Defective safety equipment that causes a work injury or fails to provide adequate protection may result in a third party claim if another party is responsible for the defect. A third party claim against a manufacturer or other parties in the chain of distribution could be filed, for example. A Long Island personal injury lawyer who helps NY workers would need to prove the safety equipment was defective.
Types of Defective Safety Equipment That May Cause a Work Injury
Safety equipment can include wearable gear such as safety glasses, work gloves, vests and hardhats. One type of defect of safety gear is failure in the construction of the material. So if a hardhat is inadequately constructed to protect against falling objects or bumps on the head, it may be considered defective.
Fall protection is another class of safety equipment. According to the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA), falls are one of the most common types of serious or fatal injuries that occur in the workforce. Examples of the types of fall protection that may be used are toe-boards, coverings over holes, railings, harnesses and lines, and safety nets. Defects could cause a worker to fall and sustain a severe or life-threatening work injury.
Heavy machinery equipped with guards to protect parts of the body could cause the loss of a finger, hand or limb if faulty. This is yet another example of defective safety equipment that a Long Island personal injury lawyer may help injured NY workers address in a third party claim.
Establishing Liability in a Third Party Claim
Product liability cases can be complicated, starting with proving that something was wrong with the product. In some cases, injuries could be blamed on the employee, citing that the safety equipment was used incorrectly.
One of the ways to establish that a defect exists is by examining the product itself. It’s critical that this physical evidence is preserved after a work injury. This means not making any changes or alterations to it, leaving it just as it was at the time of the accident.
Once it can be established that the equipment was defective, the next step is to determine liability. Oftentimes it is found with the manufacturer, but others involved in the chain of distribution also may be liable. For example, an engineer, designer or even retailer may be named as a liable party, depending on the circumstances.
Unlike most personal injury cases in which negligence must be proven in order to file a claim, a claim against a manufacturer involving a defective product doesn’t require the Long Island personal injury lawyer representing the injured NY worker to prove negligence. The manufacturer might have had the best intentions in making sure the product is manufactured as it was supposed to be, but the fact that a product was defective is enough to warrant filing a claim against the manufacturer.
Damages for a Work Injury in a Third Party Claim
Although an employee could be entitled to file a workers’ compensation claim for being injured at work, a claim against a third party is separate. In fact, the employee may recover more in compensation if he or she is successful with the case compared to workers’ comp benefits.
Damages in a third party claim stemming from a defective party could address the medical expenses incurred and the wages the employee has been without while healing and recovering. But additional damages might be available, such as pain and suffering, mental anguish and more.
For instance, compensation could be available for disfigurement if the injuries caused the loss of a limb or significant scarring. If the injuries prevent the employee from returning to work because he or she is permanently disabled, there may be compensation available.
Legal Help from a Long Island Personal Injury Lawyer
Talking with a Long Island personal injury lawyer at Gacovino, Lake & Associates in NY can provide a better understanding of the legal options that may be available in a third party claim after a work injury. Call 800-246-4878 to set up a consultation.