Tennessee Construction Injury Law: Defective Equipment
The construction industry requires those who work in it to at some point work with a wide variety of different equipment, tools, machinery, and vehicles. In recent years, advancements in technology have enabled workers and crews to complete their jobs more quickly and efficiently on projects big and small. The experienced attorneys at InjuryTN understand that construction companies don’t always make safety an effort on par with their efforts to achieve goals of effectiveness and timeliness. In cases were a construction company is unable to adequately train their workers to operate their machinery and equipment, provide the appropriate safety gear required for operation, or thoroughly maintain the equipment in use, the possibility of an injury occurring is much higher.
Similarly, in the event that equipment is not designed or produced in compliance with established safety regulations or with inherent possibilities of reasonably foreseeable danger resulting from ordinary use, those working on site have an even higher chance of sustaining some form of injury.
Risks of Using Defective Equipment
Although defective equipment is troublesome in any industry, the sheer size and power of those used in construction make the likelihood of a catastrophic accident occurring much higher. The Occupational Safety & Health Administrations (OSHA) has reported a yearly total of construction worker deaths exceeding one thousand. The majority of them would not have suffered fatally if it weren’t for the manufacturer’s inability to produce safe construction equipment. Just as many would still be alive today if not for the persons or entities responsible for maintaining safe operation, conducting routine inspection, and taking care of necessary repairs.
The types of equipment, tools, and machinery will vary from site to site, but those most commonly involved in construction accidents include:
- Nail Guns
- Pallet Jacks
- Pressure Vessels
- Skid-Steer Loaders
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If you have been injured in a construction accident caused by defective equipment, talking to an attorney about protecting your rights is the best option for moving forward.
Product Liability in Construction Accidents
While supervisors usually are protected from workers’ compensation litigation, your case may have circumstantial evidence that may lend for legal grounds on which a lawsuit may be filed against the distributors, manufacturers, or designers of the defective equipment. Usually, product liability cases are required to prove that the product was the direct cause of the injury, that the piece of equipment in use was defective and that it was this defect made which made it unfit for use.
Failure to warn, defective design, and defective manufacture are the three essential claims which could be filed when an injury occurs as a result of defective equipment.
- Defective Design – The plaintiff will be required to prove that the product had been flawed prior to its production. This means that there was a flaw in the equipment’s design which rendered it inherently hazardous.
- Defective Manufacture – The plaintiff will be required to prove than an issue existed during the assembly or production of the equipment which rendered it unfit for use. This may additionally include the inability to set up all parts needed, using too many parts, or continuing to use inferior parts.
- Failure to Warn (defective marketing) – The plaintiff will be required to prove that a flaw existed in the manner in which the product was marketed. Typically with cases involving construction equipment defects, this would also include problems with erroneous labeling, insufficient hazard warnings, and ineffective written guidance.
Occasionally in such cases, the court will need to determine whether the product had been used beyond its intended purpose when the accident occurred. It is usually then that the defendant attempts to claim that utilizing their product differently than instructed is not something for which they can be held accountable.
In reality, manufacturers may be culpable for damages occurring as a result of product alterations in the event that such alterations have made the product unfit for use or that the manufacturer is aware of or should be aware of the likelihood that such changes would be made. Unfortunately, this occurs more than one would expect, and in cases like this, the product designers, distributors, and manufacturers bear the responsibility of warning users against such uses in addition to the inherent possibility of danger.
If the company was not provided with suitable guidance in regards to what maintenance and reparations will need to be done routinely, then the responsibility for their inability to adequately maintain and repair the product may belong to the manufacturer.
Talk to a Construction Accident Attorney Today
Construction workers who have been injured because of defective equipment will probably have to file numerous claims. It is likely that there will be a workers’ compensation claim in addition to claims for personal injury against third parties. Because of this, cases involving defective, dangerous, or hazardous products will require a team of experienced attorneys who are committed to providing clients with compassionate legal representation and have a reputation for success.
Contact our office today to schedule your free initial case evaluation with an experienced Tennessee personal injury attorney. You pay no costs or fees until we win your case.