Industrial Accidents in Nebraska
Industrial accidents are among the most serious events that lead to injuries. The vast majority of them occur at the workplace, but injuries sustained during industrial accidents are often more severe and more likely to prove fatal than other workplace injuries.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Nebraska’s most injury-prone sectors include trade, transportation, and utilities and manufacturing. In these sectors, employers reported about 5,700 injuries in 2016. The heavy machinery and equipment in these occupations make them prime candidates for industrial accidents.
If you were injured in an industrial accident, it most likely happened at work. You may need to file a workers’ compensation claim, but it is most likely that your losses will go far beyond what workers’ comp benefits will pay in Nebraska. A skilled personal injury attorney who has dealt with workers’ compensation claims and industrial accidents will advise you on next steps. Call one of the qualified legal professionals at Robert Pahlke Law Group in Nebraska at (308) 633-4444 to discuss your case.
Robert Pahlke Law Group’s Results in Industrial Accident Cases
The attorneys at Robert Pahlke Law Group have extensive experience in the settlement and litigation of personal injury cases, including those that involve industrial accidents, recovering millions of dollars for the clients they have represented.
Physical Consequences can be serious:
- Spinal cord injuries. A damaged spinal cord can sever signals between the brain and the body. This has the potential to leave the victim with:
- Loss of movement and sensation
- Paraplegia (paralysis of the lower limbs)
- Quadriplegia (paralysis of all limbs)
- Loss of bowel and/or bladder control
The Robert Pahlke Law Group was asked to retry a product liability case involving fall protection that failed, resulting in paraplegia. The jury returned a record-breaking verdict of $21,131,633.00 (the amount to the penny suggested by Robert Pahlke in his closing argument.)
Another case tried by Robert Pahlke resulted in a $5,000,000 verdict for a man who suffered extreme burns and injuries from an explosion caused by defective gasoline equipment.
These are examples of past cases and do not guarantee results in a specific case. Each case is different, but we think our past record shows how hard the legal team at Robert Pahlke Law Group will work to ensure the best possible outcome for our subsequent clients.
The Wide Range of Industrial Accident Injuries
Industrial accidents generally include those that occur at refineries, production plants, and other places of industry. Examples of industrial accident injuries include:
- Injuries caused by heavy machinery and industrial equipment or their malfunction, including broken and crushed bones, head and neck injuries, back injuries, amputations, and spinal cord injuries
- Injuries from falling debris
- Poisoning due to chemical spills and exposure to toxic substances
- Radiation exposure
- Construction injuries, such as falling from a ladder or scaffolding or getting caught between things
- Burn injuries from fires and explosions
- Smoke inhalation from industrial fires or explosion
Assigning Fault in an Industrial Accident That Causes an Injury
Several different parties might incur liability for an injury that resulted from an industrial accident. The negligent parties may include:
- Employers who don’t maintain safe workplaces or don’t carry workers’ compensation insurance
- Manufacturers and other parts of the chain of distribution for defective machinery or defective parts
- Co-workers who operate heavy machinery while tired or under the influence of drugs, alcohol, or prescription medication
Compensation in Industrial Accidents
If your industrial accident injury occurred at your place of employment, your lawyer will first guide you through the Nebraska workers’ compensation claims process. The Department of Administrative Services oversees Nebraska’s workers’ compensation, which provides indemnity, medical benefits, and vocational rehabilitation to employees who are injured at work and were not willfully negligent.
- Indemnity, or compensation for lost wages, pays out two-thirds of the injured party’s average income after a seven-day waiting period.
- Medical expenses include costs directly related to the injury, like ambulance and emergency services, hospital stays, X-rays and other imaging tests, surgery, prescription medications, and more.
- Vocational rehabilitation helps place injured parties in new positions when their injuries prevent them from returning to their previous jobs.
Workers’ compensation insurance doesn’t cover all of the economic losses that employees might incur from an industrial accident, nor does it consider non-economic losses. After the carrier has paid out its maximums, your attorney might advise you to file a personal injury lawsuit to recover additional damages. You might recover damages in a lawsuit for:
- Additional medical expenses, including future medical costs in the event of a permanent disability
- Additional lost wages beyond workers’ comp coverage
- Lost earning capacity in the event of a permanent disability
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
The Responsible Parties Will Duck Responsibility
Should Nebraska law and your circumstances permit filing a negligence lawsuit, expect the negligent parties to pull out all of the stops to reduce the damages they have to pay or eliminate them altogether. Expect insurance companies and any party to the defense to question the circumstances and extent of your injuries, or try to shift the blame to you. Nebraska’s modified comparative negligence rule incentivizes victim-blaming, because it reduces or eliminates awards if the court finds the plaintiff is partially at fault for their injury.
Insurance companies, employers, manufacturers of defective machinery, and their defense teams will use a wide array of tactics to shift liability to other parties. For example, the defense might argue that an injured party was violating OSHA safety regulations, not following best practices for their job, or using machinery in the wrong manner. A skilled personal injury lawyer who has experience with industrial accidents and workplace injuries will anticipate these and other counterclaims and defense strategies, advocate for your rights, and fight to make sure that the court holds liable parties accountable.
Contact a Skilled Industrial Accident Attorney in Nebraska
If you were injured in an industrial accident at your workplace, your workers’ compensation claim was denied, or your benefits were reduced, contact a skilled industrial accident attorney to aggressively protect your rights. Your lawyer can help you file a workers’ comp claim, evaluate your case, and advise you on the best course of action for your particular situation. Contact one of the experienced industrial accident lawyers at Robert Pahlke Law Group online, or call our Nebraska office at (308) 633-4444 for a free consultation.