There are all kinds of ways that things can wrong that can result in you getting hurt on the job. One of them is having to work with a piece of dangerous or defective equipment.
First, at least in Illinois, having to work with a dangerous or defective piece of equipment does not change the extent to which your employer will have to pay worker’s compensation benefits. That is part of the trade-off for worker’s cop being a no-fault system. With anything short of attempted murder, all you get is worker’s compensation benefits.
Now, if there is someone else who may be blame for your injury, you may have the basis of a civil case. There are a couple of different scenarios where you may look elsewhere besides your employer:
- Improper repairs – if there is equipment which has been repaired and the repairs are defective or fail to hold in a way that indicates that the repairs were not done properly and the repairs were done by an outside company, this can be the basis of a civil lawsuit against the person or company that did the repairs
- Product defect cases – if there was a defect in the manufacture of a product such that the product failed or if there was a danger in the design in the product, this can be the basis of a civil lawsuit against the product manufacturer.
With either of these kinds of cases, they are complex, expensive kinds of cases to pursue so should only be investigated for drivers who are very seriously injured.
One thing that you should be sure to do when you are involved in that kind of accident is to save the remains of the equipment – do not throw it away or repair it. It is critical evidence for the civil case and losing it or otherwise destroying it can result in the later dismissal of your civil case.
If there is a basis for a civil lawsuit, you do not have to choose between a civil lawsuit and a worker’s compensation case – you do have the option of pursuing both. However, you should be aware that the interaction between the civil lawsuit and the worker’s compensation case is complex and is the kind of thing that you should be getting help from a well-qualified lawyer for.
If you have a current worker’s compensation issue which you need help on, please feel free to reach out to our office by calling us at 312-263-1080 to discuss your issues and what options you have. There is no obligation to hire our law firm, and there is no charge for the call.
I hope this has been helpful, and if you know anyone who can benefit from this kind of information, please feel free to share this.
We are here to help truck drivers after an on-the-job accident. Knowledge is power, and the first step in protecting your rights is to know what they are.