Can I Sue If I'm Injured by Defective Machinery at Work?
You may have a strong case for a third-party lawsuit
Employees injured by work machinery are typically allowed to file for workers' compensation benefits. However, if an employee is injured by defective machinery or faulty equipment, they may also be eligible for compensation from a "third party," - such as the manufacturer of the defective part or a servicing contractor.
Proving a defective machinery accident caused worker injuries is frequently a complicated endeavor - even when it seems obvious something went wrong. Negligent manufacturers and careless contractors don't usually admit their wrongdoing. It's on the injured employee to investigate and collect evidence. That's why, to get to the bottom of what happened, injured workers often turn to experienced work injury attorneys for help.
In Lehigh Valley and the surrounding area, injured workers considering defective machinery lawsuits can contact Vellner Law, PC, to review their potential legal options. We can let you know if you have a strong case and help you decide what to do next. Free consultations are also available to families of fatal work accident victims.
Deadly work machinery accidents in Pennsylvania
Heavy equipment and defective machinery work accidents can severely injure employees. Typical injuries include fractured bones, head injuries and internal bleeding, crushed organs, paralyzing nerve damage, or even death.
Since 2017, there have been hundreds of fatal work accidents involving equipment in Pennsylvania, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). While it is unclear if defects or malfunctions contributed to these deaths, the incidents shine a light on the risks workers face.
Equipment - that may or may not have malfunctioned - and was involved in recent fatal Pennsylvania work accidents include:
- Stamping machine.
- Conveyor belts.
- Drill rig.
- Lead smelter.
- Scissor lift.
- Front-end loader.
Injured workers and third-party lawsuits
Injured workers are typically entitled to workers' comp and, therefore, cannot usually sue their employers after a work accident. However, if a worker is injured by someone or something not directly under the employer's control - like an equipment malfunction - the manufacturer of the defective equipment or outside contractors that install and/or maintain it may be liable.
Through a third-party lawsuit, an injured employee can collect compensation for damages that workers' compensation does not cover. This includes full lost wages (workers' comp awards partial wages) as well as pain and suffering.
For a successful third-party lawsuit, in general, four facts must be established:
- The worker was injured.
- The third party owed the worker a duty of care.
- The third party was negligent or reckless.
- That negligence or recklessness caused the worker to be injured and suffer losses.
Fighting for injured workers' rights
Defective machinery cases are typically complicated. Negligent companies do not usually admit to their wrongdoing without a fight. Vellner Law, PC, can give them a battle they won't forget.
Our law firm is on the side of injured workers. Our Lehigh Valley workers' compensation attorneys and work injury lawyers take on insurance companies, workers' comp, and negligent third parties so injured employees can focus on healing.
If you were injured or a loved one died due to defective machinery, malfunctioning heavy equipment, or another work accident, contact Vellner Law, PC, for a free case consultation. At no cost to you, a member of our team will answer your accident-related legal questions, estimate claim value, evaluate conditions for a third-party lawsuit, and help weigh your options.
Don't delay. There are tight legal deadlines to meet for a successful workers' comp or injury claim. We have offices in Allentown and Bethlehem, but if you can't come to us, we can go to you. Contact us to schedule your free case consultation right now.