Workplace Injuries Caused By Defective Machine Equipment
Some workplaces require workers to use heavy machinery and equipment that comes with some risk of injury. For example, workers who operate forklifts, boom lifts, bulldozers, boring tools, welding machines, drills, lathes, grinding wheels, and cutting tools may be at greater risk of a traumatic injury using these machines than an employee who works at a desk and spends much of his or her time on a computer. Yet just because a worker is using machines or other equipment that has more inherent risks than tools used at other types of workplaces does not mean that those workers should expect to suffer on-the-job injuries. Employers are required to have safety protocols in place to protect workers from injuries caused by machines and other heavy equipment, and to provide training to workers who will be using these tools. Yet in some situations, even when all safety precautions are taken, machines and other related equipment can have defects that result in worker injuries.
If an equipment defect causes your workplace injury, how can you seek workers’ compensation benefits and other financial compensation for your losses?
File a Workers’ Compensation Claim in Pompano Beach
Anytime you suffer an injury at work that occurs in the course of completing your job duties, you may be eligible to file a workers’ compensation claim through the Florida workers’ compensation system. The workers’ compensation system in Florida is an exclusive remedy for workplace injuries as is true in most states, which means that an injured worker cannot sue an employer for negligence in the workplace that resulted in an injury. Likewise, the employee does not have to worry about whether his or her own negligence on the job contributed to the injury. Regardless of whether an employer, a co-worker, or the injured worker was negligent, the injured worker can still file a workers’ compensation claim.
Yet the fact that workers’ compensation is an exclusive remedy does not mean that a third party cannot be liable for harm to workers on various types of job sites. In some cases, where a third party—someone unaffiliated with the workplace—causes injury to an employee, that injured employee may be eligible to seek workers’ compensation benefits for immediate relief and to file a personal injury lawsuit against the liable third party. Product defect injuries are a common example of cases from which third-party workplace injury lawsuits arise.
Filing a Third-Party Claim Against a Product Designer, Manufacturer, or Marketer
There are three general kinds of product defects that can result in a machine or other piece of workplace equipment being defective:
- Design defects, where there is a problem with the very design of a machine or tool;
- Manufacturing defects, where a defect occurred in the process of manufacturing a machine or tool; and
- Marketing defects, where the machine or tool was not marketed with a proper warning about risks associated with its use.
Contact Our Pompano Beach Workers’ Compensation Lawyers
If a defective machine or other piece of equipment resulted in your workplace injury, you should seek advice from a South Florida workers’ compensation attorney as soon as you can about filing a workers’ compensation claim and then considering the possibility of filing a lawsuit against the designer, manufacturer, or marketer of the product that caused your injuries. Contact the Law Offices of David M. Benenfeld, P.A. to learn more.