Who Is Liable In A Work Accident Caused By Defective Equipment?

Any time an employee is injured or killed in a workplace accident, determining how the accident occurred and putting safety protocol in place to prevent similar accidents in the future is imperative. This is especially true when it comes to potentially avoidable on-the-job injuries or fatalities are caused by defective tools, equipment or heavy machinery, which occur far too often in the construction industry and other inherently dangerous industries. If you have been injured in a GA workplace accident, or if you lost a loved one in a fatal accident on the job, consult our experienced workers’ compensation attorneys at Rechtman & Spevak to explore your compensation options.

Factors to Consider in a GA Job Site Accident

In the event of a Georgia workplace accident involving defective equipment, there are two main questions that should be asked by the injured worker and his or her family:

  • Were significant maintenance milestones missed?
  • Did a defect in the design make equipment failure more likely?

A recent example of an avoidable workplace accident caused by defective equipment comes from South Boston, Virginia, where an accounts receivable clerk was killed by a steel vault door that unexpectedly fell off its hinges and crushed her as she was opening the vault to start her work day. In most cases, hinges on vault doors and other doors require very little attention beyond the occasional lubrication and inspection for secure fastening, but if this minor maintenance is overlooked or if the hinges or the door itself are poorly made, the consequences can be devastating.

Third-Party Product Liability Claims

Employers, supervisors and workers themselves can take every precaution to avoid an on-the-job accident, but when a piece of equipment or machinery is defective in design or manufacture, it’s only a matter of time before the equipment fails and causes a serious work-related injury or fatality. In the case of the accounts receivable clerk killed by the vault door, there is no question that her family is entitled to workers’ compensation death benefits, which do not take liability into consideration, but they may also have grounds to bring a separate negligence claim or third-party product liability lawsuit against the company that manufactured or supplied the equipment, if it is determined that a defect in the vault door is what caused her death.

Our Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Can Help

If you or a loved one has suffered injuries resulting from an on-the-job accident in Atlanta, Marietta, or elsewhere in Georgia, contact our reputable workers’ compensation lawyers at Rechtman & Spevak today for legal help. Our law firm is located in Atlanta, and our attorneys have years of experience protecting the rights of injured workers and their families throughout the state of Georgia.