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Defective Tools

Injured by Defective Tools or Industrial Products? A Cook County Product Liability Lawyer Can Help

When problems in product design, manufacturing, maintenance or repair cause defective tools to fail, injuries and wrongful deaths can occur. The results can be debilitating physical damage such as amputation, blindness, severe burns, brain and spinal injuries, or paralysis. A lifetime of physical, emotional and financial hardship for injured victims and their families are a common part of such tragedies, and a Cook County product liability lawyer may be able to help with legal recompense. Tools that may cause injuries if defective include:

  • Appliances and tools that include lawn mowers, landscape equipment and compressed air tools such as power washers and impact wrenches
  • Construction equipment such as a wide range of power tools, saws and ladders
  • Industrial machinery on the job such as forklifts, pallet jacks and industrial shop tools used for construction, carpentry, metalworking and welding

Many industrial tools may be used in home garages or workshops. Understanding if the cause of the injury was a manufacturing defect or the result of improper repair requires investigation. And even when a manufacturer is aware of the danger associated with its faulty equipment, it might not have properly advised the owners or operators of these hazards.

When operating a piece of machinery or equipment, the user must be properly trained and wear the appropriate safety devices such as eyewear, gloves and heavy clothing if applicable. When a piece of machinery malfunctions, even when the user wears safety equipment, a worker can sustain serious injuries that affect:

  • Hands and fingers
  • Eye injuries
  • Crush injuries
  • Serious cut wounds
  • Lost limbs
  • Other debilitating injuries

How and Where You are Injured Determines the Nature of Your Claim

If you’ve been injured by a defective tool while working at your job, your best recourse will be to file a workers’ compensation claim. Even if your injury was caused by an employer’s or coworker’s negligence, you’ll probably be limited to workers’ comp benefits. If you’ve suffered amputations or other permanent injuries, you may be entitled to a lump sum disability settlement that is negotiated with your employer’s workers’ comp insurer. Workers’ comp benefits normally include payment of medical bills, some but not all of your out-of-pocket expenses, and no more than two-thirds of your pre-injury wages. Unfortunately, workers’ comp does not pay any pain and suffering associated with your workplace injury.

When injured on the job, if your injury was caused by a subcontractor or other third party not employed by your employer, you may file a third-party negligence claim to supplement your workers’ comp claim. A third-party claim award will include the full amount of your lost wages and an additional amount for pain and suffering. You will have to reimburse your employer’s workers comp insurer for the money it paid you. But if your Cook County product liability lawyer is able to negotiate the full amount of your damage claim, what is left over still will cover all lost wages in addition the pain and suffering workers’ comp did not pay.

If you were injured by appliances or machinery at home, then your compensation will come through a defective product civil claim. To be successful, your attorney either will have to establish negligent product design or manufacture or failure to warn of the dangers that the product posed. But if the apparatus was inherently hazardous to begin with, strict liability may take precedence. This means your lawyer does not have to prove negligence for you to collect damages.

The statute of limitations in an Illinois defective product lawsuit can be as much as 12 years from the date the product entered the market; and as little as 10 years. Your attorney will tell you which applies.

If you or a family member suffered serious injury because of commercial appliance or machinery defects, Buttafuoco & Associates’ can help. Request a FREE consultation by by calling 1-800-NOW-HURT or by filling out our online contact form.