Pursuing a Claim for Defective Machinery in the Workplace 

By Jon Lewis on Nov 02 in Industrial Accident, Lewis & Feldman Blog.

Pursuing a Claim for Defective Machinery in the Workplace 

Complex machinery and heavy equipment are used in many workplaces in Alabama. The manufacturing industry, the construction industry, and many other employers require workers to use machinery. Unfortunately, not all machinery is as safe as it should be. Defective machinery and equipment in the workplace can cause severe injuries. 

A worker injured due to defective machinery or equipment has the right to pursue both a workers’ comp claim as well as a personal injury lawsuit directly against the at-fault manufacturer. In this article, our Birmingham product liability attorney provides a comprehensive overview of the key things to know about pursuing justice in a defective machinery in the workplace accident claim. 

Defective Machinery is Extremely Dangerous

Any type of defective machinery or equipment in the workplace can cause severe, even life-altering injuries. Workers in Alabama should be able to have faith that the equipment that they rely on to do their job has been properly manufactured and maintained. Faulty machinery, faulty equipment, and faulty tools can put a worker at significant risk. If you or your loved one was injured on the job and defective machinery/equipment contributed to the accident, you need to know your rights. 

Workers’ Comp is an Exclusive Remedy—But Only Against Your Own Employer

You cannot file a personal injury against your own employer in Birmingham. As explained by the Alabama Department of Labor, workers’ compensation insurance is an “exclusive remedy.” In effect, this means that your exclusive claim against your employer is a no-fault workers’ compensation claim. Injured employees in Alabama can seek medical coverage and wage replacement benefits regardless of how their workplace accident occurred. However, Alabama’s workers’ comp law does not prevent injured workers from taking legal action against other parties. THERE ARE EXCEPTIONS WHERE YOU CAN SUE THE EMPLOYER – REMOVAL OF A SAFETY DEVICE ETC

You Can Sue a Manufacturer for Harm Caused By Defective Machinery (Third Party Liability) 

In the context of workplace injuries, a third-party liability claim is a claim filed against any party other than the injured worker’s own employer. You have a right to file a personal injury lawsuit against non-employer defendants. IN ORDER FOR THERE TO BE COVERAGE, THESE CO-EMPLOYEE SUITS MUST BE AGAINST TOP MANAGEMENT, OFFICERS, DIRECTORS ETC>If your injuries occurred because of defective machinery or defective equipment, it is likely that your claim is a product liability claim. You may have a claim for: 

  • A design defect; 
  • A manufacturing defect; or 
  • Failure to warn. 

It is important to note that Alabama’s harsh contributory NEGLIGENCE standard may be an issue in some product liability cases. An equipment manufacturer may try to defect liability by blaming an injured worker for their own accident. Protect yourself from unfair blame: Consult with an experienced defective equipment lawyer as soon as possible after an accident. 

Note: You still have the right to file a workers’ compensation claim even if you are bringing a third-party liability lawsuit against a machinery/equipment manufacturer. If you were hurt on the job in Alabama, you should always exercise your right to file for workers’ comp benefits. 

What to Know About the Timeline for a Defective Machinery Workplace Injury Claims 

Were you or a loved one injured on the job due to defective machinery in North Central Alabama? If so, it is crucial that you take proactive steps to protect your health, safety, and legal rights. Here is a basic overview of the timeline/deadlines in these cases: 

  • Medical Care: You need to seek immediate medical attention for a machinery-related accident. Emergency medical needs come first. See a doctor and get the proper follow-up care. You cannot bring a personal injury claim in Alabama without medical records. 
  • Notify Employer: Alabama’s workers’ comp laws require an injured employee to notify their employer of the incident in a timely manner. Make sure your immediate supervisor is aware of what happened. 
  • FIle for Workers’ Comp: You should file for no-fault workers’ comp benefits for a work-related injury. In Alabama, there is a two-year statute of limitations to file for workers’ comp. Do not wait to file for your workers’ comp benefits. 
  • File a Product Liability Lawsuit: You can pursue a fault-based defective product claim against the manufacturer of the machinery or equipment. This claim must generally be filed within two years of the date of the accident. Though, the statute of limitations is one year for certain defective product claims in the state. 

You do not want to fall behind a corporation or its insurance company in the legal claims process. They waste little time in building their legal defense against a serious injury claim. The sooner you consult with an experienced Alabama product liability lawyer, the better position you will be in to secure justice, accountability, and the maximum financial compensation.  

Recovering Compensation Through a Third-Party Liability Claim in Alabama

Following a serious accident in the workplace, it is imperative that you have access to the full and proper financial relief that you need to pay bills and provide for your family. You cannot rely on your employer, a corporation (manufacturer), or an insurance company to protect your best interests. Our Alabama third-party liability work injury lawyers are aggressive, experienced advocates for victims and families. It is our core mission to get clients the maximum settlement or verdict.  If you or your loved one was injured by defective workplace machinery, you may be entitled to recover financial compensation for: 

  • Emergency medical treatment; 
  • Health care bills and other medical costs;
  • Lost wages and diminished earning potential; 
  • Pain and suffering and emotional anguish;
  • Permanent scarring/disfigurement; 
  • Long-term disability; and 
  • Wrongful death of a family member. 

Contact Our Birmingham, Alabama, Defective Workplace Machinery Injury Attorney Today

At Lewis & Feldman, LLC, our Birmingham product liability lawyer has the skills and experience to handle defective workplace machinery cases. If you or your loved one was hurt due to defective machinery in the workplace, we can help. Call us now at 205-896-6410 or send us a direct message to set up a free, no-commitment case review. From our Birmingham law office, we represent injured workers throughout the entire region, including in Jefferson County and Shelby County. 

Services Offered at Lewis & Feldman, LLC:

Personal Injury | Truck Accidents | Auto Accidents | Pedestrian Accidents