What to Do When Defective Equipment Causes a Construction Site Injury

NYC construction worker injured by defective equipmentIt may not always be easy to identify who is to blame when equipment causes an injury on a New York City construction site. For example, is an employer to blame for failing to fix a ladder that caused a fall, or is the manufacturer of the ladder liable for making a faulty product? In many cases where an injury involves a defective product, there may be multiple parties who can share legal responsibility for the costs of the accident.

Potentially Liable Parties in a Construction Injury Case

It is always a good idea to seek the advice of a construction accident lawyer to determine liability after an accident. Employers and contractors will rarely admit that they are to blame for an accident, and may even convince the employee that he or she caused the accident in order to avoid paying for the costs of the injury. Not only can an attorney determine the true cause of the accident, he or she can make a full investigation to see if a third-party’s negligence contributed to the injury.

What Can Your Construction Equipment Injury Lawyer Help Discover?

Whether the equipment was properly designed 

Equipment may be inherently flawed due to a defect in the design, making failure unreasonably likely.

Whether the Equipment Was Improperly Manufactured

From hand tools to heavy machinery, all equipment must be assembled according to the design and tested rigorously to minimize the risk of injury.

Whether There Was Adequate Warning of Danger 

Multiple parties can be liable for a failure to warn of the hazards of construction site equipment, including manufacturers, distributors, and inspectors.

Whether the Equipment Suffered Repair or Maintenance Defects

Construction site owners and operators have a duty to ensure that equipment is properly maintained and repaired.

The answers to these questions can provide important information about who was responsible for your accident, and can have a significant impact on the amount of compensation that you are entitled to for your medical bills and lost wages.

Special Considerations for Construction Workers in NY and NJ

There are many different ways workers can collect payment for injuries caused by defective construction equipment. The first thing workers should do is file for workers’ compensation so that their medical bills and lost wages will be paid for during their recovery. While workers’ compensation can provide immediate benefits, it is also limited in the amount of compensation it will provide for an injury.

If a defective product on a construction site has caused severe injury or permanent disability, the injured worker may qualify for additional compensation through:

  • Third-party cases. If the manufacturer created or distributed a defective product that resulted in an injury, workers can file a product liability claim against the company that made the equipment. Unlike workers’ compensation benefits, a third-party claim can provide payment for non-economic damages, including pain and suffering and reduced quality of life.
  • Labor Law 200. Under New York state labor laws, construction site owners and contractors have a duty to make workplaces reasonably safe for employees. Owners, contractors, and subcontractors who do not remove faulty equipment or properly train employees on safety measures may be sued for the costs of an injury.
  • Labor Law 241. If an injury was caused by defective or outdated safety equipment, an employee may be owed compensation under Labor Law 241.
  • Wrongful death. In addition to workers’ compensation death benefits, family members may file a wrongful death lawsuit for a construction worker’s lost income and the cost of any medical care and treatment related to the fatal injury.

If you or someone you love has been injured by a piece of defective construction equipment, a construction accident attorney can help you identify the potentially liable parties and pursue the damages to which you are entitled. Simply fill out our quick online contact form or call (800) 362-9329 to speak with a construction injury lawyer at Hofmann & Schweitzer today.

 

Timothy F. Schweitzer
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Tim Schweitzer is a personal injury lawyer specializing in maritime, construction and railroad injury claims.