Birmingham Industrial Accident Lawyers
If you or a loved one has been injured in an industrial accident, you, like most, turn to workers’ compensation for immediate relief. While workers’ compensation laws provide for some recovery, injured workers cannot be compensated for pain and suffering, and compensation is generally capped by unfair and outdated laws.
Some injured workers are eligible for additional compensation. For example, if a worker was injured because a coworker removed a safety device from a machine, the injured worker may have a claim for additional compensation.
If a machine that was defectively manufactured caused the injury, a worker may claim pain and suffering damages from the manufacturer. Sometimes, an injured worker may have been driving or riding in a vehicle that would allow suit against the driver of the vehicle that caused the wreck.
If any of these scenarios apply to your case, you may want to consider speaking with a personal injury lawyer who knows how to handle industrial and workplace injury cases. The amount of compensation you can recover can be greatly affected by the facts of your case.
For example, we helped a man who was badly injured when his employer decided to remove a safety device to increase the speed of production. Under workers’ compensation, he would have received less than $500,000. However, because we were able to prove that the removal of the safety device directly caused the accident and his injuries, we were able to recover more than $7 million for the worker and his family.
An experienced Birmingham industrial accident injury attorney, such as those at Farris, Riley & Pitt, LLP, can analyze these types of cases to ensure you’re not missing out on any of the compensation you deserve. Please call us at (205) 324-1212 if you believe we can help you.
Why Do I Need an Industrial Accident Lawyer?
While Alabama Code § 25-6-1, otherwise known as the Employers’ Liability Act, holds that an employer can be liable to an employee for certain injuries, Alabama Code § 25-5-53, or the Workers’ Compensation Act, provides civil immunity for employers. The Alabama Supreme Court has held that the two acts are mutually exclusive and a person cannot file a claim under the Employers’ Liability Act when the working relationship is subject to the Alabama Workers’ Compensation Act.
Workers’ compensation benefits are typically a fraction of an employee’s regular earnings and are subject to certain limits. For many workers injured in industrial accidents, workers’ compensation is rarely enough to satisfy the multitude of expenses that injury victims often face.
When an industrial accident involves the negligence of a third party, however, the same prohibition on civil actions does not apply. For this reason, an injured industrial worker should not hesitate to seek the help of an experienced personal injury attorney in order to determine who else could be liable for their injuries.
Why Choose Farris, Riley & Pitt, LLP?
Farris, Riley & Pitt, LLP understands the complexity of these types of claims and works tirelessly to help victims recover all of the compensation they need and deserve. We can conduct a thorough, independent investigation of your accident to determine all possible negligent parties and then fight to make sure that they are held accountable.
Our firm has obtained several multimillion dollar verdicts and settlements on behalf our clients. We know that industrial accident injuries cause serious, potentially lifelong problems for victims.
Farris, Riley & Pitt, LLP can help you recover damages that account for your medical bills and lost earnings. We can also help you obtain awards for other types of damages, such as your pain and suffering. Our firm also provides legal representation on a contingency fee basis, so you do not have to worry about paying us anything unless you receive a monetary award.
Cases We Handle
Many people in Birmingham and the surrounding area of the greater Jefferson County area work in industrial settings in Alabama. Most of these jobs involve grueling physical labor and certain risks, but employers still have a responsibility to ensure their workplaces are as safe as possible.
Farris, Riley & Pitt, LLP has experience handling a number of different kinds of industrial accident claims. Some of the most common include, but are not limited to:
- Heavy Machinery Accidents — Motorized heavy equipment or nonmotorized heavy equipment, large complex pieces of machinery, such as engines, turbines, cranes, and other items, all need to be regularly maintained and operated by experienced workers who have been properly trained. Failure to maintain or properly operate these types of equipment can result in serious injuries to employees.
- Falls — OSHA, The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, requires employers to set up the workplace in a way that prevents employees from falling off overhead platforms or elevated workstations or falling into holes. Fall protection must be provided at elevations of four feet in general industry workplaces, and protection must be provided when working over dangerous equipment and machinery, regardless of distance.
- Burn Injuries — Workers in industrial settings may suffer thermal burns (caused by fire, steam, or contact with a hot object), electrical burns, or chemical burns. In addition to immense pain and suffering, these types of injuries may also cause potential disfigurement.
