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Who Can Be Held Liable in an Industrial Workplace Accident?

A workplace accident can occur in a seemingly endless number of ways. For James Gregory Davis, an on-the-job injury occurred when he was struck by a rubber-tired buggy that pinned him and caused a serious leg injury. Davis was subsequently hospitalized and underwent multiple surgeries to repair his fibula and tibia. He may need more surgeries in the future, and his injured leg has left him unable to work. Davis is suing ICG Coal Group LLC and Arch Coal Inc., along with another individual, for more than $4 million in damages.

Following an industrial workplace accident, an employee may suffer serious and debilitating injuries resulting in lifelong medical expenses and the inability to work. However, there are a number of parties who can be held liable for these damages. Consider the following when it comes to liable parties in an industrial workplace accident:

The employer

In the typical workplace injury case, an employee cannot bring a personal injury lawsuit against the employer and is instead limited to the benefits of a workers’ compensations claim. However, the employer may be liable for excess damages in a personal injury lawsuit if the deliberate intention of the employer was to produce the accident, injury or death.

A subcontractor

Although the primary employer may be shielded from a lawsuit by workers’ compensation, a subcontractor is not. A subcontractor on a jobsite who contributes to a workplace injury may be subject to a lawsuit regarding the injured party’s damages.

The premises owner

If a work-related injury occurred on property not owned by the employer, the owner of the property may be held liable for the victim’s damages based on premises liability. This is often the case in work-related injuries sustained by employees who perform offsite job duties.

The manufacturer of a defective product

In many industrial accident cases, the injury is caused by a defective vehicle, tool, machine or other workplace product. If the faulty product had a defective design, was manufactured negligently or came with an insufficient warning, the manufacturer can be held liable for the injured party’s damages.

After a workplace accident, there may be multiple parties liable for the employee’s damages. Contact an experienced workplace injury attorney to discuss your legal options.

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