What happens in an instant all too often can have a lifetime of financial, personal and medical repercussions.
If you have been injured in a forklift accident, you are not alone. OSHA reports that the number of injuries per year (non-serious, serious, and fatal) hovers around 96,800. That’s right! Almost 100 thousand injuries occur per year. To put it another way, 1 in 10 forklifts in the US will be involved in some kind of accident.
What’s even more disturbing are the numbers of people who fail to document and to swiftly contact an experienced forklift injury attorney. If you or a loved one have recently been injured in a forklift accident, we strongly suggest you pause reading this article. Stop all research for the moment and instead grab a camera. Photograph everything, from all angles, as soon as possible. Document the injuries themselves, the scene of the accident, any objects involved in the injury (forklift, shelving, any other nearby objects).
Especially in a warehouse environment — where there is often a well-earned sense of pride in one’s work ethic — no one wants to ‘make a big deal’ of an accident or take time to take photographs.
But this is a mistake. A potentially costly one.
Because even if you or your loved one feels fine the day of the accident, very often days later they will begin to experience painful after effects. By then, the area will have been cleaned up and the external wounds have begun to heal. Document everything. And do so right away!
How does it happen?
Forklift injuries take many forms. Forklift operators could encounter an unsafe work surface and lose control of the vehicle. (Or worse, find themselves trapped under an overturned forklift.) The forklift itself could be old, worn or improperly maintained.
Busy warehouses are full of speeding forklifts, blind turns and scores of experienced but jaded workers. It’s precisely because they have so many hours and days and years of experience that sometimes they might feel comfortable enough to cut corners. All it takes is one miscalculation of a foot or two – or a sudden appearance of a pedestrian – and a dangerous, potentially fatal accident can occur.
Whatever the reason, the window of time for you to act is extremely small. You must contact an attorney and you must contact one right away.
Forklift Injury FAQs
What if I had a forklift injury at my workplace. Who can I sue?
If you’re working on a construction site or warehouse, or anywhere else forklifts are in use, there is a list of people who might be to be sued for your damages. (As always, check with your attorney first. They are your best resource for determining who you can sue in your case.) Possible at-fault parties could include subcontractors, employees of the subcontractors, property owners, manufacturer or distributors of defective equipment or tools.
What if my employer is at fault? Can I sue them?
In most states, you cannot sue your own employer. Instead, you will be eligible for workers’ compensation. However, if third parties other than your employer have caused your injuries, you may bring a “third-party” lawsuit against them. You can this even if you are already collecting workers’ compensation benefits. This is because many times workers’ comp does not include damages such as pain, suffering, emotional distress or disfigurement.
What if don’t work onsite and was injured simply by visiting or walking past the site?
If you aren’t employed by anyone on the site of the accident, you could have a case against any contractors, subcontractors or even the property owner. Again, we highly recommend you contact an experienced injury attorney as soon as possible and let them help you determine if you are able to sue.
What safety regulations do forklift operators have to follow?
According to OSHA, even though there is no specific recommended speed limit for forklifts (since job requirements and environments can vary so greatly) there are some regulations they should be following. These can include: being required to slow down and sound the horn at cross aisles and other locations where vision is obstructed. If the load they are carrying obstructs the ‘forward view’, the driver is required to travel with the load trailing. All grades need to be ascended or descended slower and under all travel conditions the truck shall be operated at a speed that will permits it to be brought to a stop in a safe manner. On wet or slippery floors, driver needs to slow down and when they are turning they should be reducing speed to a safe level.
Do forklifts have to be inspected? How often?
OSHA requires worksites to inspect forklift every single day. And if the forklift is used round the clock, the forklift must be inspected after each and every shift. Daily inspection checklists are recommended to companies using forklifts, and they should save them for a recommended period of six months.
How We Can Help
The Law Office of Julie Johnson has helped their clients recover millions of dollars in personal injury settlements. That’s just one reason we are the right attorney for your case. The other reason is that we offer a free initial case evaluation!
We handle forklift injury settlements as well as those related to:
- Falling object accidents
- car accidents
- trip, slip, or fall (on someone else’s land or property because of hazardous conditions);
- pedestrian accidents
- truck accident (hit by a semi-truck, tractor trailer, or big rig);
- motorcycle accident
- bus accident (whether traveling inside the bus or hit by it); or
- workplace accident (when your employer doesn’t carry workers’ comp insurance or has fired you as a result of your injury).
At The Law Office of Julie Johnson, we’re committed to keeping our attorney fees reasonable and flexible. You pay us nothing unless we get compensation for your injuries.
So contact us today and schedule your free initial case evaluation. We are standing by to listen to your needs, ask the right questions provide you the support and protection you need during this trying time and ultimately – get you the best settlement possible. Reach out now : 214.290.8001