If an incident at a factory, mine, drilling operation, or other commercial site injured you, a DuBois industrial accident lawyer could provide helpful advice. Accidents on industrial sites can result in catastrophic, even deadly injuries. For industrial workers injured on the site, a DuBois workers’ compensation attorney could help them seek restitution through their company’s policy. However, third-party claims are also possible if another person’s conduct caused your harm.
Establishing Liability in an Industrial Accident
If an incident on an industrial site injures neighbors, bystanders, or others who were not working onsite, the injured people could seek compensation from the negligent parties. However, determining who the negligent parties are could get complicated. A knowledgeable attorney in DuBois could investigate an industrial accident, identify negligent acts or omissions that contributed to the incident, and file a claim against all the potentially negligent parties.
The owner of the land where the accident occurred, and the operator of the industrial enterprise likely have some liability to injured neighbors and bystanders. Both could potentially be liable for allowing a dangerous condition to exist on the property. If employees of another company or independent contractors were onsite and their negligence had a role in the accident, they could be liable. If mechanical failure is a potential issue, the manufacturer of the equipment could bear some responsibility.
The DuBois area has many abandoned and derelict mines, drilling wells, and factories. If an accident at one of these sites injures someone, it could be challenging to find a solvent responsible party. It might be possible to establish that a government regulatory agency was negligent for failing to ensure that the facility was properly closed, sealed, or secured, to prevent injuries to innocent people.
Workers’ Compensation Does Not Preclude Third-Party Claims
Every employer must provide workers’ compensation insurance. The program offers industrial employees no-cost medical care for all work-related injuries and pays them a percentage of their wages while they are unable to work. In exchange for these benefits, employees lose the right to sue their employers for negligence.
While an injured worker cannot sue his or her employer, he or she could sue another party if that party’s negligence contributed to the incident that led to the worker’s injury. For example, if an independent contractor or an employee of another company at the job site negligently caused the accident, the injured employee could sue that party for damages. These are called third-party claims.
An experienced DuBois attorney could investigate an incident to determine whether a third-party had some responsibility for causing the industrial accident. If so, a successful third-party negligence claim might yield compensation for the portion of the worker’s wages the workers’ compensation program does not pay, as well as damages for physical pain, mental anguish, and other subjective effects of the injury.
Damages in Industrial Accident Cases
In all personal injury cases, the injured person must prove another party’s negligence caused their injuries in order to receive damages. Compensatory damages attempt to put the plaintiff back in the financial position he or she was in before the accident.
Compensatory damages include out-of-pocket losses like medical expenses and time off work. They also include damages to account for the effects of the injury on the individual’s quality of life. A claimant could receive damages for mental anguish, disfigurement, disability, physical pain, and similar non-economic losses.
In cases where a company’s actions are so reckless they amount to disregard for the safety of others, a plaintiff could seek punitive damages. Punitive damages do not reimburse a plaintiff for his or her losses, but instead punish a defendant for egregious conduct. According to 231 P.S. Code §4003.7, a plaintiff’s attorney could introduce evidence of the defendant’s finances to ensure that a punitive damages award is large enough to be a deterrent against similar behavior in future.
Work with a DuBois Industrial Accident Attorney
Big corporations are often defendants in industrial accident lawsuits, and they defend these claims with teams of aggressive lawyers. Without an attorney, it could be intimidating to try to negotiate a fair settlement for your injuries.
A DuBois industrial accident lawyer could be a savvy advocate who could help you recover a more appropriate settlement for the injuries you have suffered. You have a limited time to act, so call Marcus & Mack today.