- Explosions — Combustible dust, flammable liquids, or certain types of machinery are a few of the factors that can lead to explosions in workplaces. While a lot of evidence is often destroyed in such explosions, Farris, Riley & Pitt, LLP can review a company’s maintenance records to determine what errors caused the accidents.
- Improper Safety Gear — Workers should be given the necessary equipment and materials to do their jobs in a safe manner. Failure to provide employees with the proper equipment can result in accidents that cause debilitating injuries.
- Falling Objects — In some industrial settings, it is not uncommon for large objects to suddenly fall from great heights. In other cases, objects may be sent flying within the workplace because of machinery malfunctions.
- Defective Equipment — Most industrial workplaces involve highly complex pieces of equipment that have to be regularly inspected and maintained. When an employer does not take these precautions, the equipment may malfunction. In some cases, an equipment malfunction could be the result of the manufacturer’s error, possibly leading to a product liability action.
- Electrocutions — Some industrial workplaces require workers to deal with electrical currents. Failure to take certain precautions can lead to electrocution, which can be the result of an employer’s failure to consider certain hazards or can be caused by defective equipment.
- Toxic Chemical Exposure — Workers in certain industrial settings may work with or be exposed to chemical hazards and toxic substances. Depending on the amount of exposure and the type of substance, some workers may contract respiratory, skin, or other diseases.
- Scaffolding Accidents — Scaffolding may be used in some industrial workplaces, and the employees working on such scaffolding are at risk of fall injuries. Even workers not on the scaffolding can suffer severe injuries when such scaffolding collapses.
The types of injuries workers can sustain in these types of accidents may vary. Farris, Riley & Pitt, LLP has represented people with a variety of injuries, including fractures, lacerations, sprains, traumatic brain injuries, shockwave injuries, burn injuries, spinal cord injuries, paralysis, and crushing injuries.
Frequently Asked Questions
Any negligence on the part of the victim that proximately contributes to their injury is considered contributory negligence. While most other states use a comparative negligence system under which contributory negligence reduces a victim’s final award, Alabama is one of five states that allows defendants to use contributory negligence as an affirmative defense in civil actions. Contributory negligence will bar the victim from recovering any damages, no matter how slight the victim’s degree of negligence actually was. The only exception provided to counter a contributory negligence defense is if the defendant engaged in willful or wanton conduct, which essentially means the act was intentional or done with a reckless or conscious disregard of the rights or safety of others. In order to avoid the devastating repercussions of a contributory negligence claim, you will want to avoid speaking about your accident with anybody—especially insurance companies—until you have legal counsel.
Immediately following an industrial accident, you have two important steps to take. First, you should always be sure to seek medical attention—even if you do not think that you were seriously hurt. Not only will it be beneficial to you later on to have a medical record created right after your accident, but a doctor can also make sure you did not suffer injuries in which symptoms may be delayed. The other important action in these cases is to report your injury to your employer. In many cases, failure to report an accident can adversely affect your ability to obtain compensation. Again, you should avoid speaking about your accident with anybody until you have spoken with a personal injury lawyer. You should contact Farris, Riley & Pitt, LLP as soon as possible.
No. OSHA has whistleblower statutes that prohibit employers from retaliating by taking any “adverse action” against workers who report injuries, safety concerns, or other protected activity. OSHA has certain time limits that affect when whistleblower claims can be filed, but victims whose employers do retaliate for complaints being filed may be able to recover everything lost because of the retaliation, including wages, benefits, and leave time.
Industrial Accident Statistics
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were approximately 2.9 million nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses reported by private industry employers in 2016. In manufacturing, the leading types of injury or illness cases resulting in days away from work in 2016 were sprains, strains, tears, cuts, lacerations, punctures, soreness or pain, and fractures.
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health reported that 411 manufacturing sector workers died from occupational injuries in 2008. the leading causes of death included contact with objects and equipment, transportation incidents, and falls. Additionally, there were 689,700 nonfatal occupational injuries and illnesses, and more than half of those injuries required days away from work, job transfer, or restriction.
Contact a Birmingham Industrial Accident Attorney Today
Farris, Riley & Pitt, LLP has been helping all kinds of injury victims for more than 20 years. We are familiar with the frustration and confusion people experience in dealing with workers’ compensation claims, and our firm is capable of determining when additional parties may be liable.
Did you sustain catastrophic injuries or was your loved one killed in an industrial accident in Alabama? Call (205) 324-1212 or contact us online right now to have Farris, Riley & Pitt, LLP provide a complete evaluation of your case during a free consultation.