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Injuries Caused by Faulty Equipment and Workers’ Compensation in Virginia


Working with faulty equipment can lead to serious and even fatal on-the-job injuries for employees. When an employee is injured due to unsafe working conditions or equipment, they may have a workers’ compensation claim in Virginia.

At Slominski Law, Attorney Jaleh Slominski has over 30 years of experience helping injured workers get the compensation they deserve after workplace accidents. She serves injured employees  in Lynchburg, Roanoke, and throughout Virginia.

This article will cover the basics of filing a workers’ compensation claim after being injured by faulty equipment in Virginia. It will also provide guidance on how attorney Slominski can assist the injured worker with their case.

Workers’ Compensation Overview

Virginia’s workers’ compensation system provides wage-loss benefits, medical care, and rehabilitation services to employees who suffer job-related injuries or illnesses.

Most employers must carry workers’ compensation insurance, which covers the medical expenses and partially replaces lost wages of an employee who cannot work due to their injury. This allows injury victims to focus on healing rather than worrying about covering massive medical bills or paying everyday expenses.

In exchange for these guaranteed benefits, employees give up their right to sue their employer for negligence. Virginia workers’ comp is a no-fault system, meaning that benefits are paid regardless of who was at fault for the accident.

Am I Eligible for Workers’ Comp in Virginia?

Most employees in Virginia are covered by workers’ compensation insurance. This includes full-time, part-time, seasonal workers, and minors. Independent contractors may also be eligible in a few cases. The key is that there must be an employer-employee relationship. Workers’ comp does not cover self-employed individuals who get hurt on the job.

Examples of common workers’ compensation claims in Virginia include:

  • Construction accidents
  • Slip and fall accidents
  • Motor vehicle collisions
  • Dangerous products or equipment

Injuries caused by faulty equipment often fall under workers’ compensation insurance.

Workers’ Comp for Faulty Equipment Accidents

Operating faulty or dangerous equipment is one of the leading causes of workplace injury and death in the United States. Defective tools, machines, vehicles, and other equipment expose employees to many hazards that can cause:

  • Lacerations
  • Burns
  • Crush injuries
  • Amputations
  • Head trauma
  • Broken bones
  • Hearing loss
  • Lung disease.

When defective equipment causes an injury, the victim can likely file a worker’s comp claim in Virginia.

Examples of faulty equipment accidents covered by workers’ compensation include:

Faulty Ladders

Ladders that are damaged or poorly designed can collapse suddenly, causing employees to fall. This may result in head injuries, broken limbs, or even paralysis.

Defective Machinery

Operating dangerous machinery is common in Virginia’s industrial workplaces. Faulty mechanical parts or missing safety guards can lead to serious crush injuries and amputations.

Unsafe Company Vehicles

Employees who drive for work could get into a serious crash if their company vehicle has worn tires, faulty brakes, or other mechanical defects. Victims can claim workers’ compensation for crash-related injuries in Virginia.

Other Hazardous Equipment

There are endless types of dangerous products and faulty equipment that could harm employees. Common injury causes include:

  • Poorly maintained power tools
  • Defective safety harnesses
  • Faulty electrical systems
  • Exploding pressurized equipment.

Regardless of what type of hazardous equipment caused the injury, it’s important to consult a lawyer to ascertain whether you have a worker’s comp claim in Virginia.

Evidence Needed for a Faulty Equipment Claim

To prove that faulty equipment caused an on-the-job injury, certain evidence will be crucial when filing a workers compensation claim. This includes:

  • Accident reports – Any documentation from the incident, such as an internal accident report, can help show what occurred and why.
  • Equipment inspection records – Documentation of prior safety issues with the equipment can help prove the item was hazardous.
  • Equipment manuals and guidelines – Comparing the actual faulty equipment to the manufacturer’s specs can show defects.
  • Photographs and videos – Visually document the equipment defect or dangerous condition, as well as the injuries you suffered.
  • Testimony from coworkers – Eyewitness statements on what transpired before and after the accident are critical.
  • Expert opinions – Specialists can analyze equipment and details on how the incident occurred to show that the defect caused the injury.

Meet with Attorney Slominski for a free case review. Be sure to provide as much evidence about the equipment and accident as possible. Our team at Slominski Law can thoroughly investigate and gather evidence, as we have decades of experience with faulty equipment cases. Our goal is to show that the hazardous equipment directly caused your workplace injury.

Workers’ Compensation Benefits in Virginia

There are several types of wage replacement and medical benefits available through workers’ compensation insurance in Virginia. Medical benefits through workers’ comp insurance pay for reasonable and necessary medical treatment related to the workplace accident. This includes:

  • Hospitalization
  • Surgery
  • Prescription drugs
  • Physical therapy
  • Prosthetic devices.

There are no out-of-pocket costs for this medical care when using in-network providers. Workers’ comp insurance pays the expenses directly.

Disability benefits help replace wages lost while recovering. There are several types:

  • Temporary total disability – Pays 66 2/3% of gross wages for the time a victim cannot work at all while recovering. It’s normally capped at 104 weeks.
  • Temporary partial disability – Pays 66 2/3% of the difference between pre-injury and post-injury wages if working reduced hours while healing.
  • Permanent partial disability – Pays a sum if the victim suffers a permanent impairment that causes wage loss. The amount depends on the body part disabled.
  • Permanent total disability – Lifetime wage-loss benefits for permanent 100% impairments preventing a return to work.

The exact value of disability benefits depends on weekly wages and the extent of disabilities.

Vocational rehabilitation may be available for significant injuries expected to permanently reduce earning capacity. This involves job placement services, skills training, education, and other support to transition into a new lower-demand career.

In some cases, faulty equipment accidents can be severe enough to cause death. Death benefits are available to help surviving family members in the event of a fatal workplace accident. This includes burial costs and wage loss benefits for dependents.

Hiring an Attorney for Equipment Injury Claims

Pursuing workers’ compensation after an equipment-related accident can be challenging without legal guidance. Complex laws and confusing paperwork make the claims process difficult for injury victims. In addition, workers’ comp insurers often dispute claims, even when claimants have a strong, legitimate case.

Having an experienced workers compensation attorney helps ensure you receive the maximum benefits you deserve. Slominski Law helps clients throughout the claim process, including:

  • Conducting an investigation into accident details
  • Gathering evidence proving the role of faulty equipment
  • Calculating the full value of your claim
  • Filing paperwork and communicating with insurance providers
  • Negotiating fair settlement offers
  • Taking legal action if the insurance company denies valid claims or delays benefits.

Attorney Slominski only takes legal fees if and when she wins your case. Her contingency-based representation means you pay no out-of-pocket fees to her and risk no money.

Why Hire Slominski Law?

With over 30 years of experience, Attorney Jaleh Slominski has a proven track record helping Virginia employees receive workers’ compensation benefits after workplace accidents.

She works closely with each client to build strong cases proving their injuries resulted from dangerous working conditions or faulty equipment. Her legal competence compels insurance providers to pay the compensation victims rightfully deserve.

What sets Slominski Law apart from large firms is her personalized attention and compassion for each client. At our law firm, you are not just another case file. Our entire staff genuinely cares, and Attorney Slominski aggressively advocates for your needs.

Do not wait to get legal help after an equipment-related accident. Call Slominski Law today at (434) 384-9400 (Lynchburg) or (540) 554-3762 (Roanoke) for a free consultation on your workers compensation claim.