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Industrial Accidents

We’re trial lawyers. Our core competency – above everything else – is trying cases to juries. And we specialize in beating giants.

Minneapolis Industrial Accident Lawyer

Those who work in industrial fields may be more likely to sustain serious injuries when they’re hurt on the job. The results can be devastating. Extensive bills from severe injuries, a long recovery time, and uncertainty about the future are all things that an injured worker may have to deal with, but they shouldn’t have to do this on their own. Our Minneapolis industrial accident lawyer can help you get justice. We’ll fight for you to hold negligent people responsible for their actions that harmed you.

The Dangers of Industrial Jobs

While injuries can happen at any job, industrial work tends to have higher worker fatalities. According to the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry, agriculture, forestry, and fishing had the highest worker fatalities in 2019. There were 23.

The next highest fatal industries include transportation and warehousing, which had 13 cases. Construction and wholesale trade both saw decreases from 2018, but still had worker fatalities as well.

These areas of work may be more dangerous than others, but many injuries that happen can be prevented with proper safety precautions. However, when others don’t prioritize safety, accidents can occur. Some industrial accidents include:

  • Toxic Chemical Exposure. This could refer to workers unknowingly working in a dangerous worksite without the equipment or information about the hazardous conditions they’re in. There’s also the chance of a chemical spill occurring. Chemical spills can cause burns and explosions, but can also seep into the environment and affect others in the area, like if a spill happened near a residential area.
  • Equipment Overturns. If there is faulty equipment or someone doesn’t know how to properly handle equipment, there can be issues with equipment rolling over or falling over. Anyone caught near the equipment can sustain injuries if they’re hit or operating the equipment.
  • Being Caught in Machinery. Loose clothing, hair, or other improper ways of using heavy machinery can result in accidents where someone is caught in the machinery.
  • Being Hit with Equipment. Industrial worksites are often full of moving equipment and machinery. If someone acts recklessly or isn’t paying attention, they could hit others with the equipment. Contact with equipment caused 14 fatalities in 2019.
  • Falls. This accident, along with slips and trips, accounted for 15 fatalities in 2019. Falling from heights and falling debris can all cause life-threatening injuries.

When our Minneapolis industrial accident lawyer is working on your case, we’ll look into the accident that harmed you. Often, these accidents occurred because of the negligent actions of another. With Madia Newville as your lawyers, you can rest assured that we’ll find the cause of your accident and injuries.

Examples of Industrial Site Negligence

You may be asking yourself how the accident that hurt you could have happened in the first place. Industrial accidents can occur in a number of ways, but there are common reasons that these accidents occur. It’s possible one of the following examples of negligence is the reason why you were injured:

  • Defective Equipment. If there’s equipment on the site that malfunctions, it may not be because of the person using it. There’s a chance it was defective and would have broken down or failed to work properly no matter who was operating it. In this case, the company that provided the equipment may be held responsible for your injuries.
  • Lack of Equipment Maintenance. The machinery used on industrial worksites need to be properly maintained to make sure they will run smoothly and safely. If the machines aren’t checked or maintained, they could have an issue that causes a dangerous accident that could have been prevented.
  • Lack of Safety Equipment. Workers need safety equipment to protect themselves. If they aren’t provided with this equipment or those in charge aren’t enforcing the rules that they need to use the equipment, then there may be grounds for an industrial accident lawsuit.
  • Employees Aren’t Fully Trained. When Ashwin is investigating your case, he may look into the hiring process of the company you work for. They may have a history of hiring unqualified workers or not properly training employees to use the equipment and machinery required of them. If they’re knowingly putting unskilled employees in charge of heavy machinery, they may be held accountable for the injuries and damages you sustained in the accident.
  • Fatigue. Workers need to have breaks and time to rest. If they’re overworked like constantly pulling double shifts or are working excessive overtime, then they’re likely not going to be sharp when they’re on the job. This could lead to mistakes and oversights. Workers may also be held to an impossibly high standard where they’re supposed to do their work at an unsafe speed. While the company is prioritizing time saved, this is making workers rush and cannot focus on safety.

