Industrial worksites are hazardous places to work. If workers are not adhering
to safety protocols and ensuring that they are working safely, accidents
can happen that lead to serious injuries. When a worker suffers an injury
during a workplace accident, an investigation should be launched into
the cause of the accident so that it can be determined which party or
parties are liable. Determining liability in a workplace accident can
be complex. There are usually multiple parties that could be responsible
or share in responsibility for causing the accident. Determining liability
can only be done after a thorough investigation.
Potentially Liable Parties
While each accident is unique and subject to the facts of the particular
incident, the following parties are generally investigated for liability.
OSHA guidelines mandate that employers provide workers with a reasonably
safe workplace. Employers who do not meet those requirements can be held
liable for any injuries that occur at the worksite.
Some of the obligations that employers have are as follows:
- Training employees in safe work practices
- Providing employees with protective equipment
- Keeping the workplace free of hazardous materials and objects that could
- Posting warning signs near dangerous equipment or hazardous areas
For example, if a worker is injured after falling off of a piece of scaffolding
and the worker was not provided proper fall protection or fall prevention
equipment, the employer could be held liable for the injuries suffered
by the employee.
During the investigation, it may be found that the accident was caused
by defective equipment. For example, a piece of machinery that malfunctions
and causes injury to the worker operating the machinery. In the case of
defective equipment, the manufacturer of the product could be held liable
for the injuries suffered by the employee. In some cases, the seller of
the equipment could potentially be liable if there was a misrepresentation
of the quality or intended use of the product.
Sometimes when workers are injured on the job, they are partially responsible
for the accident that caused the injury. For example, a worker who was
injured while misusing a tool or because he or she failed to follow established
safety procedures could share in liability for the accident.
However, even the injured worker was partially at fault for the accident,
that does not preclude him or her from filing a lawsuit or worker’s
Most states have what is called “comparative negligence.” Comparative
negligence means that if multiple parties are responsible for the accident,
they will each be responsible for covering their share of the damages
to the injured worker. For example, if it is determined that the worker
was 30% responsible for the accident, any compensation that is awarded
to the worker will be reduced by 30%.
Why You Need a Worksite Injury Lawyer
If you were injured at work, the company will likely launch an investigation
into the cause of the accident immediately. This is done with the oversight
of a team of company lawyers that are looking for ways to absolve the
company of any liability so that it will not have to compensate the injured
worker. That is why it is extremely important that you consult with an
experienced and aggressive worksite injury lawyer as soon as possible.
By having a lawyer looking out for your best interests, you can help ensure
that you are afforded all of your legal rights and are compensated fairly
for your injuries.
At Arnold & Itkin, we have helped thousands of injured workers all
across the United States recover compensation for their injuries.
Contact our worksite injury lawyers today to learn how we can help you.