Can I Get Workers' Comp for Injuries Caused By Defective Machinery?
In Mississippi, Injured Workers Have a Right to Compensation
Faulty equipment, defective machinery, and overall equipment failure may contribute more to worker injuries than people know.
Studies into work injuries caused by defective machinery accidents are lacking. But the research that is available points to a significant and underrecognized problem. Work machinery malfunctions due to defects, wear and tear, or poor maintenance are common, according to one international study. Almost 20 percent of work injuries may be caused by equipment failure, says "Equipment Failures and Their Contribution to Industrial Incidents and Accidents."
The result of defective machinery accidents can be severe injuries such as broken bones, burns, electric shock, traumatic brain injury, or spinal cord injuries. These injuries can leave workers with substantial medical expenses. In addition, their injuries may leave them temporarily - or permanently - unable to work. They can also be fatal.
Help for Mississippi Workers Injured by Defective Machinery
In general, injured workers and the families of deadly work accidents can apply for workers' compensation benefits. The program provides compensation for work-related injury and illness medical treatment and partially lost wages. Collecting the full benefits you deserve, however, is not easy. Employers often deny claims, and insurance companies will use any excuse to undervalue your expenses, wages, and pain.
Tabor Law Firm, P.A., is a leading Mississippi workers' compensation law firm with years of experience getting maximum results for employees injured at work. If you were injured, contact our offices in Ridgeland and Jackson for help navigating the complex claims system and collecting the compensation you deserve. We offer free case consultations to potential clients.
Here's some more information about defective machinery injuries at work.
Why Does Some Work Machinery Malfunction?
Employers are not supposed to provide their employees with defective, worn-out, or broken equipment or machinery. When a unit breaks down or malfunctions, it must be taken offline and repaired or replaced, according to Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards. Unfortunately, this doesn't always happen, and workers get injured. There are many types of equipment failures. A malfunction may be progressive or sudden, partial or complete, catalectic or deterioration. Some of the most common reasons for defective machinery malfunction include the following:
- Improper placement of machinery, like installing an unbalanced unit or putting a machine in a place it can overheat or rust.
- Faulty wiring.
- Low-quality parts and materials.
- Lack of, or removal of, safety features like guards and automatic shutoff switches.
- Assembly errors.
- Installation mistakes.
Workers at Risk
It's not clear which workers face the highest risk of being injured in a defective machinery-related accident. The U.S. keeps tabs on employees injured in equipment-related accidents but does not track whether the equipment is defective. Overall, the industries with workers who face the highest risk of machinery-related injuries include:
- Farming and agriculture.
- Mining (mainly coal and anthracite).
- Food production.
- Hospitals and health care (especially nurses).
- Meat processing.
- Home construction.
- Wholesale, warehouse, shipping, and storage.
- Air travel.
- Waste collection and management.
Machinery-related injuries tend to be severe - with or without a defect. When equipment malfunctions, it can crush, cut, strike, scald, or compress an employee. Defective machinery accidents at work can cause severe injuries and lifelong disabilities.
The components most likely to be faulty in a defective equipment accident are mechanical, building, electrical, instrumentation/control, and infrastructural, according to researchers. The defects that caused the most injuries were mechanical and involved pneumatic controls, compressed air, forklift and pallet truck batteries, and electric sensors.
The more powerful the equipment, the more damage it can do if it malfunctions. Common workplace machinery with the potential to do serious damage if not properly built, installed, used, and maintained include:
- Welding machines.
- Front-end loaders.
- Turning machines.
- Conveyor belts.
- Medical devices.
We Fight to Protect Injured Mississippi Workers' Rights
Employees who are injured by defective machinery may be eligible for workers' compensation benefits and might also have a strong case for a third-party lawsuit against the manufacturer or another entity.
For example, you may have a case if the employer acted with extreme negligence and caused the defect by removing safety guards and other mechanisms meant for employee safety. The key is to talk to an attorney as soon as possible to review your rights and potential legal options.
Tabor Law Firm, P.A. has a reputation for developing strong cases that uphold victims' rights and demand the highest amount of compensation. If you were injured or a loved one died in a Mississippi work accident, contact us for a free case consultation. A member of our staff can explain how the law applies to your specific situation, estimate the value of your claim, and help weigh your options.
Don't delay. Strict deadlines apply to work injury lawsuits and workers' compensation applications. Contact us today to schedule your free case consultation.