Workplace Accidents from Being Caught in Machinery
Machines and other equipment allow us to be more productive and efficient than ever before. But like everything else, there are downsides. According to Liberty Mutual’s Workplace Safety Index, getting “caught in equipment or machines” is a top 10 leading cause of disabling injuries, costing over $2 billion a year.
In fact, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) lists “caught in/between” injuries as one of its “Fatal Four” leading causes of construction deaths. But construction workers aren’t the only ones susceptible. Getting stuck in equipment is also a risk in machine shops, assembly lines, auto mechanic garages, food processing plants, and more.Injuries from Being Caught in Equipment at Work
“Caught in or compressed by equipment or objects” is a type of workplace accident where a person or body part is pinched, compressed, or crushed in operating equipment or between objects. Workers may get their fingers, hands, limbs, or other body parts stuck in machines, causing severe injury and even death.
An example of this type of injury is a construction worker whose thumb gets caught in a saw and amputated. Or an assembly worker whose clothing gets stuck in the moving parts of a machine, causing a crushed limb. Sometimes these accidents can be deadly–as when a highway worker is pulled underneath a road grader and crushed under the tires.
Injuries of this kind can cause debilitating complications. Injured workers may face staggering medical bills, miss months of work, be unable to return to their current job, or suffer permanent disability. If you’ve experienced a crush injury or other type of workplace accident, you may be entitled to several types of compensation.Can I File Workers’ Comp for My Workplace Injury?
Almost all employers operating in Massachusetts must carry workers’ compensation insurance. If you’ve had a body part stuck in equipment on the job, you likely qualify for a workers' comp claim. Workers’ compensation provides medical benefits to cover the cost of treatment and wage benefits to cover any missed days of work.
The upside is that it’s often relatively quick and easy to qualify for workers’ compensation benefits. The downside is that you are generally not allowed to sue your employer for greater damages, such as pain and suffering. In addition, the benefits you receive may not be enough to cover your actual expenses.Should I File a Lawsuit for My Workplace Accident?
Although you usually can’t sue your employer for a workplace injury in Massachusetts, you have other legal options. If your accident is the result of your employer’s willful misconduct, you may be entitled to extra worker’s comp benefits. If the accident is the fault of a third party, you may qualify for financial awards on top of your workers’ compensation.
A personal injury lawsuit can help you receive payment for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, punitive damages, wrongful death, and more. Personal injury lawsuits can be filed against any third party responsible for an accident, such as the following:
- The manufacturer of defective or malfunctioning equipment
- The owner of the property or building where the accident occurred
- The subcontractor responsible for the installation or maintenance of machinery.
If you’ve been seriously injured on the job, the experienced Boston work injury attorneys at Altman & Altman LLP can help explain your options. Whether your worker’s compensation claim was denied, you’re worried that your benefits won’t cover your expenses, or you feel another party was at fault, our attorneys can get you the right compensation for your injury. Contact us at 617.492.3000 or online to schedule your free work accident consultation.