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Dangerous or Defective Equipment on a Jobsite – Your Remedies

Seeking Compensation for Injuries Caused by Dangerous or Defective Equipment on a Jobsite

Cement truck at construction siteIn today’s world, many workers face daily risk of injury because of exposure to inherently dangerous machines and equipment, or because of the potential for breakdown of heavy machinery. Here are important things you need to know about a workplace injury involving a defective or poorly designed workplace machine, tool or product.

  • You can seek workers’ compensation benefits for any injuries sustained—Workers’ compensation is designed, in Delaware and Pennsylvania, to be your exclusive remedy for injuries caused by the negligence or wrongful acts of an employer or co-employee. Your employer has a duty to ensure that the equipment or machinery used on a jobsite does not pose an unreasonable risk of injury to you. This may include assessing the design or manufacture of a tool, machine or piece of equipment. If you can make any argument that your employer failed to use reasonable care in using or bringing in a tool, machine or piece of equipment, you can seek benefits through the state’s workers’ compensation program.
  • In many instances, you can also file a lawsuit against the manufacturer, designer or distributor of the machine, tool, product or piece of equipment—In most instances, the machines or tools you use at work are obtained from a source other than your employer. Because workers’ compensation benefits only cover losses for which your employer has responsibility, you can circumvent the workers’ compensation system for any injuries caused by the negligence or wrongful act of someone other than your employer or a co-employee. This is known as a “third party” action, because you are allowed to file a lawsuit against a “third party”—someone other than you or your employer.
  • While you cannot typically recover twice for the same injury, you can simultaneously seek damages from your employer in a workers’ compensation claim, and from others in a “third party claim.” The amount recovered from workers’ compensation will relieve your employer of any additional liability, and the amount received in a lawsuit must be specifically for losses caused by the third party.

Contact the Law Office of Michael J. Hood

At the law office of Michael J. Hood, in Wilmington, we bring more than 30 years of experience to personal injury victims in Delaware. For a free initial consultation, contact us online or call our office at (302) 777-1000 for an appointment.

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