A forklift accident may sound like a rare occurrence, but many of us see forklifts on a daily basis because they are crucial to so many different construction projects. These incidents are actually quite common; from 2011 to 2017, there were more than 60,000 forklift-related injuries and 614 forklift-related fatalities in the U.S. That’s more than 8,500 injuries per year and more than 1.6 fatalities per week.
Forklifts are incredibly powerful machines. That’s why even workers who were non-fatally injured in forklift accidents required (in 2017, on average) 13 days off from work to recuperate. Pedestrians required 20 days on average. These numbers are significantly higher than the median of eight days off for workplace injuries in general.
Forklift injuries are common, and they can be severe. If you were injured in a forklift-related accident — whether you were operating the forklift or not — you may be able to recover significant financial compensation. Keep reading to learn how a Morgan & Morgan personal injury lawyer can help.
Causes of Forklift Accidents
For the forklift operators, other onsite workers, and any pedestrians or drivers in the area, forklifts present a unique set of risks because of their incredible size and weight. Some common causes of forklift accidents include:
- Operator inattention and/or inexperience
- Lack of operator training
- Faulty or poorly maintained machinery
- Lack of hazard warnings or markings
- Excessive speed
- Improper turns
- Unstable and/or elevated load
- Dangerously laid-out workplace
Types of Forklift Accidents
Most forklift accidents fall into one of the following categories:
- Non-roadway incidents involving motorized vehicles
- Roadway incidents involving pedestrian vehicles
- Struck by powered non-transport vehicle
- Struck by falling object or equipment
- Fall from forklift
- Caught in, compressed, or crushed by forklift (often after a forklift has overturned)
Forklift Accident Injuries
As noted earlier, forklift-related injuries often knock a person out of commission for 2-4 weeks (or more). These are some of the most common injuries that occur in these cases:
- Broken bones
- Ligament damage
- Neck and spinal cord injuries
- Head injury/concussion
- Internal bleeding
If you were injured in a forklift accident and believe the forklift’s operator, manufacturer, or another party was at fault, you might be wondering how to go about proving it. “Negligence” is the legal term for liability or responsibility in an accident. Proving liability generally involves satisfying the following criteria:
- The other party owed you a duty of care. They were responsible for operating the machinery (the forklift or another vehicle) in a safe manner, and they failed to do so.
- They breached their duty. The other party breached their legal obligation to avoid harming you.
- Their breach caused the accident. The other party’s actions were responsible for the accident, making them legally liable.
- There were losses suffered as a result. The other party’s actions caused you injury (physical or emotional) and/or property damage.
If you or a loved one were injured in a forklift accident, you may be eligible to recover compensation for:
- Lost wages and diminished earning capacity
- Past, current, and future medical bills
- Pain and suffering
- Physical therapy
- Loss of life’s enjoyment
- Funeral expenses
Speak to a Forklift Accident Lawyer
If you were injured in a forklift accident, contact the personal injury lawyers at Morgan & Morgan. Our highly skilled attorneys can review the facts of your case to determine liability for your injury and help you collect financial compensation during this difficult time. To date, we have recovered more than $9 billion for our clients.
Best of all, we work on a contingency fee basis, so there’s no cost to get started, and we get paid only if you win. To learn more, schedule a free case evaluation now.