When negligence is the reason you were hurt, Madia Newville can serve as your industrial accident lawyer. We will find out why it happened and will fight for you to get the recovery you deserve.

Consequences of Industrial Accidents

The consequences of these accidents are often catastrophic injuries. This can include brain damage, loss of limb, spinal cord injuries, crush injuries, burns—all injuries that can permanently affect you for the rest of your life. While these injuries can heal up to a point, they will not fully recover. The treatment required for these injuries can include surgery, medication, medical equipment, and continued physical therapy.

Another industrial accident injury that can occur is degloving, where the skin and tissue are severed from the muscle and tissue beneath. This injury is also known as an avulsion and can be extremely dangerous. This type of injury may require multiple surgeries and physical therapy.

Some injuries may not be apparent until years later, when they present as an illness. If you were in an unsafe environment and were breathing in dangerous chemicals, you may receive a diagnosis later in life. Depending on when the illness is caught, your care may be focused on slowing down the illness or treating the painful symptoms it can cause.  

While there are many different kinds of injuries that can occur, they will likely result in the following:

  • High Medical Bills
  • Inability to Work/Return to Work
  • Loss of Enjoyment of Life
  • Emotional Distress

That’s where Madia Newville can step in as your lawyer. We’ll seek full and fair compensation that fully covers your economic and noneconomic damages. You’ll be able to get the medical care you need, recover the wages you’ve missed or will continue to miss, and to recover damages for the emotional losses the accident has caused you. With Madia Newville on your side, we’ll represent your best interests so you can get the recovery you deserve.

Seek Legal Representation Today

Madia Newville will stand up for your rights when you’ve been wrongfully injured. While you may feel overwhelmed at the outcome of the accident and the costs of your case, we are here to help. Madia Newville will handle the legal responsibilities so you can work on healing. We will make sure your voice is heard.

THE MADIA NEWVILLE WAY

We have a process that works in getting exceptional results for our clients. 

We are trial lawyers who prepare every case for trial from Day 1. Investigation and legal research are the first things we do, and we spend a lot of time on them. Because we haven’t filed the case yet, we have complete control – the defendant has no say and we want to use this time wisely.  We interview witnesses that can help us prove the case.  We’ll ask you for all relevant documents in your possession and review those carefully as well.  We also will spend some time conducting legal research about unique issues in the case.  We pull the jury instructions that the judge will ultimately charge the jury with after closing arguments at trial. 

Our next step is typically to send a demand letter to the defendant. In the letter, we thoroughly lay out: the facts surrounding the defendant’s misconduct; the applicable law (including statutory and case citations) that make clear that the defendant broke the law; an analysis of your damages and the defendant’s monetary exposure; a demand for a monetary amount to settle the claim; and an instruction to preserve all relevant evidence, including electronic evidence. The point of this letter is to give the defendant a chance to do the right thing and pay a fair amount before litigation, and to give the defendant an opportunity to present any defenses or evidence it wants us to consider before moving forward.  Sometimes we skip the demand letter if there are strategic reasons to move straight to filing, but we typically give defendants a chance to do the right thing.

If early negotiations fail, great – we file a Complaint and serve the defendant with it. A Complaint is a legal document that states the facts of what happened and alleges how the defendant broke the law. It formally starts the lawsuit.  Many lawyers draft complaints in a general and relatively vague way, just to get it done and filed – because that’s all that’s really required.  We take a different view. We view the Complaint as our first chance to tell your story to the judge, and we take it seriously. So we draft detailed complaints and include legal citations to statutory and judicial authority on unique points.  Sometimes we’ll include a number of exhibits, diagrams, or other demonstrative aids to help the Court understand our claims.  A secondary benefit of this approach is that defense lawyers reading the Complaint can become educated on the problems of their case and the state of the law – sometimes this leads them to reach out to us shortly after service of the Complaint to re-initiate settlement negotiations.  Of course, by that time, the price for settlement has gone up.

