OSHA requires forklift operators to be trained and certified for a reason – forklift vehicles can be hazardous to operate or, in some instances, hazardous to be near. Even when a forklift operator is knowledgeable and skilled, a serious forklift injury can occur.
Forklift accidents happen more often than most people realize. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 9,050 workplace injuries and 74 fatal injuries involving forklifts in a single recent year.
If you suffered serious injuries in a forklift accident, you will need experienced personal injury lawyers to pursue the maximum compensation you deserve. Our attorneys at the Holliday Karatinos Law Firm have over 50 years of collective experience helping clients just like you. We have recovered more than $95 million in compensation for our clients through our dedicated legal representation.
Contact us now for a free consultation to discuss your legal options.
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.
Additionally, you may be entitled to pursue a third-party injury claim if you’re not covered by workers’ compensation or if the negligence of a third party led to your injury. For example, if your forklift accident was caused by a vehicle defect, the forklift manufacturer may be responsible for your injuries.
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. The knowledgeable attorneys at our firm can help you with this type of claim.
Common Causes of Forklift Accidents
Operating forklifts is an inherently dangerous activity 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.
Injuries from a Forklift Accident
Because of their size and weight, forklift accidents can sometimes 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 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. Call us or contact us online to get started.