Factory workplace accidents, also known as manufacturing or industrial accidents, are a tragic fact of life for many Georgia citizens. However, in spite of what most manufacturing companies would like people to believe, these are neither freak occurrences nor the unavoidable cost of working in the industry. They happen, almost invariably, because someone prioritized profits over safety.

If you’ve suffered a factory injury or lost a loved one due to an industrial accident, someone may already have tried to persuade you against pursuing legal action, or even collecting the benefits you are rightly due. It is important to understand that after an accident, more than at any other point in time, your employer is not on your side.

Atlanta Factory Accident Lawyer

It is vital that you consult with a qualified factory accident lawyer regarding your rights as soon as possible.

Manufacturing accidents come in many forms. Explosions, electrocutions, and chemical leaks, as well as more common mishaps including slipping and falling or being struck by falling objects, all occur and cause significant injury.  Employers and property owners should be anticipating and taking steps to prevent all of these accidents and protect those whom they employ. But the bottom line is that companies don’t always do what they should, and injuries and deaths occur. The Atlanta factory accident lawyer at Stoddard Firm has experience representing the injured in countless scenarios.

One of the leading causes of industrial accidents, however, is harmful contact between workers and machines. Typically, this means someone being caught in or struck by part of a machine. These types of factory accident cases give the survivor or family extra options for compensation, because factory equipment is supposed to be designed to make it difficult or impossible for accidents to occur. When it isn’t, the provider of the defective factory equipment shares product liability for any resulting injuries or deaths.

Below, we share our qualifications and how we can best help you, along with more detail on the causes of factory workplace accidents and the rights of survivors. If at any time you’d prefer to discuss your case directly with an Atlanta factory accident attorney, feel free to reach out by phone or chat for a free consultation.

Why Choose The Stoddard Firm?

Our Factory Accident Lawyer Is Prepared to Assist You

Factory injuries can be serious. Oftentimes their impact is long-lasting and sometimes these injuries even result in the loss of life.  The damages they cause can affect your life (both physically and emotionally) in the short and long term.

First, the cost of the necessary medical care to treat factory injuries can be life-changing. And, those who suffer may need considerable time to recover, if, in fact, they are able. Sadly, some victims of factory accidents are unable to return to work in the same capacity . . . ever.

According to Georgia Law, when your factory accident results in injury, you may be able to file for workers’ compensation or a personal injury lawsuit, and we can assist you with the process. The combination of our approach, experience, and commitment to excellence makes us the ideal firm to guide you as you move forward toward a brighter future.

When you decide to work with our Atlanta team, you will benefit from our:

  • Relevant Experience:  For decades The Stoddard Firm has been representing those living in and around Atlanta when they have been injured in factory accidents. We are well-versed in handling employment law, personal injury law, premises liability, product liability, and wrongful death cases. Each of these areas is applicable to factory accident situations. When you work with a firm experienced in all of them, you can rest assured the legal actions you take will be appropriate for your specific situation.
  • Client-focused Approach: Because we have made a commitment to keep our caseload small, we are able to provide you with an approach designed to fulfill your needs. While we handle the entirety of the legal process on your behalf, we do keep you informed as to our progress, and your questions are always welcome. We appreciate the importance of the details and make sure we take the time necessary to not overlook even the smallest issue. In the end, it could be the difference in maximizing your compensation.
  • Reputation for Excellence:When we agree to represent you, we adopt your goals as our own, and we dedicate all of our firm’s resources to successfully resolving your case. The combination of our knowledge, experience, and approach has led to the successful resolution of countless factory accident cases in the Atlanta area.  That said, nothing speaks more highly of our client’s satisfaction than the fact that they regularly refer others to us. We have a reputation for success and are committed to upholding it.

If you have been injured in a factory accident at work, reach out to us today at 470-467-2200 to schedule your free consultation.

How Our Factory Accident Lawyer in Atlanta Can Help You

Working Hard Today to Protect Your Tomorrows

Factory injuries are incredibly frustrating. The combination of the pain you are in, managing your recovery, worrying about the future, and handling the barrage of medical bills is overwhelming, to say the least. When you work with a factory injury attorney at The Stoddard Firm, you can focus your attention where it is most needed — on your recovery — and you can rest assured that we will handle everything else.  Our team will . . .

  • Investigate your injury, making sure to determine exactly what happened and the circumstances surrounding it
  • Determine the most appropriate avenues to pursue compensation
  • Complete all paperwork and ensure it is submitted correctly and accurately
  • Negotiate on your behalf in both workers’ compensation claims and personal injury lawsuits (if necessary).

In short, we will manage the entire process necessary to get you the settlement you need and deserve. We have the knowledge, experience, and time to devote to your case, and we are ready to go to work for you immediately. Compensation opportunity time frames are limited by the statute of limitations; don’t hesitate to contact us as soon as possible.

