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What Is the Most Common Lift Truck Accident?

Lift truck accident lawyers

The most common type of lift truck accident is the forklift overturn. Such accidents often occur due to a disruption in the vehicle’s balance, which can happen if it moves down a slope or makes a swift, sharp turn, causing it to tip over. Moreover, forklift mishaps may lead to severe injuries and, unfortunately, fatalities among forklift drivers and bystanders.

If you or someone close to you has been injured in a forklift truck accident, you may be eligible to seek compensation for your injuries. Reach out to a New York forklift truck accident lawyer at Uptown Injury Law PLLC. Our team will assess your case and help you determine possible legal avenues to recover your damages. Call us at 917-540-8728 to schedule your free case evaluation. 

What Makes Lift Truck Accidents Dangerous?

Lift truck accidents pose significant hazards in the workplace due to their potential to cause severe injuries. These incidents can happen suddenly, creating dangerous situations for you and the other workers. Below is a list of common injuries that you might sustain in such accidents:

  • Broken bones or fractures
  • Concussions or traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
  • Cuts and lacerations
  • Spinal injuries, including paralysis
  • Crush injuries, particularly to the limbs
  • Sprains and strains
  • Internal injuries or organs
  • Amputations of fingers or limbs

Forklift truck accident injuries can be serious. You might have to deal with heavy medical bills on top of extreme physical pain and emotional distress. In addition, you might end up missing your work and earning the wages you would have otherwise if the accident had not occurred. At Uptown Injury Law, PLLC, our New York truck accident lawyers are here to help you get your life back on track. Fill out the quick form to check your eligibility for a claim. 

Factors Contribute to Lift Truck Accidents

The following factors can increase the risk of a forklift accident:

  • Inadequate operator training
  • Neglecting pedestrian safety
  • Floors that are slick or wet
  • Unbalanced loads, unevenly distributed, loosely stacked, or not secured properly
  • Pallets that are unstable or tipped
  • Operating the lift truck at excessive speed
  • Making abrupt or sharp maneuvers
  • Obstructions on the ground
  • Subpar conditions of the flooring
  • Problems with loading dock plates
  • Brake malfunctions or incorrect use of brakes
  • Equipment malfunction or mechanical failures

Statistics of Forklift Accidents 

According to the latest statistics, in 2022, forklift accidents caused 73 fatalities, which is an alarming trend. OSHA’s estimates indicate that 35,000 and 62,000 injuries occur yearly due to forklifts. 

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Moreover, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that 9,050 forklift-related injuries were severe enough to cause employees to take time off work in 2017. However, in 2018, the number decreased to 7,940.

It is also noteworthy that forklift injuries are more severe than other workplace injuries. The median number of days off work is 13, which is higher than the average of 8 days for all other cases. Furthermore, companies incur an average cost of $41,000 for each injury that requires medical attention, highlighting the significant financial burden associated with forklift accidents.

What To Do If You Have Been Injured in a Forklift Accident at Work? 

If you suffered injuries from a forklift at work, your immediate priority should be obtaining medical care. Promptly addressing your injuries and consulting a healthcare professional to uncover any potential hidden injuries is crucial for your health. Additionally, these medical records become vital evidence for your forklift accident claim. Ensure you collect and preserve all medical documentation, such as test results, prescriptions, and doctor’s notes regarding your injury.

Following medical treatment, you must inform your employer about the incident immediately. This notification is a critical step in initiating your lift truck accident claim. Your employer needs to know about the injury to fulfill their part in the claims process, which includes completing necessary documentation and procedures.

While filing for your compensation is intended to be a clear-cut process to secure benefits for medical bills and lost wages, challenges may arise. Your claim could face denials for various reasons, including:

  • Disputes over the injury’s severity
  • Accident relation to work
  • Challenges from your employer’s legal team

While you can self represent yourself, personal injury claims can be tough to resolve on your own without having any legal knowledge. Hiring a truck accident lawyer can make a significant difference in securing the compensation you deserve. Get in touch with our team at Uptown Injury Law, PLLC to schedule a no-obligation, risk-free case evaluation. 

What Are the Most Common Types of Forklift Accidents?

Forklift accidents are usually caused by forklift overturns, pedestrian collisions, crushing incidents, and falls from the vehicle. These accidents result from unbalanced loads, lack of pedestrian awareness, improper load securing, and falls due to unsafe operator practices. 

  • Forklift Overturns (Rollovers)
  • Pedestrian Collisions
  • Crushing Incidents (from forklifts or falling loads)
  • Collisions with Structures or Equipment
  • Forklift-to-Forklift Collisions
  • Entrapment Under a Forklift
  • Electrical Accidents (from electric forklifts)
  • Injuries from Improper Forklift Maintenance

How to Determine Liability After a Forklift Truck Accident?

Determining liability after a forklift truck accident involves reviewing the circumstances of the accident, identifying the parties involved, and assessing the extent of their responsibility. Although workers’ compensation is usually available, you may also be eligible to secure compensation from third parties. 

There are several parties that could be liable for your accident, such as:

Accountability of the Forklift Operator: The key to ensuring safety is that the forklift operator follows established protocols. If the operator was drunk and behaved carelessly or recklessly, you may need to file a lawsuit against them individually.

Manufacturer’s Liability in Forklift Accidents: Manufacturers might also bear responsibility for forklift accidents, mainly when injuries result from defects in the forklift’s design or production. For instance, a third party may be liable if the forklift undergoes mechanical failure or does not receive proper maintenance.

Other parties: Other parties may also be involved in the accident, such as individuals in other vehicles, other workers, or other companies. Depending on the accident’s circumstances, they may also be liable for your damages or injuries.

