Any injured Alabama employee can certainly appreciate a workers’ compensation system that pays expenses related to on-the-job injury, usually without regard for liability on the part of the employee or the employer. Still, when a third party causes the injury, liability issues can be back on the table.
Our Tuscaloosa workers compensation lawyers regularly assist workers who are seriously injured by defective or otherwise-unsafe equipment. In these cases, workers’ compensation still provides the benefits needed for immediate treatment, but injury victims have every right to pursue additional compensation from any third party responsible for the condition of the equipment.
All too often, workers assume that their own negligence somehow caused equipment to injure them, such as in the following circumstances:
Of course, every situation has unique aspects, but as a general rule, individuals should not suffer injuries when they use equipment at work. Whether a manufacturer built an unsafe device that injured a worker, or even if a repair shop caused injuries due to errors made during routine maintenance, there is a good chance that a third party was ultimately liable.
Never assume that misuse of a product automatically absolves other parties of liability for injuries. Alabama product liability statute generally holds product manufacturers accountable for consumer safety in a wide array of situations. Similarly liability can fall to parties entrusted to the repair and maintenance of equipment that injures an individual.
In fact, even labels placed directly on equipment to warn about safety hazards may not protect manufacturers from liability. If an announced hazard causes injuries, there is a good chance that the law would question whether the hazard should have been addressed before releasing the product to the public.
When a workplace injury occurs, the first order of business is to seek medical attention through an Alabama workers’ compensation claim. If there is any question about whether the injury might have been avoided with safer equipment, however, it costs nothing to talk with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney who is equally skilled in personal injury law.
A Recent Workplace Accident Could Qualify for a Third Party Lawsuit, Tuscaloosa Workers’ Compensation/Work Injury blog