Injuries at Work Are Commonplace

Georgia’s Factory Workers Face Threats to Life and Limb Every Day

Approximately 270,000 people are employed in Georgia’s many plants, factories, and factory farms, performing the hands-on production work that keeps them running. Every day, these workers carry out physically demanding labor in close proximity to heavy machinery, toxic chemicals, and other serious hazards. The conditions under which they work are controlled by employers who often show little regard for human life — they are primarily concerned with their profitability.

As a result, many workers end up with repetitive stress injuries and environmental illnesses at some point in their careers, and every work shift holds the danger of a sudden, catastrophic industrial accident.

Examples of Factory Accidents

Accidents in factories are not a unique occurrence. In fact, they happen regularly, injuring many each year. Below are some examples of recent incidents both in Georgia and across the country.

In January of 2021, a nitrogen leak in a Gainesville meat-packing plant killed six workers and injured at least 11 more. As if it weren’t bad enough that the accident happened in the first place, survivors and community members report that the workers were then forced to sign blank papers that their employer could fill in later, and were intimidated when they tried to seek care or compensation.

A month earlier, in a West Virginia location of the Georgia-based company, Optima Chemical, an explosion killed one plant worker and hospitalized two others.

Just over a year before that, a worker was pulled into a machine and killed in a South Georgia paper mill. He was reportedly attempting to clear a conveyor belt jam, and the power to the machine had not been shut down.

To say that Georgia’s factory workers deserve better is putting it lightly. Unfortunately, most large companies don’t respond to any incentive except a threat to their bottom line.

Atlanta Factory Accident Lawyer

By holding manufacturers accountable for their employees’ deaths and injuries as often and as thoroughly as possible, survivors can create a financial incentive to improve safety, while gaining the resources to fund their own recovery processes.

An Overview of Atlanta Factory Accidents

Most Are Preventable

As of 2019, there were over 15.7 million people working factory jobs in the U.S., and factory workers suffered 15% of the work-related injuries and illnesses recorded that same year.

Those numbers don’t include fatal injuries or illnesses. The death count for U.S factory workers has hovered in the low-to-mid 300s for the past decade. That’s less than 10% of all workplace fatalities, but still far too many, especially when you consider that factory worker deaths are almost always pointless, horrific, completely avoidable accidents.

Worse, factory accidents, both fatal and nonfatal, are often the same types of accidents over and over again, caused by the same safety violations.

KPA, a private organization that assists other companies with safety compliance, compiled a list of the top five OSHA violations found in factories in 2019. While KPA itself mainly works with mid-sized companies, its findings would be most reflective of the big companies with the highest volume of workers and inspections.

The top five citations are:

  1. Missing or inadequate machine guards, allowing workers to come in contact with dangerous parts of the equipment
  2. Missing or inadequate lockout/tagout mechanisms and procedures, allowing machines to start up unexpectedly while being serviced
  3. Lack of hazard communication
  4. Lack of respiratory protection
  5. Unsafe electrical wiring.

These are very basic safety regulations that companies can easily enforce, yet the numbers show that they often don’t. There’s also another safety principle that’s even more basic, and that companies are even more likely to ignore: Don’t work faster than you can work safely.

The paper company Georgia-Pacific is a shining example of the importance of this concept. As detailed by ProPublica, when the company was acquired by Koch Industries, its new executives implemented a range of programs intended to improve its poor safety record. None conclusively worked, and the problem grew even worse. The one thing that had a clear, positive correlation with safety was a slowdown in factory production — something that happened only because of economic circumstances, not by the company’s choice.

Even companies that make grand claims about their commitment to safety will almost always choose production and profit over human life and health, and that means cutting corners where possible and pushing people to work faster than is safe.

At The Stoddard Firm, we believe that employers should be held responsible for accidents in their factories.  We tirelessly pursue justice on our client’s behalf.

Factory Employees Have Resources When Injured

Workers’ Compensation Can Be Helpful

Victims of factory workplace injuries can generally get coverage for their medical care and a portion of their lost income through workers’ comp. The deadline for filing a workers’ comp claim is one year after the date of the injury unless the employer has been arranging treatment for the worker directly. In that case, the deadline is one year from the end of that treatment.

Workers’ comp claims produce results much faster than civil litigation and often faster than standard insurance. The downside is that the compensation available through workers’ comp may not cover all expenses, and, unlike compensation awarded by a judge and jury, it will not include anything for pain or lost enjoyment. Workers’ comp also offers payouts to the families of workers killed on the job, but these are much smaller than an average wrongful death settlement for an industrial accident.

Atlanta Factory Accident Lawyer

With some exceptions for the most extreme forms of negligence, employees and families who are eligible for workers’ comp are not permitted to sue the employer.

