People use forklifts in a variety of settings, including factories, warehouses, lumberyards, and large retail stores. Although useful in moving large, heavy items, forklifts can be hazardous to operate or even hazardous to be around while they are operating.
The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) requires forklift operators to be trained and certified in using the machines. However, even when a forklift operator is knowledgeable and skilled, a serious forklift injury can occur.
If you suffered serious injuries in a forklift accident, you will need experienced Florida forklift accident injury lawyers to pursue the maximum compensation you deserve. Our attorneys at the Holliday Karatinos Law Firm have over 50 years of combined experience helping clients just like you. We have recovered more than $145 million in compensation for our clients through our dedicated legal representation.
Contact us now for a free consultation to discuss your legal options.
National Forklift Accident Statistics
Forklift accidents happen more often than most people realize. According to OHSA, forklift accidents seriously injure nearly 35,000 and kill around 85 people each year. Many forklift accidents happen on the job, injuring thousands of workers and killing dozens more. Also, the National Safety Council estimates employees miss around 17 days of work on average to recover from their injuries.
Can Forklift Operators Pursue Compensation for Injuries?
When you are hurt at work, you may be able to pursue compensation for your injuries by filing a workers’ compensation injury claim. A workers’ compensation attorney can help you navigate the process and protect your right to receive comprehensive benefits.
While workers’ compensation does not cover non-economic compensation, such as your pain and suffering, you can pursue these types of damages in a third-party injury claim.
For example, if a vehicle defect caused your forklift accident, the forklift manufacturer may be responsible for your injuries, and you can pursue a third-party claim against them.
Additionally, you may pursue a third-party injury claim if you’re not covered by workers’ compensation. For instance, you may have been shopping at a home improvement store or some other retailer when the forklift accident occurred.
The knowledgeable attorneys at the Holliday Karatinos Law Firm can help you with any third-party claim involving your forklift accident injuries.
Why Choose Us to Help with Your Forklift Accident Injury Claim
The personal injury lawyers at the Holliday Karatinos Law Firm have decades of collective experience fighting for the rights and interests of clients throughout the North Tampa area. We have recovered millions of dollars in total compensation for individuals and families who suffered serious injuries or losses because of someone else’s negligence or wrongdoing.
Our attorneys have earned memberships in the Multi-Million Dollar Forum, and we have received national recognition as among the top personal injury attorneys in America. We have also won awards for our outstanding client service, and we have received dozens of five-star client reviews and ratings on Avvo and Google.
You can rely on us to take a personal interest in your case and treat you with the compassion and respect you deserve. We will fight hard to help you recover the maximum amount possible, and we are always available to answer your questions promptly. We have law offices in Inverness, Lutz, and Brooksville, and we serve clients throughout Hillsborough, Pasco, Hernando, and Citrus counties.
Call our law firm at 352-290-7481 or contact us online to request a free case evaluation.
Common Causes of Forklift Accidents
Operating forklifts is inherently dangerous because forklifts are often used in enclosed areas where other workers are present. Common causes of accidents include:
- Inexperience or lack of training
- Distraction or inattention
- Unsafe or improper turns
- Excessive speed
- Elevated or unsafely stacked loads
- Poorly maintained or defective equipment
- Poor workspace design
Forklift injuries can occur when a driver crashes into materials, runs over a worker, drops materials, or tips the forklift over, among other causes.
Forklift Accidents in Retail Stores
Retailers who use forklifts in their stores must also ensure their employees set up barriers so patrons do not enter into areas where forklifts are operating. If employees did not take precautions and you sustained injuries in a forklift accident, you may hold the store liable.
Even if employees barricaded the area properly, you could still suffer serious harm if you were in the next aisle and the forklift pushed a heavy item on you from an overhead shelf.
The experienced forklift attorneys at the Holliday Karatinos Law Firm can help you pursue compensation from the store or business if their employees' negligence or carelessness led to your injuries or losses.
Injuries from a Forklift Accident
Because of their size and weight, as well as the size and weight of the loads they carry, forklifts can cause fatal injuries. In non-fatal accidents, the victim may suffer a wide range of severe injuries, such as:
- Head trauma
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Spinal cord injuries
- Neck injuries
- Crush injuries
- Internal bleeding
- Broken bones and fractures
- Torn ligaments
Proving Negligence in a Forklift Accident
Florida bars an employee from suing their employer for negligence in most cases. However, construction sites often employ third parties who may have played a role in your forklift injury. Depending on the circumstances surrounding the accident, you could potentially hold one or more of the following parties liable:
- General contractor
- Property owner
- Equipment lessor
- Equipment manufacturer
In order to prove negligence, your legal team will conduct a thorough investigation of your accident and review evidence, such as:
- Medical records
- Accident reports
- Witness statements
- Statements from expert witnesses, who can review the forklift for design flaws
- Photos or videos of the accident site
- Review of the worksite to see if factors such as uneven flooring contributed to the accident
- Review of the cargo lifted
How a Florida Forklift Accident Lawyer Can Help
A forklift accident lawyer can help you in the following ways:
- Review your case and estimate how much your claim may be worth
- Investigate the accident
- Gather compelling evidence
- Handle communications with the insurance company
- Negotiate for a fair settlement
If you were involved in a forklift accident, contact our attorneys at the Holliday Karatinos Law Firm today. We will fight to recover the maximum compensation that you are entitled to.