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What happens if a machine malfunction leads to a worker injury?

On Behalf of | Jan 15, 2024 | Catastrophic Injuries

Blue-collar workers in numerous professions have to operate heavy machinery or do their jobs close to dangerous equipment. For example, those in a factory may use tool and dye equipment, while those working in construction may operate massive earth-moving equipment.

If those machines malfunction, the outcome of that situation can prove devastating for a worker. People can end up hurt by physical contact, electrocuted or thrown from a significant elevation. Sometimes, people develop permanent injuries. Other times, workers might even die because of a heavy machinery malfunction.

How can people obtain compensation when heavy machines malfunction and cause a workplace injury or death?

Machinery injury cases can be complex

Some workplace injury plans are quite straightforward. An hourly worker slips in spilled soda, breaks a bone, and gets workers’ compensation coverage for medical care and their temporary lost wages. Other times, there can be many questions about the compensation available and someone’s eligibility for certain benefits.

A construction worker might be a self-employed professional or an independent contractor. Therefore, Iowa workers’ compensation coverage would not apply if they get hurt at work. However, given that the injury related to a piece of machinery malfunctioning, they may have grounds to pursue a third-party lawsuit against the manufacturer of the device that malfunctioned or a business that maintained or rented out the heavy machinery.

In some cases, the machinery malfunction could relate to some type of negligence on the part of a property owner. The party that hired the construction crew may have some liability or an incident that leaves a worker injured in some cases.

Even if the person hurt by defective equipment is an employee, not a contractor, they may want to consider a third-party lawsuit as a way to recoup not only their medical expenses but the totality of their lost wages. Workers’ compensation doesn’t provide full reimbursement for lost income.

It can be very difficult for workers to understand their rights and options after they get hurt at a blue-collar job. Going over the circumstances that led to an injury with an attorney may help someone identify the best options for compensation when they cannot work because of an incident related to malfunctioning machinery.