If the workers’ comp claim is denied, only then does suing become an option. However, one of the great things about workers’ comp is that filing a claim does not require you to waive any rights you would otherwise have. So, even if you’re interested in filing a lawsuit, there’s no disadvantage to filing for workers’ comp if you can in the meantime.

Our team can review your claim and help determine if a workers’ comp claim is the best course of action for your Atlanta factory accident.

Factories Are Sometimes Responsible for Independent Contractor Safety as Well

Not everyone who performs work in a factory is a direct employee of the company that owns it. Services such as electrical work, maintenance, and even daily cleaning are often performed by subcontractors.

Injured factory workers who are not factory employees cannot collect workers’ comp, at least not through the company that owns the factory. Factory owners will typically argue that the safety of private contractors is their own responsibility or the responsibility of the smaller businesses that officially employ them. However, businesses do have legal responsibilities to anyone they invite onto their property, including private contractors performing work there.

If you were involved in a factory workplace accident while performing contractor work, you may be able to file a personal injury suit based on premises liability. The official deadlines for filing civil suits are more forgiving than those for workers’ comp claims, but it’s always best to get started as soon as you can before evidence can be lost or destroyed.

Faulty Machinery Accidents:  Compensation Options

When a factory worker is injured, even if the factory is clearly in violation of OSHA regulations, it’s important to look beyond just the factory owner to form a complete picture of the accident and its causes. Designers, manufacturers, and installers of factory equipment rarely receive the same scrutiny as factory owners, but they too play a vital role in determining the safety of factory workplaces.

In fact, one of the most widely accepted strategic models for workplace safety, the hierarchy of controls, emphasizes that safety-oriented engineering is much more effective at protecting workers than safety policies are. For example, it’s a good idea for a supervisor to make sure that there is no power flowing to a machine before allowing a worker to clean inside it, but designing the machine so that it’s impossible to access the inside and turn it on at the same time is even better.

Though the factories themselves have much to answer for, most of those top five OSHA citations could be partially the fault of machine manufacturers as well. Factory machines should come with safety guards, built-in lockout systems for safe cleaning and maintenance, thorough hazard warnings, and, of course, safe electrical wiring — but that doesn’t mean they always do.

If faulty equipment played a role in the factory accident that hurt you or your loved one, you can sue the equipment manufacturer for compensation, on the grounds of product liability. You can do this at the same time as collecting workers’ comp if you’re eligible, and it’s also an option if you’re a private contractor.

The Factory Accident Lawyers at the Stoddard Firm Can Help You Get the Compensation You Deserve

What You Should Do If an Accident Occurs

After a factory accident happens, how you respond can make a significant impact on your chances of receiving fair compensation and holding the negligent parties accountable. If you are the direct victim, take these actions as quickly as you can after the incident.

  • Report the accident to your employer in a timely manner.
  • Get the medical care you need, whether or not your employer approves. As well as preventing your condition from getting unnecessarily worse, this helps establish a record of your injuries.
  • If possible, take pictures of the accident site and make a list of coworkers who witnessed the incident.
  • Do not discuss faults or sign anything.
  • Acquire qualified legal representation as soon as possible.

Family members of fatal factory accident victims should also refuse to sign any agreement without speaking to legal counsel first.

Atlanta Factory Accident Lawyer

When we represent you in your factory accident lawsuit, we will manage all communications on your behalf.

This means you should provide our contact information to anyone who reaches out to you.  Our Atlanta factory accident attorney knows how to handle these interactions to protect your best interests.

Contact Our Atlanta Factory Accident Lawyer Today

At The Stoddard Firm, we have extensive experience in employment law, personal injury law, premises liability, product liability, and wrongful death. We’ll perform a thorough investigation to identify whose negligence led to the factory accident and how.

If you’re interested in accepting an out-of-court settlement, we’ll negotiate to get you the best deal, and if you want to go to court, we’ll make sure the judge and jury understand exactly how the accident will affect the rest of your life, so you get full and fair compensation.

To discuss the details of your unique case in a free consultation with a Georgia factory accident lawyer in the Atlanta area, just give us a call at 470-467-2200 or reach out through our online chat function.

Attorney Matt Stoddard

Atlanta Personal Injury Lawyer Matt StoddardMatt Stoddard is a professional, hardworking, ethical advocate. He routinely faces some of the nation’s largest companies and some of the world’s largest insurers – opponents who have virtually unlimited resources. In these circumstances, Mr. Stoddard is comfortable. Mr. Stoddard provides his strongest efforts to his clients, and he devotes the firm’s significant financial resources to presenting the strongest case possible on their behalf. Matt understands that his clients must put their trust in him. That trust creates an obligation for Matt to work tirelessly on their behalf, and Matt Stoddard does not take that obligation lightly. [ Attorney Bio ]

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