Many industrial and construction jobs require the use of heavy and/or specialized machinery. Some of these machines and tools can cause very serious injuries if mishandled, under-serviced, or used by untrained individuals. Most industrial machines include kill-switches or emergency shutoff switches to cut the power to a machine in an emergency. If you or a loved one suffered injuries in the Dallas-Fort Worth area because a piece of equipment had a faulty or inaccessible shutoff switch, contact the Law Firm of Aaron A. Herbert, P.C. today to learn more about your options for legal recovery.
Why Hire an Attorney?
Hiring an attorney can help you determine the best option for legal recourse after an injury from an inaccessible or faulty shutoff switch. Your personal injury attorney will assess liability for the resulting damages and file a complaint on your behalf to the defendant or defendants in your case. Your attorney will also handle evidence gathering, court filings, and help you prepare for depositions and trial. Your claim may require negotiations with insurance companies, and your attorney can handle these issues on your behalf as well.
Determining Liability for an Inaccessible or Faulty Shutoff Switch
The first step toward recovery after suffering any injury from an inaccessible or faulty shutoff switch is to determine liability. Most of these cases will involve legal action against product manufacturers who produced dangerously designed products. However, an employer or supervisor may share liability for these cases as well. For example, if an employee could not reach the cutoff switch for a piece of machinery due to how the supervisor or employer arranged or installed the machinery, the responsible party may face liability for the damages.
Supervisors may also incur liability for allowing untrained or uncertified employees to work with some types of machinery. However, many inaccessible and faulty shutoff switch cases target the manufacturers of these products. A product manufacturer must ensure a safety kill-switch is accessible to the operator in the event the operator becomes stuck or otherwise endangered by the machine. For example, a hydraulic press should have a cutoff switch easily accessible with either hand from where the operator must sit or stand to operate the machine.
Ultimately, product manufacturers are liable for any and all damages their products cause to users in normal, intended use. If an employee in an industrial occupation misused a piece of equipment, or used it without appropriate training, the manufacturer may not be liable for the resulting damages. However, if the manufacturer failed to include appropriate safety warnings and instructions for use, the manufacturer may face liability even if the device does not contain a production defect or design flaw.
Damages and Compensation
A product liability claim is essentially a personal injury claim against a product manufacturer, so the damages would be equivalent to a personal injury claim against a negligent employer or supervisor. Texas does not require all employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance, so some injured employees may not have the option of filing for workers’ compensation and instead need to take legal action against a product manufacturer or employer.
An inaccessible or defective shutoff switch can cause severe or even fatal wounds, including crushing injuries, deep cuts, bone fractures, electrocutions, burns, and more. A plaintiff in a product liability claim or personal injury lawsuit for a faulty or inaccessible shutoff switch can potentially recover compensation for medical expenses, lost income, and pain and suffering. The liable party may also face punitive damages for egregious negligence or reckless disregard for the safety of others.
Contact the Law Firm of Aaron A. Herbert, P.C. today if you or a loved one has suffered injuries from an inaccessible or defective shutoff switch in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. We can review your claim during a free consultation and help you determine the best available options for legal recourse.