Industrial tools such as power drills and table saws are already hazardous enough when they function properly. When a manufacturer designs or produces a defective tool, dangerous accidents can occur even with proper use. Defective tool accidents can cause severe trauma, loss of limbs, and even death, leaving your family to pick up the pieces.
The New York defective tool lawyers at Buttafuoco & Associates will help your family through the process of identifying the party liable for your damages and seek compensation for your expenses and losses.
Injuries from Defective Tools & Liability
Product laws hold manufacturers of consumer goods to a high standard of safety and quality. They should design equipment with adequate safety measures, manufacturer equipment so it performs as expected, and warn of any hazards that come with using the tool or machine.
When manufacturers fail to live up to this responsibility, they may be liable for any injuries that result. For example, a man won $1.25 million in a 2013 verdict after he severed his index finger and partially severed parts of two more fingers while using a table saw. The saw kicked, pulling his hand into the blade. He argued that the saw lacked a riving knife that would have prevented the accident.
Establishing liability is no easy feat, however. Any product liability case based on negligence must establish these four essential elements:
- The tool manufacturer, distributor, or repair center had a duty of care to provide with a safe product or safe repairs of the tool.
- That party breached this duty (i.e., was negligent) and caused you to suffer an injury.
- That breach of duty caused you to become injured.
- Your injuries caused damages.
In some cases, product manufacturers are strictly liable for their defective products, and the claimant doesn’t have to prove negligence. Deciding on which grounds to pursue a product liability case (negligence vs. strict liability) requires thorough investigation and legal evaluation.
Proving Manufacturer Liability for a Defective Tool
You’ll need enough evidence that proves all of the four elements of negligence listed above to successfully file a product liability case based on manufacturer negligence. And if pursuing a claim based on strict liability, you still must prove that the product was defective and caused your injuries. To many victims, this seems straightforward, but it is anything but.
Insurance companies and large manufacturing companies defend these cases diligently and are not eager to pay claims. They often send injured consumers lowball offers, hoping they accept them and go away. In many cases, pursuing full and fair compensation from a large product manufacturer takes determination in addition to adequate case building.
We rely on our relationships with expert witnesses who can evaluate the tool and the accident and testify on our clients’ behalf. We also speak with eyewitnesses, examine any product instructions or warnings, and evaluate medical records or other evidence of injuries to prove the case.
You Could Have a Workers’ Compensation Claim Too
If you were injured by a defective tool while working on a jobsite in the course of your employment, you may have a workers’ compensation claim as well as a product liability claim. But workers or attorneys unfamiliar with both workers’ compensation and product liability who mishandle these cases may not recover all of the benefits and damages to which they are entitled.
Workers’ compensation can provide medical coverage for workers injured by defective tools or machinery, as well as partial wage replacement benefits. A product liability claim can pursue full damages – all medical and rehabilitation costs, full amount of lost wages, and even pain and suffering damages.
Our defective tool lawyers evaluate each case to identify all legal avenues available so we pursue maximum compensation. Like proving liability, establishing the full amount of damages and benefits you deserve requires presenting medical records, securing medical testimony, documenting proof of wages, seeking vocational expert testimony, and more.
Contact a Defective Tool Lawyer in New York for Help
Going up against a manufacturing company or insurer with your injury claim is intimidating and frustrating. Let Buttafuoco & Associates handle the legal paperwork, evidence collection, case building, negotiations, litigation, and more.
Contact us now at 1-800-NOW-HURT to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation regarding your rights to recovery.