Many industries rely upon various types of heavy machinery to complete work, including large construction vehicles, metal shaping and grinding tools, and other manufacturing equipment. Due to the nature of these machines, the risk of injury is high and adequate care must be taken to prevent injuries. Anyone who works with any type of heavy machinery in the Philadelphia area needs to be aware of their options should an injury occur.
Most construction vehicles require special licenses or certifications to operate. These vehicles are designed for specific tasks and workloads, and without proper training, operators risk serious injury to themselves and others. Additionally, specialized machinery such as jackhammers, grinding tools, and heavy drills are capable of dealing massive damage without adequate training. Employers who do not properly train their workers, or who allow unqualified workers to perform dangerous tasks, could be held liable as negligent in a resulting personal injury lawsuit.
In manufacturing settings, some machines are used to perform large-scale production tasks, like pressing metal into exact shapes, grinding parts, or piecing together product assemblies. The workers who operate these machines must be thoroughly trained in their use and care to prevent injuries. Additionally, the manufacturers of these machines must ensure that they perform as intended and present no undue risk to operators. Failing this, the manufacturer of an injury-causing machine could be held liable for the resulting damages.
Injuries and Damages
Most types of heavy machinery can cause fatal injuries in some circumstances. Other injuries could include broken bones, burns, traumatic brain injuries, spinal injuries, and internal organ damage. Injuries from heavy machinery can easily cause life-threatening or serious injuries that can leave victims permanently disabled or otherwise unable to resume working.
Worker’s compensation exists to provide injured workers with relief from lost wages and medical expenses, but these benefits rarely cover the entire cost of a severe injury. Other forms of disability insurance may also come into play, but if an employer was negligent, or a product manufacturer sold a defective item, these parties need to be held accountable for the harm they cause. Additionally, pursuing a personal injury lawsuit against a negligent employer or a products liability claim against a defective product manufacturer can help victims recover their damages after an injury.
When it comes to negligent employers, victims must prove that the employer was negligent in some way and that this negligence directly caused the victim’s injuries. Typically, cases like this entail a safety issue that the employer knew about but did not address adequately or in time. Victims should work with a personal injury attorney to prove negligence on part of an employer.
For defective product manufacturers, victims should consult with a product liability attorney to discuss options. To prove liability, the plaintiff must prove that the product in question was defective in one of three ways:
- Defective by design – There is an inherent flaw in the design of the product, resulting in an unsafe variable for end users. Once a design defect has been positively identified, manufacturers will issue a full recall on all products sharing the design flaw.
- Defective by production – There was an error during the production process, which may have only affected specific units or lots of units. Once a manufacturer has identified the affected products, they will issue a refund for those units.
- Defective marketing – The product was not accurately represented, either through false advertising, failure to warn the end user of all potential hazards of using the item, or failing to include required safety indicators.
Regardless of how your heavy machinery injury came about, after you’ve addressed your immediate medical concerns, your next step should be to consult with an attorney about compensation for your damages. If a negligent party caused your injuries, your attorney can help hold them accountable and help you collect compensation for medical expenses, lost income, long-term disability, and pain and suffering.
If you’ve suffered a heavy machinery injury in the Philadelphia, PA area, reach out to the attorneys at Anapol Weiss for a consultation. We believe in focused attention to every client’s unique situation and leveraging our experience and expertise to maximize our clients’ recovery.