Powerful tools and equipment like forklifts enable many of us to perform many heavy lifting tasks with ease. Forklifts, like all heavy machinery, can be dangerous and cause serious harm if they aren’t safely operated.
If you’ve been injured by a forklift, the first thing that you need to determine is who is at fault for causing the accident. If another person caused the accident due to their carelessness, they are responsible for compensating you for your medical bills, your lost wages, and any other financial or emotional harms that you suffered.
Sometimes, it’s clear who caused the forklift accident, but it’s less clear which insurance company is responsible for covering your losses. For instance, if the forklift was operated by one of your co-workers, your injuries would typically be covered only by your employer’s worker’s comp insurance policy. If the forklift was operated by an employee of a third party vendor, then you might be able to sue the third party vendor for your losses because they are responsible for hiring, training, and supervising the careless forklift operator that injured you.
If you were hurt in a forklift accident, do not hesitate to call Allen & Scofield Injury Lawyers, LLC right away. Our Atlanta work injury lawyers have over three decades of experience fighting for the rights of injury victims. We know what it takes to successfully represent people after work-related accidents, including forklift accidents. We can help you recover the compensation you deserve by pursuing an insurance claim through Georgia’s workers’ comp system against a third-party insurance carrier.
There Are Many Forklift Accidents In The Atlanta Area
Factories, warehouses, stores, and farms throughout Georgia use forklifts on a daily basis. According to a recent study performed by Optimum Safety Management, there are approximately 855,900 forklifts in use in the United States. Each year, more than 1 in 10 forklifts are involved in an accident. 34,900 forklift accidents cause serious injuries. 85 forklift accidents are fatal each year.
Below are some of the common types of forklift accidents in Georgia:
- Victims being hit by a forklift at work – Forklifts can reach higher speeds than most people expect. Additionally, forklifts are constantly moving around tall pallets of materials. As a result, an unsuspecting victim might not be able to get out of the way in time to avoid a forklift speeding around the corner of a pallet.
- A forklift dropped items it was carrying – Forklifts can carry heavy loads, but if they are overloaded, they can tip over and cause catastrophic accidents.
- Forklift foot injuries – Forklifts sometimes run over people’s feet when the operator takes his eyes off of the path in front of him.
Common Causes Of Forklift Accident
Common forklift injuries include broken bones, damaged organs, and lost limbs. When you suffer one of those types of catastrophic injuries, the last thing on your mind is how the incident occurred. All that you’re worried about is whether you’re going to survive.
Once your injuries are stabilized, you or someone you love should contact a forklift accident lawyer. Your lawyer will perform a thorough investigation to determine what happened. For instance, your lawyer will contact OSHA and get a copy of the incident report that must be filed whenever a workplace incident occurs. That report will identify witnesses that your lawyer can interview. Your lawyer can also research the company’s safety record to determine whether their employees have caused similar incidents like this in the past.
Some of the most common causes of forklift accidents include:
- Improperly trained operator – An employer or forklift owner must make sure that they safely train and supervise their forklift operators. It takes a lot of training to understand how to safely operate a forklift. Forklift owners should not permit their employees to drive the forklifts on their own until they are certain the employee can do it safely.
- Overworked or exhausted operator – Many workers are required to work dangerously long hours without proper rest. Tired workers are unable to react quickly or to safely judge distances while they operate the forklift.
- Intoxication – Forklift operators must not consume alcohol or powerful substances before using heavy machinery. Unfortunately, some forklift operators do abuse alcohol and drugs which leads to serious accidents.
- Unsafe loads – Each forklift has its own weight and load distribution requirements. A machine can fail or tip over if its operator overloads the forklift with cargo.
- Improperly maintained forklifts – Powerful machines require consistent preventive maintenance to keep them safely operating. Neglecting to properly maintain a forklift can cause it to fall over or drop its cargo.
- Defective forklifts – Many accidents happen when forklifts are defectively manufactured or improperly assembled. The manufacturer or distributor of the forklifts may be liable in that scenario.
Recovering Compensation After A Forklift Accident
A forklift accident can cause catastrophic injuries. Forklift injury victims often need extensive medical treatment. The victims also might not be able to return to work for a long time.
After getting the emergency help you need, we strongly encourage you to call an experienced forklift accident lawyer as soon as possible. Your lawyer will help you find the answers that you seek. Once your lawyer determines who is at fault for your injuries, your lawyer will help you recover complete compensation for the harms you’ve suffered.
Our lawyers can help you seek damages for the following:
- Medical bills
- Future medical needs including doctors’ visits, surgery, and therapy
- Lost income due to your accident
- Lost future earning potential
- Temporary or permanent disability
- Training for new professional needs
- Necessary modifications to your home or vehicle
- Compensation for pain, suffering, or disfigurement
- Wrongful death damages if a loved one was killed in an accident
Allen & Scofield Injury Lawyers, LLC Can Help
All of us deserve to be safe from harm on the job regardless of the type of duties that we perform. When a careless forklift operator injures you, you deserve the best representation. The veteran trial attorneys at Allen & Scofield Injury Lawyers, LLC have helped workplace accident victims and their families recover tens of millions of dollars for their losses. Let us help ease your suffering, find your voice, and recover the compensation that you deserve.