Companies often need to use machinery to create their products or offer their services. You might have a workplace with a lot of machines, and you need the proper training to use them safely. However, lots of training can only help so much if you encounter a defective machine.
That machine can harm or even kill you in some instances. You should also know that you can bring lawsuits against the manufacturer in some cases if a machine hurt or killed someone.
We will talk right now about what you should do if you’re working for a company and a machine injures you.
Hire the Right Lawyer
You’ll first need to get medical attention for your injury. Then, you will want to look into hiring an attorney as soon as you can. Lawyers can help after defective machine injuries, and you should have no problem finding one who will take your case.
You will need to do some research before you contact a lawyer. You might look for keyword combinations in Google like “lawyers who take defective machinery cases” or something along those lines. Not all attorneys will do those, and you need to find someone qualified who has handled similar cases in the past.
You can then meet with the lawyer you have selected. You might meet in person, or you can talk to them on the phone and describe what happened to you. You may also communicate through an online meeting via Skype, Zoom, or a similar platform.
They Can Tell You Whether You Have a Case
The lawyer will hear what occurred, and they will also want to know about any evidence you have. You will be in a much better position to win a lawsuit if you have video evidence of what happened. Maybe you have cameras in the store or on the factory floor where the incident occurred. Failing that, the lawyer will probably want to know about witnesses to the incident if anyone else saw it.
They can then tell you whether they’ll take the case or not. They might have too much on their plate already, in which case, you’ll have to find another attorney. If they agree to take you as a client, you’ll need to talk to them about their fee.
You will usually want to hire a lawyer you can pay on a contingency basis. That means you only pay them any money if they win the case for you. You can pay them out of the damages you receive. You can expect to pay about 30-40% of your winnings, on average.
You Can Figure Out Who to Sue
Next, you and your attorney must figure out who to sue. Maybe you can sue the machine company if you’re dealing with defective machinery. However, you might hold other entities responsible as well.
You might hold the company you work for responsible. Maybe they knew about the defective machine but didn’t replace it. If so, that’s negligence. You can name the machine manufacturer in the lawsuit along with your employer.
If you name more than one person or entity in the lawsuit you bring, each defendant might hire their own counsel. The defendant in a court case is the person you accuse. You are the plaintiff.
You Can Tell the Responsible Entities You’re Suing Them
Next, you can notify the defendants that you’re suing them. You must tell them that you’re taking them to court and inform them of any evidence or facts you plan to present. This is the discovery phase.
The defendants can hire legal counsel at this point. Maybe the machine company already has lawyers standing by. Your company might have legal counsel already as well. If not, they will hire lawyers to advise them.
You might find out that the machine manufacturer or your company wants to settle with you before the case ever gets to a courtroom. They might look at the evidence and feel like there is no way they can win.
However, they might also think they can win a jury trial, and they will not offer you anything. If so, get ready for a long, drawn-out legal battle.
If the defendants offer you a settlement before the case goes to trial, you can consider whether the offer makes sense. You’ll need to think about how badly the machine hurt you. Maybe it injured you so badly that you can never work again.
You also need to think about your pain and suffering. You must consider your life quality. If you can’t walk, drive, ride a bike, play with your kids, or do other things you once could, you need to decide whether the money they’re offering can compensate for all of that.
The machine company or anyone else you hold responsible may try to low-ball you. They might offer you a token settlement amount that you don’t feel will compensate you enough. If so, you’ll need to reject the offer and proceed to the trial. Your lawyer can advise you on what to do at this juncture, though it’s always up to you whether you want to take a settlement offer or not.
You never know how a jury trial will go. You might feel like you have a ton of evidence that a machine hurt you, and you think it’s obvious the company made and sold a defective product. The jury might see it differently, though. You never know whether you might lose the case because of an inexplicable jury decision.
Hopefully, the jury will decide in your favor and award you damages. When that happens, you can pay your lawyer and then live on the money. You can use it to pay things like your medical bills, your mortgage payments, car payments, grocery bills, etc.
You might never get back to your former self after a machine-related accident. You’ll just have to adjust to your new life as best you can.