It’s essential to seek the services of a truck accident attorney to determine liability. Their expertise in personal injury law can strengthen your claim and ensure that the at-fault parties are held accountable.

What Damages Can You Recover In a Lift Truck Accident? 

Forklift accidents

You can claim various damages in a lift truck accident, such as compensatory and, in some instances, punitive damages. Compensatory damages are further divided into economic (monetary) and non-economic damages to recover all your losses.

Economic Damages: These are quantifiable financial losses directly tied to the accident. They may include:

  • Medical bills that cover both current and anticipated healthcare expenses.
  • Compensation for lost wages if your injuries hinder your work life.
  • Future earnings if you’re unable to return to previous earning capacity.
  • Repair/replacement costs of damaged property. 

Non-Economic Damages: These address the intangible losses from an accident, such as:

  • Psychological impacts stemming from the accident. 
  • Discomfort and physical pain.
  • Diminished quality of life. 
  • Impact on relationships with a spouse or family. 
  • Permanent injury and disfigurement. 

As non-economic damages do not have an exact financial value, calculating them requires legal expertise. At Uptown Injury Law, PLLC our truck accident lawyer can calculate your economic damages and negotiate the amount on your behalf. 

Punitive Damages: Beyond compensatory damages, you can also seek punitive damages. These damages are not intended for compensation but rather to punish the guilty party for their misconduct and prevent similar future actions. 

However, the availability and limit on punitive damages can vary by jurisdiction, making it essential to consult with a truck accident attorney to explore this possibility in your case.

Contact Uptown Injury Law New York Truck Accident Lawyer Today!

Our experienced lawyers at Uptown Injury Law PLLC can help if you’ve suffered injuries in a forklift accident. We understand the complexities of forklift accident cases and can provide you with the legal resources and representation you need to get your rightful compensation. 

Our team will take you through the legal procedures, negotiate with insurance firms, and represent you in court if necessary. With our in-depth knowledge of forklift safety regulations and workplace safety standards, we know precisely how to build a strong case on your behalf.

Why Choose Uptown Injury Law, PLLC Personal Injury Lawyer?

Our team has been successfully representing accident victims throughout New York for the past 15 years.  With a history of securing over  $100 million in settlements and verdicts, we have earned a reputation as one of the top 10 NYC personal injury law firms. Our clients’ reviews speak volumes about our commitment to achieving justice for them. Schedule a FREE case evaluation today, or give us a call at 917-540-8728.

FAQs

Does Any Health Administration Organization Have Rules for a Lift Truck Operator?

Yes, health and safety administrations, such as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), have specific regulations for lift truck operators. These rules ensure the safety and health of workers by setting standards for training, operation, and maintenance of powered industrial trucks, including lift trucks. Additionally, OSHA’s guidelines cover aspects such as daily equipment inspections and the proper handling of forklifts to prevent injuries.

How Often Do Forklift Accidents Involve Pedestrians?

Forklift accidents happen frequently and mainly involve pedestrians. Forklift accident statistics by OSHA show that these accidents cause approximately 85 fatal injuries and 34,900 serious injuries yearly. 

Among these accidents, 20-25% involve pedestrians. If you are a pedestrian who has suffered injuries in a forklift accident, then you may face significant medical expenses. However, a lawyer can help you claim compensation for your injuries and damages, so you don’t have to bear the financial burden alone.

What Should a Worker Do if Injured in a Forklift Accident?

If injured in a forklift accident, you should seek immediate medical attention for any injuries. Next, report the accident to your employer as soon as possible and document everything related to the accident, such as injuries and incurred medical expenses. 

Following this, you may need to make a workers’ compensation claim or seek compensation with the help of personal injury attorneys, primarily if the injury resulted from inadequate safety measures or mechanical failure.

Should You Hire a Truck Accident Attorney For My Forklift Accident Case?

Yes, you must hire a truck accident attorney if you suffered a forklift accident caused by someone else’s negligence. A skilled lawyer can evaluate the accident details and work to establish liability. They can also assist in negotiating with the at-fault parties and advocate for the compensation you’re entitled to.

Can You Make a Workers Compensation Claim for a Lift Truck Accident?

Yes, you can initiate a workers’ compensation claim for a lift truck accident. Workers’ compensation is insurance that protects employees who suffer injuries on the job.

If you are injured while operating a lift truck at work, you may receive benefits such as medical treatment, wage replacement, and disability compensation. To get these benefits, you must report the accident to your employer and initiate a claim immediately to ensure you receive your rightful benefits.

What Is the Cost to Hire a Truck Accident Attorney?

There is no upfront cost to hire a truck accident attorney for your case. This is because most lawyers work on a contingency fee basis. Under this fee arrangement, a lawyer usually charges 33% to 40% of their contingency fee from a settlement amount they win for you. 

However, the lawyer’s charges may fluctuate depending on the case’s complexity and your specific agreement with them.

How Long Does It Take to Receive Workers’ Compensation After a Lift Truck Accident?

You can usually expect compensation within a few weeks after filing a claim. However, the duration depends on your state’s laws, the injury’s severity, and the number of parties involved in the accident.

To speed up your compensation process, consult a lawyer at Uptown Injury Law, PLLC. Our lawyers can ensure a smooth and hassle-free claims process.

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Kyle Newman Founder and Senior Trial Lawyer at Uptown Injury Law New York's Best Personal Injury Medical Malpractice and Accident Law firm New York's Top Trial Lawyers
WRITTEN AND REVIEWED BY
Kyle Newman Founder and Senior Trial Lawyer at Uptown Injury Law New York's Best Personal Injury Medical Malpractice and Accident Law firm New York's Top Trial Lawyers

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