Orange County Attorneys Explain Collecting
Workers Comp for Machinery Accidents
Machinery accidents are consistently listed in the top ten causes of work related injuries. Our experienced Long Beach lawyers have assisted hundreds of employees obtain the workers compensation they deserve for injuries sustained in machinery accidents.
Moving gears, pneumatic presses, conveyor belts, saws & cutters, and molten materials can all result in debilitating injuries. Machinery accidents – which can lead to fractures, amputations, head & brain injuries, paralysis, crushing, and even death – are among the most devastating work related injuries. Machinery accident injuries are most commonly seen in industrial, factory or construction settings.
Statistics on Machinery Accidents in the Workplace
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics 2022 Employer-Reported Workplace Injuries Report, an estimated 2.8 million nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses occurred in private industry in 2022. 1.1 million cases involved days of job transfer or restriction (DJTR), with a median of 15 days away from work. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has reported that machines and equipment were the leading cause of fatal occupational injuries in 2020, accounting for 39.2% of deaths. Transportation incidents, followed by falls, slips and trips were the next leading cause of workplace injuries.
Specific machinery hazards and risks vary within each industry. However, the manufacturing industry – which includes various sub-industries with high machine use – leads the pack in frequency of workplace machinery accidents. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the manufacturing industry rate for injuries involving machinery was 146.7 cases per 10,000 full-time workers in 2020.
Metalworkers were particularly prone to crush injuries, amputations, and lacerations from saws, presses, and shears. Construction workers ranked second in machinery-related injury rates, with 144.9 per 10,000 workers in 2020. Falls from equipment, struck-by incidents with machinery, and electrocution are also common causes of construction site injury.
Workers who operate sawmill and woodworking machinery are in danger of experiencing amputations and lacerations – as well as dust inhalation. Agriculture, forestry, logging, and farming also often involves heavy machinery like tractors, harvesters, and chainsaws, posing risks of crush injuries, amputations, and entanglement. While transportation and warehouse workers often operate forklifts, trucks, and other material handling equipment contribute to accidents in these industries, leading to falls, struck-by incidents, and musculoskeletal disorders.
Finally, food processing workers face machinery related risks, including cuts from slicers and mixers, burns from ovens, and falls from machinery platforms.
Can I Collect Workers Comp for a Machinery Accident Injury?
If you suffered an injury from a machinery accident while you were doing your job for your employer, you are eligible for workers’ compensation. It does not matter whose fault it was. Even if a mistake, clumsiness, or even carelessness on your part – or on the part of another employee – caused the machining injury you can still collect workers comp for a machinery injury.
In many cases, machinery accidents are also the result of improper training or defective equipment. But whatever the cause, as long as you were at work or performing your work duties, you should be covered by workers compensation for injuries from a machinery accident.
Can I Hire a Lawyer to Sue My Employer in Addition to Workers Comp?
As a general rule workers comp is your “exclusive” or only remedy against your employer. There are some very limited exceptions in California where an employee can sue their employer if the employer intentionally injured the employee – or engaged in conduct so “reckless” that the employer knew the employee would likely be injured.
Additionally, if your employer did not have workers compensation insurance – which is required by law – you can hire a lawyer to sue them.
An important, and often unknown or misunderstood exception exists for suing employers in “power press” injury cases. This is a complex area of law that can best be explained by a highly experienced workers comp lawyer.
CLICK HERE to learn more about Power Press Injury Cases
So, if you were injured at work – even if your employer and/or the workers comp insurance company told you that you could not bring a lawsuit, it is always wise to discuss your options with an experienced lawyer.
Can I Hire a Lawyer to Sue the Machine Manufacturer in Addition to Workers Comp?
You may be able to pursue a personal injury claim against the manufacturer of a machine that injured you if a design, manufacturing, or marketing defect in the machine caused your injury. This is called a third-party defective product claim. If a product manufacturer knew of the danger to employees and did not provide the proper warnings, the manufacturer may also be liable.
CLICK HERE to learn more about Third-party Defective Product Claims
Long Beach Workers Comp Lawyers | Machinery Accidents
Our experienced Long Beach Workers Comp lawyers have decades of experience, and have collected millions of dollars for employees in Orange County and the Los Angeles who were injured in machinery accidents over the years. If you are suffering from a work related injury, and you would like to understand your options, call our workers comp lawyers for a free consultation.
Long Beach Workers Comp Lawyers: 562-622-4800
Long Beach Workers Comp lawyers serving Los Angeles, Orange County & Southern California, including: Anaheim, Carson, Bellflower, Compton, Downey, Fullerton, Garden Grove, Huntington Beach, La Habra, La Mirada, Lakewood, Lomita, Long Beach, San Pedro, Santa Ana, Torrance, Wilmington, Whittier & Yorba Linda.