavy machinery, there are still many cases of worker injuries due to defective machinery. As per the Bureau of Labor Statistics, approximately 2.8 million nonfatal workplace injuries were reported in 2019.
In addition to a workers’ compensation claim, the injured worker may file a third-party product liability claim against the machinery manufacturer. The injured worker may also file a claim against his or her employer if the employer fails to properly maintain the machinery or does not provide the required safety equipment or instructions.
Steps to Take After Suffering an Injury Due to Defective Machinery
If you are injured on the job because of defective machinery, these are some of the immediate steps that you might take:
Consult a Doctor
The first step after a work injury should always be to consult a doctor. This should be done even if there are no apparent signs of a serious injury because sometimes the effects of the injury may take hours or even days to develop. Follow all the instructions from your doctor, not only to ensure medical safety but also to ensure legal safety. This is because the at-fault party or the insurance company may try to evade responsibility for your injuries if there is a delay in seeking medical treatment.
Inform Your Employer
The next step should be to immediately inform your employer in writing about the accident and the injury caused by the defective machinery. If you fail to file an accident report within a designated amount of time (generally 30 days), you may not be able to claim or collect workers’ compensation.
Get in Touch With an Attorney
Next, you should immediately contact a workplace injury lawyer. This step is crucial because in many cases the injured worker is not aware of all the legal options available after a workplace injury. A lawyer will assess your case and will inform you about the additional compensation that you may be entitled to.
Who Is Responsible for the Accident?
If you are injured because of defective or faulty machinery, there may be multiple parties who may be liable to compensate you. Some of these parties may include:
If there is a manufacturing defect in the machinery including failure to place a safety guard or any other fault in the manufacturing process, the injured worker may be able to file a product liability claim against the manufacturer of the machinery. The manufacturer may also be liable to pay compensation if there are design defects in the product. If the manufacturer fails to provide the required safety instructions, they may be liable to pay compensation. These defects are called manufacturing defects. If one particular part of the machinery is defective, the manufacturer of that part may be held responsible for the accident.
In some cases, the employer may also be responsible for the accident. If the employer was negligent, they may have to compensate the injured worker for the injuries suffered by the worker. This is in addition to the workers’ compensation claim filed by the injured worker. For instance, liability may arise if the employer fails to maintain the machinery properly or does not get it serviced regularly.
Contact an Indiana Workplace Injury Attorney
If you suffered a workplace injury and suspect that it was because of defective machinery, contact our team of Indiana Workplace Injury Attorneys at Stewart & Stewart. Our team of seasoned attorneys will make sure that you are aware of your options and will fight to get you the compensation that you deserve.