Why workers’ tools on a job site may lead to third-party claims

On Behalf of | Mar 17, 2023 | Personal Injury

Many workers in blue-collar professions and skilled trades bring at least some of their own tools to the job site. They may have already invested in specialized equipment that their employer doesn’t own, or they may simply feel more comfortable using the tools they have the most experience handling.

Unfortunately, workers in construction, skilled trades and industrial settings can end up injured by the very tools that they rely on to perform their jobs. Defective components in a tool can lead to catastrophic failure on a job site and could result in the injury of not just the worker using the tool but others nearby. Even when businesses recall dangerous tools, like saws with blade guards that break off, people can still get hurt on the job. As such, the failure of power tools and similar equipment is a common reason why workers file third-party claims and lawsuits.

Many things can go wrong when a tool fails

Sometimes, a tool failing means that a worker will suffer an electrical shock. They could lose consciousness or muscular control, both of which are issues that could lead to their injury or severe injury to other people. Workers could also suffer burns or lacerations when a tool fails. In extreme cases, they might even cut off a finger or break a bone.

Not only will those injuries require medical attention, but they could prevent someone from getting back to work for quite some time. Those lost wages can be as much of an inconvenience as the need to replace expensive equipment and pay for someone’s medical care. Those expecting to file a workers’ compensation claim may have the right to benefits despite the third-party origin of their injuries.

However, they will typically not receive the full amount of their lost wages but only a portion. Even that partial replacement will be subject to a maximum benefit based on average wages across the state. When workers pursue third-party claims against a business, the organization that produced or distributed the defective tool may end up order to compensate them for their injuries and other financial losses.

Realizing that there might be a company that could rightfully be held accountable for financial responsibility for a worker’s recent injuries can help them to more fully recover their financial losses via a product liability claim.