Defective workplace equipment is one of the most pressing dangers for many workers in the state of Pennsylvania, especially those in industries such as construction, agriculture, forestry and mining. Even when workers and employers adhere to workplace safety standards, defective equipment can cause accidents and serious injuries.
If you’ve been injured in a workplace accident in Pennsylvania that was caused by a piece of defective equipment, lawyers from Cordisco & Saile LLC can help you recover workers' compensation and explore taking other legal action.
Types of Defective Equipment at the Workplace
When heavy pieces of machinery are rendered defective, they pose serious risks for the workers who operate them. Some dangerous types of defective equipment are listed below.
- Defective ladders or scaffolding.
- Defective heavy machinery, like tractors, dump trucks, or forklifts.
- Defective conveyor belts.
- Defective construction tools.
- Defective farming tools, such as lawnmowers or balers.
The list above is by no means inclusive – any piece of equipment has the potential to be designed or manufactured with a defect.
Dangers of Defective Equipment
Defective equipment in the workplace is extremely dangerous. If a piece of equipment or machinery malfunctions while in use, workers are at high risk of sustaining serious injuries. Some of the most serious injuries that a worker may sustain when a defective piece of equipment is used include traumatic brain injuries, amputated limbs, broken bones, internal injuries, burns or lacerations, and death. Often, these injuries cause permanent disabilities or disfigurement.
Causes of Defective Equipment
Construction equipment may be defective for a number of reasons. A piece of equipment may have been designed with a defect, for example. Or the equipment may have been properly designed but manufactured with a defect as a result of poor manufacturing standards.
Other times, equipment may be rendered defective as a result of improper maintenance or repair. Regardless of the reason why the equipment malfunctioned, one thing is for sure – the injured worker deserves to be compensated for injuries.
Recovering Compensation Following a Workplace Accident Caused by Defective Equipment
In most states, including Pennsylvania, workers’ compensation law covers most workers. Workers’ compensation requires employers to carry insurance for all employees in the case that a worker sustains an injury while on the job. If you have been injured while working, workers’ compensation should cover your injuries, no matter who is responsible for the accident and injuries.
However, if your injury was caused by a piece of defective equipment, you may be able to file a third-party liability claim. Filing a third-party liability claim allows you to file a personal injury lawsuit for your accident outside of the realm of workers’ compensation law. When a third party, such as an equipment manufacturer, distributor or repair company, is responsible for your accident, you have the right to pursue damages from that third party that may be in excess of workers' comp benefits.
Damages that you may be able to recover include medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and punitive damages if gross negligence was present. Pennsylvania’s statute of limitations is set at two years from the date of injury, according to PA Const. Stat. Sec. 5524.
Speak With Our Defective Equipment Lawyers Today
Following a workplace accident caused by defective equipment, you need to take legal action as soon as possible. In addition to filing a workers’ compensation claim, our defective equipment attorneys can help file a personal injury suit for the third party liability of the person or company responsible for your accident.
At Cordisco & Saile LLC, our attorneys know what you’re going through. To help you recover the benefits to which you're entitled under Pennsylvania law, call us now at 215-642-2335.