Heavy Machinery Accidents: Who Is Responsible and How to Get Compensated?

When the accident takes place at work, you are entitled to workers compensation under Missouri law.

Many working Americans have to operate heavy machinery as part of their daily work activities. Construction workers or factory employees are common examples of workers who need to work with or next to these intricate machines and, as a result, have a higher risk of getting injured.

But how do these accidents happen?

What You Need to Know

Anyone working with heavy machinery is exposed to some degree of risk. Unfortunately, no one can guarantee a 100% safe working environment, even if there are many safety precautions in place to make sure nobody gets hurt.

While all these precautions have lowered the statistics of heavy machinery-related fatalities through the years, accidents can still happen. Why is a rather difficult question to answer, but one can trace these accidents to 3 very common scenarios:

  • An honest mistake made either by the person who got hurt or one of their colleagues
  • A machine malfunction which can cause an accident
  • Employer negligence or inability to create a safe working environment

Who Is Responsible?

If you answer the why part of the equation, you’ll most likely understand the who. For instance, if the accident took place because of a machine malfunction, you could have two potentially liable parties:

  1. The machine manufacturer, if the machine was faulty from the beginning.
  2. The employer, if they failed to uphold proper equipment maintenance.

Additionally, the responsible party could also be another employer or even yourself, depending on how the accident took place. However, because in these cases you’re most likely going to file a claim for workers compensation, liability won’t ever come into question. The insurance policy is designed to protect injured workers, so there is no need to assess liability unless the worker intentionally harmed themselves or others.

How to Receive Compensation for Your Work Accident

When the accident takes place at work, you are entitled to workers compensation under Missouri law. When you file a claim for it, you effectively waive your right to sue the employee for negligence. Moreover, even if the accident was your or another coworkers fault, workers compensation will still apply.

You have to officially inform your employer of your injury and intent to file a workers comp claim. For additional support, it’s best to first discuss your case with a St. Louis workers compensation lawyer before you file any claim.

St. Louis Workers Compensation Lawyers

For more than 25 years attorney James M. Hoffmann has spent a majority of his legal career dedicated to protecting the rights of injured workers. Based in St. Louis, and handling workers compensation cases throughout the State of Missouri, our law firm will ensure that your rights are protected.

Please call today at (314) 361-4300 or toll free at (314) 361-4300. You can also complete our Online Case Evaluation Form. All communications are returned promptly.

Updated: July 10, 2019