Some lawyers view written discovery as a necessary evil – something to get done and out of the way before depositions.  Not us.  Written discovery is a gift and an opportunity.  We spend a great deal of time crafting requests for documents and interrogatories (questions for the defendant to answer in writing) that are specific, detailed, and tailored to get what we need to prove our case.  Many lawyers – even great ones – think written discovery is a waste of time because defense lawyers typically answer them on behalf of their clients and can try to stonewall with legalese and objections.  We view this as a wonderful opportunity.  In our experience, most defense lawyers can’t help themselves when answering discovery: they over-state their defenses and make assertions that their clients will not be able to support in testimony. So we get to commit the defendant to defenses that they can’t back up, leading to contradictions, confusion, and chaos in their depositions later on.  We also use Requests for Admission – which many lawyers don’t.  The Federal Rules and Minnesota Rules of Civil Procedure allow us to ask defendants to “admit” certain facts.  We send them RFAs that are very difficult for them to deny.  Of course, they do it anyway, but that sets them up later for cost and fee-shifting, which the Rules mandate for defendants that deny RFAs that are later proven true.  And usually, we can get the defendants’ own witnesses to admit facts that their defense lawyers denied in RFA.  That’s a great situation that leads to more chaos and confusion on the defense side.

One last point on written discovery – we send multiple waves of it throughout discovery.  We typically send 3 or 4 sets of written discovery requests to defendants throughout discovery.  This compounds the problems for them, because the defense lawyers continue to overstate their defenses, but now run into contradictions from not just the defendant witnesses’ deposition testimony, but also their own previous discovery responses.  This makes for a great record that we can present to the judge at dispositive motions, and use for impeachment at trial.

This is our chance to question relevant witnesses, on the record with a court reporter (we typically videotape important depositions as well). We get to confront the defense witnesses with all of the evidence we’ve developed through written discovery and document production. By this time, the defendant put its witnesses in an impossible position through its written defenses, which are often untrue and indefensible.  So the witness has to either lie to support the defense, or admit it’s not true.  That’s a dilemma that works for our clients either way, no matter which option the witness takes.  We use depositions to expose contradictions, create a record for dispositive motions, lock witnesses into their stories so that we can impeach them later at trial, and sometimes, to show defense lawyers how hopeless their case is.  We often calls from defense counsel shortly after depositions of their clients, seeking to re-start settlement negotiations.

The defendant will usually make a motion for summary judgment after discovery, asking the Court to throw out the case without having a jury trial. Because we’ve hit discovery so hard – both through written discovery and depositions – this is a tough motion for defense counsel to write in our cases.  We draft our response for the Court and now get to bring everything together: the admissions, contradictions, nonsense, and obvious fact disputes that we’ve uncovered through discovery.  We tell a compelling story that wraps everything together for the Court and makes clear that the defense motion has to be denied, and the defendant needs to face a jury for its conduct.

Sometimes, we’ll even make an affirmative motion for summary judgment, asking the Court to grant judgment in favor of our client without a trial. These motions are generally rare for plaintiffs to make, because the defendant can usually point to some fact dispute on its intent or some other factor that necessitates a trial. But we make affirmative summary judgment motions significantly more than is typical for plaintiffs, and that’s because the work we put in during discovery helps build a fantastic record to do so.

After the Court denies the defense motion for summary judgment, the defendant has only 2 options: 1) do the right thing and pay you a fair amount to our client to settle your claim (usually much, much more at this point than the defendant could have paid at the beginning of the case to settle); or 2) face a jury for its conduct and risk an enormous verdict. This is the dilemma that we have been creating and forcing the defendant into for the entire case. We’ll engage in settlement negotiations at this point from a position of extreme strength, mainly because most defendants are (rightly) terrified of facing a jury to defend their conduct.

This is, candidly, our favorite part of the case – why we went to law school: to hold the powerful accountable before juries.  We prepare heavily for trial, including: detailed witness preparation, focus groups, and mock trials.  At this point, the potential outcomes and consequences for the defendant are much more severe than if it simply did the right thing at the beginning of the case and paid a fair amount to compensate our client for its misconduct.  As we advocate to the jury for our client, we’re also mindful of protecting the record so that defendants will be unsuccessful in attacking the verdict in post-trial motions or appeal.

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