Brian Burgess was working his job in the mine like any other day, operating a roof bolter. Unfortunately for Burgess, the controls were installed backward, and the machine crushed his hand.
Burgess filed a lawsuit against the manufacturer claiming several things, including negligent manufacture and strict product liability. If your injury stems from a defective machine or inadequate safety warnings, your claims could go beyond workers’ compensation and allow you to get more pay for your pain and suffering.
Even when you take the necessary precautions, things outside of your control can lead to harm:
- Defective design, components or manufacturing: Machines that left the factory flawed may not operate correctly once they arrive on site. This can cause accidents that are hard to avoid.
- Defective repair or rebuild: If a third-party is responsible for getting a piece of machinery back in working order, their failure to do so could mean compensation.
- Inadequate safety warnings or instructions: Manufacturers are often responsible for labeling hazards and posting guidelines to help avoid injury. If the absence of warnings or instructions contributed to your injury, you might have a claim.
The burden of proof may be a little heftier for a personal injury suit than a workers’ compensation claim. You’ll likely have to prove a few points to mark the third-party as negligent:
- You should reasonably expect a certain level of care from the third-party
- They didn’t live up to that expectation of care
- That short-coming caused your injury
- Your injuries caused you to suffer damages
Understanding the process of filing a personal injury suit apart from your workers’ compensation claim can make a big difference. Knowing your rights and being prepared to present your case can go a long way toward getting the compensation you deserve.