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Forklift Accidents Lawyer

Forklifts are heavy and potentially dangerous vehicles that can cause catastrophic injuries and deaths. According to the National Safety Council (NSC), forklifts caused 7,290 nonfatal injuries and 78 work-related fatalities in 2020.

Morgan & Morgan see the devastating consequences of construction and workplace accidents every day. We know that a severe injury can turn your life upside down in one split second, negatively impacting your career, family life, and finances. However, if someone else caused your accident carelessly, you could be entitled to compensation in addition to workers’ compensation payments. You could qualify for awards for pain and suffering, loss of life enjoyment, and others.  

Receiving fair compensation can be challenging after a work accident. However, Morgan & Morgan has your back. If you or a family member were involved in a forklift accident, our forklift accident lawyers want to hear from you. Get help now by contacting us for a free case evaluation.

The Dangers of Working With Forklifts

Forklifts are much heavier than cars and have frontal brakes only, making them hard to stop. They are also weighed down in the back to ensure stability when carrying heavy loads. However, due to the uneven weight distribution, forklifts with and without loads can be challenging to handle. Moreover, when carrying bulky loads in the front, the driver’s view may be partially obstructed, making it harder to see people, objects, and other traffic.

Common Types of Accidents With Forklifts

Accidents with forklifts can impact drivers, coworkers, and innocent bystanders. Some common types of accidents with forklifts include:

Forklift Rollover

Forklift rollovers occur when the vehicle turns over onto its side or roof. Since forklifts are heavy vehicles, an overturn can cause devastating injuries for those pinned or crushed under a toppled forklift. Reasons for a rollover include:

  • Carrying an unbalanced load
  • Turning too fast
  • Driving or turning on an uneven surface

Rollovers can be particularly dangerous for the driver, who may be thrown off the forklift or trapped underneath the vehicle.

Coworker and Pedestrian Collisions

Accidents with forklifts can cause workers and pedestrians to get struck or crushed by a heavy forklift, potentially causing severe injuries or fatalities. Collisions with workers and pedestrians can occur due to

  • Lack of operator experience or training
  • Driving a forklift distracted
  • Driving too fast for road conditions
  • Violating traffic laws
  • Ignoring traffic signs and signals
  • Forklift defects
  • Moving the forklift with forks raised

Other Forklift Accidents

Forklift accidents and injuries can happen in a variety of circumstances, including but not limited to:

  • Forklifts falling to a different level on a construction site
  • Loads falling off the forklift
  • A driver getting thrown off the vehicle
  • Mechanical faults
  • Overloading the forklift
  • Failure to observe safety regulations
  • Objects falling on top of the forklift

Any accidents with forklifts could injure the driver, other workers nearby, or passing pedestrians. If you or a loved one is affected, legal representation from a forklift accident lawyer could help you receive the compensation you need to pay your medical bills and other accident-related expenses.

Injuries in Forklift Accidents

Depending on the type and severity of forklift accidents, injuries can range from minor to severe and life-threatening. Commonly seen injuries in forklift accidents include:

  • Broken and crushed bones
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Internal organ damage and internal bleeding
  • Amputated limbs
  • Back injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries and paralysis
  • Emotional trauma

Forklift accident injuries can result in astronomical medical expenses and other losses, such as lost wages and out-of-pocket costs. The financial obligations can stack up if you cannot work due to a forklift injury. However, as an injured worker, you generally qualify for workers’ compensation which can pay for your medical bills and some of your wage losses.

Workers’ Compensation for Forklift Accident Victims

A regular employee is generally entitled to receive workers’ compensation benefits if injured in a workplace forklift accident. While payouts can vary from one state to another, most workers can receive the following benefits:

Payments to Replace Lost Wages

Workers’ comp typically provides injured employees with wage replacement benefits which, in most states, amount to about two-thirds of a worker’s weekly wage. Benefits are payable for a temporary or permanent disability due to a work accident and are generally paid until a worker returns to their job.

Workers experiencing a permanent disability or disfigurement in a forklift accident may be entitled to a lump sum settlement from their state’s workers’ comp program.

Healthcare Expenses

Workers’ comp medical benefits should pay for all necessary medical expenses to treat your forklift accident-related injuries, such as hospital stays, surgeries, medical devices, and others. Medical benefits are normally available until a worker recovers fully. However, if a worker is permanently injured, workers’ comp may pay for medical expenses due to a work-related injury for the rest of the individual’s life.

Death Benefits

If your loved one died in a forklift accident at work, you could be entitled to survivor’s benefits. Depending on your state, death benefits can include the following:

  • Burial and funeral costs
  • Weekly cash payments for the spouse and dependents
  • A lump sum settlement

Receiving what you need to move forward with your life after suffering a work injury should be straightforward. However, around a quarter of workers’ compensation claims are denied, requiring workers to file appeals and fight hard for the benefits they need and deserve. Morgan & Morgan’s forklift accident lawyers could help you with a complex or denied workers’ compensation claim.

You Could Have a Legal Forklift Accident Claim

While most workers qualify for workers’ compensation after an accident, you could have a legal claim against the third party that caused your accident. In some cases, such as an employer being uninsured or causing your accident recklessly, you could sue an employer for damages. You may have a legal claim if your injury was caused by:

  • An insufficiently trained or unqualified forklift driver
  • A defective forklift
  • Another contractor’s carelessness
  • A property owner’s failure to make the worksite safe

Compensation You Could Receive

Forklift accidents are generally avoidable, provided employers and other responsible parties take the proper steps to protect workers. Therefore, when an employer or another party fails to keep workers safe, they may be liable for your damages.  

