You won’t be surprised to learn that any incidents involving heavy machinery can be very serious indeed. Sadly, people often sustain life-changing or life-threatening injuries when heavy machinery malfunctions or is used improperly.
Although heavy machinery accidents can sometimes affect members of the public, they’re more commonly associated with workplace injuries. If you work on a construction site and you’re involved in an incident involving heavy machinery, for example, you might want to know if you can take legal action against the person or people responsible.
Claiming Workers’ Compensation
If you’re an employee and you’re affected by a heavy machinery accident, you could be eligible to claim workers’ compensation. Every employer is required to take out workers’ comp insurance, which means that employees can seek financial compensation if they’re hurt while performing their duties.
You won’t need to prove that anyone was necessarily at fault in order to obtain workers’ comp, but you will need to show that your injuries weren’t intentionally inflicted and that they weren’t caused by an illegal act.
Although workers’ comp benefits can cover your medical expenses and replace some of the wages lost if you’ve been unable to work due to your injuries, you’ll only be able to make this type of claim if you’re classed as an employee.
Other Ways to Obtain Compensation
If you’re not classed as an employee but you’ve been hurt at work due to a heavy machinery accident, you may be able to take legal action in a different way. If the equipment malfunctioned and is shown to have a fault, for example, the manufacturers could be held liable, and you may be able to obtain compensation from them.
Alternatively, if an individual or a company intentionally, recklessly or negligently causes you harm, you could be eligible to make a personal injury claim against them directly. When a heavy machinery accident can be attributed to intentional, reckless or negligent action, you can include the cost of medical treatment and loss of wages in your claim, but you can also incorporate pain and suffering, as well as punitive damages into your legal action. Due to this, even employees who are able to claim workers’ comp may choose to make a direct claim against an employer, if they’re eligible to do so.
How Much Are You Entitled to?
When you make a claim following a workplace injury, the amount you will receive will depend on numerous factors. Workers’ comp benefits for lost wages depend on your average weekly income, for example, while the consequences of your injuries can be taken into account when you make a direct claim against your employer.
As people are often unaware of what they’re eligible to claim following a workplace accident, it’s advisable to get legal advice. By finding out what your rights are and working with workers’ comp attorneys, you can establish whether you have a claim and, if so, your legal team will help you to obtain the compensation you deserve.