If you work on the docks, aboard a ship, in a dry dock, or in construction, you depend on heavy equipment and machinery to do your job. When there is an equipment failure accident, not only does it shut down work, but also it puts the workers in grave danger. If you have been injured in an equipment failure accident, you may have a right to compensation. Equipment failures are almost always caused by some type of negligence. But, making a claim can be difficult.
What is Different About Equipment Failure Accidents?
Equipment failure accidents are different than most other types of injury accidents because they require a detailed investigation before the true cause can be discovered. An equipment malfunction accident could be caused by:
- A negligent employee
- An employer failing to perform proper maintenance
- A manufacturing defect in one of the components
- A defect in the way the equipment was assembled
A single manufacturer does not make most heavy equipment and machinery. Instead components made by a variety of different companies are assembled and hen sold. Some pieces of equipment, like cranes, are often set up and taken apart many times by companies.
An equipment failure could have been caused by any number of different companies. It often takes a seasoned lawyer with expertise in equipment failure cases to pinpoint exactly what the cause or causes of the accident were. When there are multiple parties involved, filing a claim becomes more difficult. Sometimes in equipment failure accidents the employer is not cooperative with an investigation because it is not in the company’s interest to cooperate. It is important that the right party be held responsible for an accident so that the problem can be corrected and so that you can receive the compensation you are legally entitled to.
Types of Injuries
Common types of injuries in equipment failure accidents include:
- Crush injuries
- Back and neck injuries
- Fractured bones
- Strains and sprains
- Chemical burns
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Torn and ripped ligaments and muscles
- Exposure to toxic chemicals
After you have been injured it is critical that you get medical help. Even in situations where your injuries do not require immediate care; you should still have a thorough medical exam. It is possible to have hidden injuries, even fractured bones, that do not cause you pain or present other symptoms until days or weeks after the accident.
The sooner a doctor checks you out, the sooner you can begin to be treated and recover. If you later need to file a claim for your injuries, having been to the doctor within 72 hours of an accident will help your claim.
Many people are afraid to report their injuries to their employer. However, working while injured can put you and your coworkers in greater danger. It can also make it more difficult to get compensated later.
Making a Claim
Equipment failure accident claims may involve several different areas of law. Some workers will be covered by worker’s compensation laws that allow them to recover damages for their injuries, but do not allow them to sue their employer. If there is a third party that was negligent, like the equipment manufacturer, the employee may be able to recover additional damages such as pain and suffering, from the third party.
If the accident happened at sea or around the water at a dock, the injured workers may be covered by the Jones Act or other laws that allow for the recovery of pain and suffering damages from negligent employers and ship owners.
The first step in making an injury claim is to get medical care and continue to follow up with your doctors. The process for making a formal injury claim is almost always complicated. As soon after an accident as you can, you should find an injury lawyer to evaluate your claim and help you through the difficult claims process.
Most injury claims are settled out of court. When you are making an injury claim it is being handled on the other side by a team of lawyers and adjusters with years of experience. You need to make sure you have someone in your corner fighting for your rights.
You deserve to be compensated for your injuries. You know you need help, but finding the right lawyer for your equipment failure accident claim is daunting. We can help. If you contact us we can help connect you with a skilled and experienced injury attorney to evaluate your claim. You may only have a short time window to file a claim before your ability to get the compensation you are legally entitled to goes away forever. Let us help you find the best lawyer for type of case. The sooner you get started working with an attorney, the better your chances of getting the money you deserve.