Workers’ compensation typically pays for your medical bills and two-thirds of your average weekly wage up to a maximum amount. However, a legal claim could allow you to seek the following awards and more:

  • All income losses due to the accident, including future loss of wages
  • Medical costs and future healthcare expenses
  • Physical pain and anguish
  • Emotional trauma
  • Disability
  • Reduced life enjoyment

Gathering the evidence necessary to prove third-party or employer responsibility can be challenging. Seeking legal help from a workplace injury lawyer could significantly increase your chances of recovering a fair settlement. Our forklift accident lawyers can investigate your accident, determine who is responsible, and move forward with a lawsuit on your behalf.

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FAQ

Get answers to commonly asked questions about our legal services and learn how we may assist you with your case.

Morgan & Morgan

  • Do You Need a Lawyer for Your Forklift Accident Claim?

    If you suffered a significant or life-changing injury or a loved one died in a forklift accident, you should seek legal advice as soon as possible. Protecting your rights is vital if you have substantial medical bills or may not be able to return to your job.

    Receiving the true value of your accident claim, whether with workers’ comp or a lawsuit, could be challenging without an experienced and motivated injury attorney in your corner. Consider hiring an attorney in the following circumstances:

    • You suffer severe or life-changing injuries
    • A loved one died in a forklift accident
    • Your employer or insurer disputes your claim
    • Your workers’ comp claim was denied
    • You qualify for a third-party lawsuit

    First Consultations Are Free

    If you suffered a minor injury in a forklift accident and are receiving adequate compensation from your state’s workers’ comp program, you could probably handle your claim alone. However, speaking to an attorney can be helpful in understanding your legal options and the best course of action even after a minor accident.

    Morgan & Morgan wants you to get what you deserve. We never charge for first consultations and can help you understand your legal rights and the next best steps.

  • Are There Time Limits for Filing a Forklift Accident Claim?

    If you intend to file a personal injury lawsuit to receive compensation for a forklift accident, time may be limited. However, how long you have to file your case depends on the statute of limitations, which sets the deadline for injury claims in your state. While most states give injured individuals two years to file a lawsuit, the timeline can be shorter or longer in some states.

    Therefore, you should seek legal advice as soon as possible. Filing too late could result in having your case thrown out and prevent you from recovering compensation. A seasoned forklift accident attorney can advise you comprehensively, handle the necessary paperwork on your behalf, and ensure you meet all critical deadlines.

  • Can Morgan & Morgan Help with a Forklift Injury Workers’ Compensation Claim?

    Morgan & Morgan’s determined workers’ compensation lawyers could help injured workers receive the settlement or benefits to which they are entitled. Ways in which we could help include:

    • Prove that your injury happened at work
    • Liaise with medical providers to obtain the necessary medical reports
    • Communicate with the workers’ comp insurance on your behalf
    • Help you navigate the appeals process
    • Dispute an incorrect impairment rating
    • Negotiate a fair settlement for your disability or disfigurement
    • Represent you at workers’ comp hearings
    • File a third-party lawsuit and fight for what you receive at trial, if necessary

    Don’t struggle with a complex or denied worker’s compensation claim alone when you could have America’s largest personal injury firm fighting for your best interests. There are no out-of-pocket costs if we handle your claim. We only get paid if and when we win, and you receive compensation.

  • What Should I Do After a Forklift Accident?

    Workplace accidents can be life-changing and deeply distressing. You may wonder what to do for the best when your livelihood and health are threatened. Here are your next best steps after a forklift accident:

    Seek Medical Help

    Getting medical treatment as soon as possible after a work accident can protect your health and your chances of recovering compensation in a future workers’ compensation claim or lawsuit.

    Gather Evidence

    Snapping pictures of the forklift accident scene with your cell phone can be an excellent idea. Take photos of the forklift, your injuries, and any factors that may have contributed to your injury. Ask eyewitnesses for their contact details. Evidence collected at the accident site and witness statements can be critical for your injury case.

    File an Accident Report

    Report your accident immediately to your employer or a supervisor. Your employer likely has an official policy regarding accident and injury reports. Ask to file an accident report and keep a copy for your records. Ask your employer about filing a workers’ compensation claim if you are significantly injured,

    Talk to a Forklift Accidents Lawyer

    If someone else carelessly or recklessly caused your accident, you should not have to shoulder the financial burdens on your own and could be entitled to compensation. Our personal injury attorneys can identify the liable parties in your claim and determine all avenues for compensation.

  • Morgan & Morgan Protects Injured Workers

    Your health is priceless. Therefore, we believe that injured workers should never settle for less. Morgan & Morgan understands that a severe forklift accident injury can change your life and devastate your career, finances, and home life. However, we can be here for you during the most difficult times of your life.

    Our determined forklift accident lawyers want to deliver the best results for you and your family, allowing you to put your life back on track after an injury. Contact us today to discover your next steps in a free case review.

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Customer Story

“I was in a difficult situation when I was injured by a faulty product. I was hesitant to seek legal help but with the help of Morgan & Morgan, they made the process easy. They took immediate action and got me the compensation I deserved. I couldn't have done it without them. I highly recommend their services.” Estate of Patricia Allen v. RJ Reynolds, et al. | 2014

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Results may vary depending on your particular facts and legal circumstances. Based on Select nationwide reviews

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