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What to Do if Your Construction Site Accident Was Caused by Defective Equipment

March 24, 2020 |

More worker accidents, injuries and deaths occur in construction than in any other industry, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). In 2018, 21.1% of all fatal workplace accidents occurred in the construction industry, causing a total of 1,008 worker deaths. Many different hazards can cause construction site accidents, including poorly built scaffolds and negligent coworkers. Common hazards are defective construction equipment, tools and materials. If defective equipment caused your recent construction site accident as a worker or bystander in Montana, take the correct steps toward recovering compensation.

Report the Injury to Your Supervisor

If you were working at the time of your accident, report your accident and injury to your supervisor, manager or employer right away. Failure to report your injury fast enough could prevent you from recovering through the Montana workers’ compensation system. In general, you must report your injury within 30 days of the accident to have a valid claim. Even if you decide to file a product liability lawsuit instead of settling through workers’ compensation, report your accident to your supervisor to create a record of the injury occurring. This could help you prove the cause of your injury later.

Go to the Hospital

Obtain immediate medical care after a work-related injury. The strength of your product liability claim could depend on whether you obtain emergency health care services. Insurance companies want to see that you did your part to recover from your injuries by visiting a local hospital without delay. Going to a doctor right away could also improve your odds of physically recovering from your product-related injury. Request copies of all medical records and documents connected to your injury.

Document Your Accident

Start creating a case file related to your defective product lawsuit. Add items to your file such as photographs of the scene of the workplace accident, medical records, eyewitness statements and accident reports. If you have a serious injury that will take you out of work, collect pay stubs and any letters from your employer. Obtain the names of eyewitnesses and the supervisor you told about your injury. The more information you can gather about your defective product construction accident, the stronger your claim to damages could become.

Retain a Montana Product Liability Attorney

Defective products are common causes of construction worker injuries in the U.S. Examples of defective construction equipment are vehicles, cranes, electrical components, power tools, ladders and scaffolds. A defective product could malfunction or break while in use, causing severe construction worker injuries. If this happened to you, take the evidence related to your case to a Montana product liability attorney near you to discuss potential outlets for financial compensation for your injury and damages. A lawyer can help you negotiate your insurance settlement or represent you during a product liability trial in Montana. An attorney will not let you settle for less than your injuries are worth. Consult with a Montana construction accident lawyer before making any decisions about your construction site accident case.

File a Claim

File a workers’ compensation claim to receive benefits to cover your medical expenses and two-thirds of your lost wages. Accepting an insurance settlement will not prevent you from bringing a product liability cause of action against a third-party product manufacturer or distributor. It will, however, bar you from filing a negligence claim against your employer. Next, work with your lawyer to bring a product liability lawsuit in your county.

The laws of strict liability mean you typically do not have to prove the manufacturing company’s negligence to obtain compensation for a defective piece of construction equipment. It will generally be enough to show the construction equipment contained a defect, caused your injuries and that you have damages as a result. A lawsuit against the manufacturing company could hold it accountable for the damages a workers’ compensation settlement did not already cover. It could also force the manufacturer to change its safety protocols in the future. If you were not working at the time of the accident, a product liability lawsuit might be your only outlet for financial recovery.