Many construction accident cases involve defective machinery or equipment, so construction accident lawyers are extremely familiar with product liability cases. When an accident happens because of equipment failure, the manufacturer may be liable for the accident.
If you believe your construction accident happened because of defective equipment or machinery, contact Vaughan & Vaughan. Our Indianapolis construction accident lawyers can guide you through the legal process and help you win compensation for your accident.
Defective Equipment and Product Liability
Sometimes, it’s not a particular person who causes a construction accident but a problem with machinery or equipment. In that case, the manufacturer may be liable for the accident.
You see this with car recalls all the time. A car recall forces manufacturers to admit that there is a problem with their product and offer a way to fix or replace it. If they didn’t, they would be liable for anyone who had the product.
If you’re the victim of a construction accident caused by defective equipment or machinery, you may have a valid claim against the manufacturer. Our construction accident lawyers can work to prove the manufacturer made an error that caused your injury, and you can get paid damages for it.
A manufacturer and their insurer will want to avoid paying damages, so one thing they may ask is if the equipment was maintained properly. If the equipment or machinery failed because it wasn’t maintained or replaced according to the recommended schedule, then someone else may be at fault.
For example, if a forklift mechanic didn’t install brakes correctly, that’s not the fault of the forklift manufacturer. We could hold the mechanic liable for their incorrect installation. More rarely, it may be the manufacturer of a replacement part that caused the fault.
Some employers have shoddy or worn personal protective equipment on job sites. Worn PPE must be replaced so workers can stay safe. Your lawyer will investigate whether maintenance may have been the root cause of the defective equipment or machinery that harmed you so they don’t waste time suing a manufacturer who isn’t liable.
What Is Strict Liability?
Most product liability cases are strict liability cases. In this kind of case, you don’t have to prove that the manufacturer acted negligently when they designed the product.
Even if the manufacturer took great care in the design and manufacturing, they are still liable if you can prove the item was defective. To do this, we must show a reasonable consumer would have found the product defective when used reasonably.
There is also a risk-utility test. Construction sites have many dangerous tools and machinery that are risky to operators and others around them. However, the utility of these tools outweighs the inherent risk of harm.
That said, if they don’t warn you of a risk in advance, they may have had a defect in marketing, and you could sue for that. This is why so many product manuals have so many obvious warnings!
How a Construction Accident Lawyer Helps You in These Cases
Construction accident lawyers handle cases involving defective equipment and machinery. The first vital task is identifying the liable party. We must learn how the accident happened and discover the root of the problem so we know who to sue.
It could be a fault inherent in the design. The factory may have failed to follow the design and introduced a defect. You could have received faulty instructions from a distributor about how to use the item. Finally, there may be a problem with how it was maintained or the recommended maintenance schedule.
Identifying the liable party is just the first step. A construction accident lawyer will help you through the rest of the process of seeking compensation, from explaining your legal rights to negotiating with insurers, all the way to taking defendants to court if they refuse to come to a fair settlement.
Basic Advice for Accidents Caused by Defective Equipment on Job Sites
The biggest mistake you can make after a construction accident is not reporting it to an authority on the job. Put in writing what happened to your manager, foreperson, GC, or whoever you report to. Texting or email is fine. If you were taken straight to the hospital, report it formally when you’ve recovered enough to do so.
Take photos and videos of the accident scene, the defective equipment, and your injuries. If you can’t do it, someone else can with their phone. Document as much as you can. These photos can make a difference in proving product liability.
Finally, hire a construction accident attorney as soon as possible. Even if your employer is on your side and agrees you need compensation, their insurer will try to pay you as little as they can. Call us so we can protect you against insurance company tactics and help you maximize your workers’ compensation claim.
Are Cases Involving Defective Machinery Worth More?
It’s impossible to say because every case is unique. Some of your damages will be easy to figure out, like your medical bills and lost wages. But you may have many other damages that aren’t easy to add up, like your pain and suffering or future lost income.
No attorney will tell you how much your case is worth until they investigate what happened and hear your story. Get started by calling Vaughan & Vaughan as soon as you can to learn your legal options and start recovering the full value of your claim.
We Handle Defective Equipment and Machinery Cases
Accidents involving defective equipment and machinery can leave victims with catastrophic injuries or even fatal ones. Contact us immediately if defective equipment or machinery injured you or a loved one on the job site.