New York Punch Press Malfunction Injury Lawyers
Punch presses are industrial machines that can form, shear, and punch holes in thick pieces of metal. These powerful machines exert 30 tons of pressure or more and can be extremely dangerous to workers. Broken bones, lacerations, and amputations are some common injuries caused by punch press accidents.
Have you or a loved one been injured in a punch press accident? If so, you have a right to pursue compensation for your losses. A personal injury lawyer can review your case, identify all liable parties, and help you file a claim or lawsuit.
At Hill & Moin LLP, we have been proudly representing workers in New York for over 40 years. We truly care about our clients and work hard on their behalf. In fact, our clients have said that when Hill & Moin LLP is on your side, “it’s like having a lawyer in the family.”
Contact our law firm today at (212) 668-6000 to schedule a free initial case consultation.
What is a Punch Press?
A punch press is a type of machine used to create holes in sheet metal or other materials. It can also be used to shear, bend, stamp, or convert materials. A punch press alters the size or shape of a material by applying pressure to a tool, called a “die,” that is forced through the metal being held against it.
Some punch presses are small and are controlled manually, while others are huge and computer numerically controlled (CNC). A punch press operator determines what size of press to use depending on the material being cut.
There are various types of punch press machines used in the workplace, including:
- Mechanical power presses
- Pneumatic presses
- Hydraulic presses
- Hybrid presses
- Powered press brakes
When manufactured properly and used correctly, a punch press is a safe, efficient, and useful piece of machinery. However, when these large pieces of equipment malfunction or are used improperly, severe injuries can occur.
The Dangers of Operating a Punch Press
A punch press uses a large amount of pressure to cut or put a hole in metal. If a worker’s fingers, hand, or arm are placed between the ram and piece of metal being pressed, that part of the body can be crushed or amputated. Tragically, statistics compiled by OSHA reported that close to 50 percent of all punch press injuries resulted in an amputation.
The following are some injuries reported by punch press operators:
- Crushed limbs
- Finger, hand, or arm amputations
- Facial injuries
- Loss of vision
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
The operation of a punch press is a dangerous job. The following workplace incidents involving punch presses can result in severe injury:
- Contact accident: These types of accidents occur when someone comes in contact with the moving parts of the machine. For example, a worker’s fingers could be amputated if caught between the ram and the metal being cut.
- Activation malfunction: A malfunctioning punch press could activate without the operator turning on the machine. This sudden activation could put the worker at risk of injury.
- Caught objects: Jewelry, hair, loose clothing, or other objects could be caught on the moving parts of a punch press. When these items on a person are pulled and constricted, strangulation or other severe injuries could occur.
- Electrocution: A punch press that is improperly designed, manufactured, or maintained can malfunction electrically and shock the machine operator. Depending on the severity of the shock, the worker may suffer burns, internal organ damage, or other harm.
Punch Press Malfunction Accidents and Employer Negligence
Employees should be able to go to work and be provided with a safe working environment as well as training as to how to safely do their jobs. Unfortunately, some manufacturers and factory owners put profits ahead of employee safety. Punch press accidents often occur when shortcuts are taken and safety guidelines are not implemented.
Consider some of the following causes of punch press accidents:
- Inadequate training: Employees need weeks or even months of training to learn how to operate these complex pieces of equipment. A worker has to learn to skillfully operate foot pedals, hand pedals, control buttons, electronic switches, and more.
- Insufficient supervision: Employers should properly supervise workers and ensure that all safety protocols are being implemented.
- Lack of machine maintenance: Punch presses have many working components that must be regularly inspected and maintained. When maintenance is skipped, the machine may malfunction and harm the operator.
- Inadequate safety guards: Safety guards are very important in preventing punch press injuries from occurring. When these guards are poorly maintained, attached incorrectly, or missing, workers are unnecessarily put at risk.
Does Workers’ Compensation Cover Punch Press Accidents?
The law requires all New York employers to hold workers’ compensation insurance to cover their employees in the event of accidents. This means that, if you were injured in an on-the-job punch press accident, you should be able to recover workers’ comp to cover your medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses.
Unfortunately, filing a workers’ compensation claim and recovering benefits is not always easy. The lawyers at Hill & Moin LLP, though, are experienced in handling workers’ comp cases and can help you at any stage of the claims process.
Some indications that you may need an attorney to help with your workers’ comp claim are when:
- Your claim is denied
- Your employer is delaying filing your claim
- You are unable to receive needed medical treatment
- You have a pre-existing condition
- You have a long-term or permanent injury
- You are being accused of fraud
- You have a third-party claim
If one or more of the above scenarios apply to your situation, do not hesitate to contact our law firm. We may be able to help you file your initial workers’ comp claim, refute a denial, or identify outside sources of compensation.
Defective Punch Presses and New York Product Liability Lawsuits
Some accidents are caused because the punch press machine itself is defective. In this situation, a personal injury lawyer may be able to help you file a product liability lawsuit.
A punch press product liability case can be based on one or more of the following issues:
- Design defects: If the design of the punch press was flawed, you could have the basis for a solid lawsuit. Your lawyer will find the answers to questions such as: Was the machine designed correctly? Was there a safer design available? Did the manufacturer anticipate how the machine would be utilized?
- Manufacturing defects: These types of defects occur when an error occurs when a punch press is manufactured in a way that differs from the product design. Even a slight difference in the size or shape of one component of the punch press can affect the functioning of the whole machine.
- Failure to warn: The manufacturer of a product can be held liable for failing to warn of a known risk. While the manufacturer is not necessarily required to warn of dangers inherent to heavy machinery, they must warn of dangers that would not be obvious to a reasonable person.
Damages Available Following a Punch Press Accident
It is recommended to consult with an attorney before signing paperwork and accepting a settlement from the insurance company. Please keep in mind that insurance companies do not have your best interests at heart. Their goal is to get you to accept as low of a settlement amount as possible.
Do not let an insurer pressure you into accepting an offer that is less than you deserve. Some fast and low settlements may not even cover the full cost of your medical bills, let alone your other losses. Remember, once you sign the paperwork, you cannot go back and ask for more money later on.
A punch press accident lawyer can review your case, gather evidence, identify all liable parties, and help you file a claim or lawsuit.
Damages available following a punch press accident include:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Loss of future earning potential
- In-home care
- Short or long-term disability
- Loss of enjoyment
- Pain and suffering
Tragically, some punch press accidents result in a fatality. If you have suffered the tragic loss of a loved one in a workplace accident, our hearts go out to you. Our compassionate legal team may be able to help you recover wrongful death damages to help take some of the financial burdens off of your shoulders during this difficult time.
Contact a New York Punch Press Injury Lawyer Today
A punch press or other machinery accident can leave you with devastating injuries that affect you for the rest of your life. The cost of medical bills, missed time from work, and daily expenses can quickly add up. A punch press injury lawyer can help you file a claim to recover compensation for your losses.
At Hill & Moin, we believe that everyone has a right to legal representation regardless of his or her current financial situation. For this reason, we take workplace accident claims on a contingency fee basis. This means that you do not pay upfront costs or fees to retain our legal services. We only get paid if your claim is successful and you are awarded your money.
Contact our office today at (212) 668-6000 for a free evaluation to learn about your Personal Injury Recovery SolutionsⓇ.
Don’t wonder about your rights!