Even though state and federal laws protect workers from harm on the job, accidents still happen. Nearly 4 million Americans suffer a workplace injury every year, and thousands more lose their lives. Even more tragic, many of those accidents are entirely preventable — particularly those involving defective machinery.
Many occupations involve the use of equipment that must be operated with care. However, if that equipment is improperly manufactured or maintained, workers are at risk for serious injuries that can cause permanent disabilities and lifelong hardship. Workers’ compensation laws help New York and New Jersey workers get assistance for medical expenses and lost wages. Additionally, sometimes a third party such as a manufacturer or distributor, can be held liable for a defective machinery injury. That’s why it’s important to talk to an experienced attorney as soon as possible.
Contact the Ginarte law firm today. With over 150 years of combined legal experience, our workplace injury attorneys have helped victims of on-the-job accidents recover the compensation they deserve. We can help you too. Call 1-888-GINARTE (1-888-446-2783), or fill out our online form to schedule a free consultation.
We serve clients throughout the New York and New Jersey metro area, and the firm has offices located in New York, Queens, Newark, Union City, Elizabeth, Perth Amboy, and Clifton.
NY/NJ Defective Machinery Victims
Defective machinery can result in devastating and catastrophic injuries for workers. Although workers are vulnerable in virtually any industry, construction is one of the most dangerous occupations when it comes to on-the-job injuries and deaths.
Of the 4,114 workplace deaths in private industry in 2011, 721 — or 17.5 percent — occurred in construction, according to the U.S. Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA).
In fact, construction deaths are so prevalent that OSHA has dubbed the “Fatal Four” most common injuries suffered by workers to include:
- “Struck-by” objects
- “Caught in-between” accidents.
Yet construction workers are hardly the only types of workers who are prone to injuries caused by defective equipment and machinery.
Victims also include:
- Factory workers
- Utility and cable workers
- Warehouse employees
- Drivers and delivery workers
- Meat processing workers
- Machine operators
- Retail consumers.
Types of Defective Equipment & Injuries
Large, heavy machinery is a frequent culprit in accidents involving defective equipment, but a tool as small as a nail gun could cause serious harm and even death. That’s why proper training is essential for any worker handling dangerous equipment. Even veteran employees should have periodic refreshers on how to safely operate machinery to avoid accidents caused by human error.
Some of the most common types of equipment involved in accidents include:
- Conveyor belts
- Power tools
- Electrical cords
- Glue guns
- Defective safety equipment and harnesses
- Farm equipment
- Exposed blades and belts
- Home power tools
No matter whether the equipment is a forklift or a microwave, the outcomes of defective machinery accidents can be disturbingly similar — and have devastating consequences for the injured individual and their family.
There are countless types of injuries resulting from defective machinery, such as:
- Brain injury
- Back injury
- Cuts and lacerations
- Eye and face injuries
- Struck-by projectiles
- Crush injuries
Who Can Be Held Liable For Defective Machinery Accidents?
There are many reasons why a piece of machinery could fail, such as a design defect, or an alteration of the equipment in some way from its original form. Depending on the circumstances, an injured worker could have two legal claims to make.
The first is a workers’ compensation claim. Both, New York and New Jersey have workers’ comp systems in place to compensate employees, who are injured or killed on the job. Benefits can help cover the cost of medical treatment, missed wages, and compensation for the injury. In cases of death, workers’ comp benefits are also available to dependent family members.
Workers’ comp is a no-fault system, which means that you do not have to prove that your employer was negligent in order to collect benefits. All you have to do is prove that your injuries occurred during the course of your employment.
However, if the equipment that caused your injury had a flaw that caused it to malfunction, you may be able to file a product liability claim as well. Consumers have the right to expect that the products they buy are properly manufactured, and designed to protect them from harm.
If there is evidence of a manufacturing problem or design defect that caused a piece of machinery to fail, or if there was a failure to warn users of potential hazards inherent in the equipment, several parties may be held accountable under the law, including:
- Maintenance companies.
A successful defective machinery case can provide injured workers and their families with compensation for pain, suffering, and money to cover hospitalizations, rehabilitation, long-term use of medical equipment, such as wheelchairs and oxygen machines. Obtaining the compensation you deserve could ensure that you are financially able to maintain your health in the years to come.
Our Defective Machinery Injury Lawyers Can Help
The attorneys at Ginarte Gallardo Gonzalez Winograd L.L.P., are committed to protecting the rights of injured workers and consumers. If you, or someone you love, suffered an injury in an accident caused by defective machinery, call 1-888-GINARTE (1-888-446-2783), or use our online form to arrange a free, no-obligation, consultation.