Santa Rosa Industrial Accident LawyerIndustrial accidents can be some of the most tragic, with severe and devastating injuries. Industrial accidents usually occur at work and are frequently caused by unsafe working conditions. They may involve hazardous chemicals or falling construction debris, which can harm multiple people. As such, industrial accidents can have catastrophic consequences. 

Under California law, you may be able to seek financial compensation if you’ve been injured in an industrial accident. If you or someone you love is the victim of an industrial accident in Santa Rosa or Sonoma County, Henderson Law can help. A Santa Rosa industrial accident lawyer from our office can investigate your claim, calculate your losses, and fight for your right to compensation. Contact us about your industrial accident claim today.

What Causes an Industrial Accident?

Industrial accidents have infinite potential causes. However, negligent or reckless conduct or unsafe working conditions are often the root of these accidents.

Some common causes of industrial accidents include the following:

  • Failure to adequately warn of danger;
  • Inadequate safety protections;
  • Unsafe operation of machinery and equipment;
  • Failure to adequately train workers;
  • Failure to properly maintain machinery and equipment; and
  • Failure to implement or follow safety protocols.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) implements safety standards and protocols to prevent industrial accidents. It is common to see OSHA violations at the scene of industrial accidents, which can be a significant factor in proving your case. Sometimes, the cause of an accident is also an OSHA violation. 

Common Injuries in Industrial Accidents

Unsafe working conditions, defective or malfunctioning machinery, and improperly maintained equipment often lead to severe, life-altering injuries. Common industrial accident injuries include the following:

  • Compound fractures,
  • Severe burns,
  • Crush injuries,
  • Traumatic brain injury,
  • Spinal cord injury,
  • Eye injuries,
  • Amputations, and 
  • Death.

It is possible to sustain injuries not mentioned in the list above, and it is also possible to suffer multiple injuries simultaneously. 

No matter the circumstances, you deserve compensation for what you endured. Speak with an industrial accident attorney today to see if your injuries qualify you for compensation.  

Possible Industrial Accident Claims

There are various types of industrial accident claims. We describe some of the most common types below. An industrial accident attorney from our office can help you determine the type of claim you may have, based on your specific circumstances. 

Workers’ Compensation

Individuals injured on the job in California are often entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. Workers’ compensation generally covers the medical costs associated with your injury, including emergency treatment, surgical care, and rehabilitation. The severity of industrial accidents often leaves employees unable to return to work immediately. Workers’ compensation benefits will also compensate you for your lost wages while you recover. 

If you are injured during your employment, this may be your only avenue of recovery. You generally cannot sue your employer for your injuries. However, there are some limited circumstances in which you may be able to file a lawsuit against your employer, even if they have workers’ compensation. A Santa Rosa industrial accident lawyer can properly advise you on all available remedies. Reach out today and speak with an experienced attorney.

Personal Injury Lawsuit

After an industrial accident, you may have a viable personal injury claim. If someone’s negligent conduct caused your injury, you may be able to file a personal injury claim. A personal injury claim may be filed if:

  • A co-worker or employer intentionally injures you;
  • Your employer fraudulently concealed your injury’s link to your job;
  • Your employer did not have workers’ compensation coverage; 
  • A third-party unrelated to your employer injures you; or 
  • A defective product injures you.

In certain instances, if a third party injures you at work, you can file a workers’ compensation claim through your employer’s coverage and commence a civil lawsuit directly against the third party.

Product Liability Claim

A product liability claim is another type of personal injury claim associated with industrial accidents. These typically involve defective products. If you are injured in an industrial accident by a faulty machine or defective equipment, you may have a product liability claim against the manufacturer. The defect can be in the physical manufacturing of the product, or there may be a flaw in the design. For instance, if the brakes on a forklift suddenly fail, the forklift may be defective, and the manufacturer would be responsible for damages. 

A manufacturer may also be liable if they fail to warn users of any potential dangers associated with the product. Suppose a forklift manufacturer fails to warn users about its potential rollover or tipping risk, and you are injured. In that case, you may be able to hold the manufacturer financially liable.

Lastly, a manufacturer could be liable if there is a defect or flaw in the design of a product and it leads to injury. For example, if the design of a forklift was defective, or there’s a flaw in the design that caused harm, the manufacturer could be liable for damages.

In California, a manufacturer is strictly liable for product defects. In other words, the injured plaintiff does not need to prove the manufacturer was negligent, only that the equipment was defective and they were hurt by it. If you have questions about strict liability, speak to an experienced Santa Rosa industrial accident attorney today. 

Wrongful Death Lawsuit

Sadly, industrial accidents may take the life of the victim. If you are a surviving family member, you might be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit. Generally, surviving family members can pursue compensation for:

  • The decedent’s medical expenses, 
  • Funeral and end-of-life costs, 
  • Pain and suffering, and
  • Loss of companionship and support. 

California wrongful death claims are complex. You should speak with an attorney if you are considering a wrongful death claim.

Available Damages in an Industrial Accident Claim

Industrial accident damages will vary depending on the type of claim, the severity of your injuries, and the strength and weaknesses of your case. Generally, an injured person can seek economic, non-economic, and punitive damages in an industrial accident claim

Economic Damages

Economic damages compensate the victim for their actual calculable losses. These include:

  • Medical expenses, 
  • Property damage,
  • Lost wages, and 
  • Lost future income. 

Economic damages are typically easy to quantify. For instance, you can easily calculate medical treatment costs from your bills and records. 

Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages are more challenging to quantify because they are subjective to you. These damages include:

  • Pain and suffering, 
  • Loss of enjoyment of life, 
  • Loss of consortium, and 
  • Mental anguish. 

There may not be many receipts for non-economic damages. Because the value of these damages is subjective, you and the opposing party may value your claim differently. 

Punitive Damages

Most injured parties can seek—and will recover—some form of economic and non-economic damages. Still, if the responsible party’s actions are egregious or grossly negligent, the court may also award you punitive damages to punish the responsible party. Punitive damages are awarded sparsely, but depending on the circumstances, it is possible.

The best way to better understand what you can expect from an industrial accident settlement or award is to speak with a seasoned attorney. They can provide you with a more accurate estimate.

Contact Our California Industrial Accident Law Firm

At Henderson Law, we are dedicated to helping those severely injured in industrial accidents. Nothing is more important than earning a client’s trust and seeing their case succeed. You deserve compensation if you or someone you love was injured in a California industrial accident. Let us fight for you. Contact us today to request a free consultation.