Workers in the fields of construction, agriculture, mining, transportation, manufacturing, and more often use dangerous tools and machinery to perform their jobs. When such tools and machinery are functioning properly, workers can generally avoid injury. When tools and machinery are not functioning properly, however, they can cause debilitating injuries and even fatalities on the job. Defective equipment, particularly heavy equipment such as forklifts, cranes, and backhoes, is a leading cause of on-the-job injuries. Each year, 100 workers are killed and another 20,000 seriously injured in forklift-related accidents alone.
Workers injured by defective equipment may have multiple legal avenues to pursue compensation for their injuries. In Maine, nearly all employers are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance, which provides compensation for lost time, payment of medical bills, retraining and other benefits for employees injured in the course of employment. In addition to workers’ compensation benefits, injured workers may also have viable claims against a third-party, often the manufacturer of the equipment.Potentially Dangerous Equipment
Nearly any equipment used on the job can be defective, but some tools and machinery bear special risks due to their potential for grave injury:
- Defective or poorly maintained forklifts and other work-related vehicles
- Defective drills
- Faulty safety guards or safety rails
- Unstable or defective platforms
- Defective latches
Injuries resulting from defective products can range in severity from mild lacerations or sprains, which will require minimal treatment and time away from work, to amputation of limbs, paralysis, and traumatic brain injury, all of which can lead to partial or total permanent disability.Workers’ Compensation Claims for Work Related Machine Injuries
Maine’s workers’ compensation system is designed to provide injured workers with payment for lost time and medical bills while recovering from an injury. However, the process for obtaining due compensation is often complex and wrought with challenges.
To be eligible for benefits, an injured worker must demonstrate that the injury arose out of and in the course of employment. The injured worker must notify the employer within 30 days of the injury. Fault on the part of the injured worker does not bar recovery for a workers’ compensation claim.
The experienced workers’ compensation attorneys at the Maine Employee Rights Group can guide you through the bureaucratic procedures, simplify the process and ensure that your rights are fully protected.Product Liability Lawsuits Involving Defective Equipment
Often workplace accidents result from defects in the manufacturing, design, or maintenance of equipment. A worker injured by defective equipment may have a viable product liability action against the manufacturers responsible for producing the defective equipment. The product liability attorneys at our sister firm, Peter Thompson & Associates, can review the facts of you case to determine if manufacturer error played a role in your injury.Maine Employee Rights Group: Top Compensation for Injured Workers
The skilled workers’ compensation attorneys at Maine Employee Rights Group will carefully examine the facts of your defective equipment workplace accident and advise you as to all possible legal avenues for recovery. For more information about recovering damages for injuries resulting from defective machinery, call Maine Employee Rights Group today at 207.874.0905. We offer an initial consultation and have office meeting locations throughout the state. We also offer in-home and in-hospital consultations for severely injured clients.