Forklift Accident Lawsuits - Construction Safety Laws

Forklift Accidents

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Forklifts are one of the most useful machines on a construction site, fit to move heavy or cumbersome construction materials from one place to another. Unfortunately, their existence at a construction site comes at a significant price, as nearly 100 workers are killed and another 95,000 are injured in forklift accidents in the United States each year. Because of the considerable danger posed by forklifts, it is imperative that construction workers and employers alike pay careful attention to the safety precautions put in place specifically to avoid forklift accidents. However, when employers or general contractors cut corners, when workers are poorly trained, or when supervisors neglect safety protocol, the results can be devastating. If you or a loved one was injured in a forklift accident, contact a construction accident attorney to discuss your options for legal recourse.

Types of Forklift Accidents

The three most common types of forklift accidents resulting in fatalities are forklift overturns, falls from forklifts, and workers on foot being struck by forklifts. Other types of forklift accidents include equipment malfunctions, operator error, and issues when the machine’s center of gravity shifts. Because forklift accidents, injuries and fatalities are so prevalent on a construction site, it is necessary that supervisors maintain a safe working environment for their employees, allowing forklift operators and other construction workers to work together in a safe manner. Unfortunately, factors like unsafe working environments, inadequate maintenance, or negligent operation of forklifts can result in severe forklift accident injuries and death.

Injuries Caused by Forklift Accidents

Due to the sheer weight and size of forklifts, the injuries caused by forklift accidents can be devastating. Depending on the type of forklift accident (overturn, fall, or being struck), the resulting injuries may include:

  • Spinal cord injury
  • Head and neck injuries
  • Back injury
  • Wrongful death
  • Broken bones
  • Crush injuries
  • Amputation

OSHA Safety Regulations Involving Forklifts

In light of the serious risk of forklift accidents in the construction industry, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has established a series of safety guidelines for workers and employers to follow, in an effort to minimize the frequency and severity of forklift accidents. The OSHA regulations are as follows:

  • Do not allow any employee under the age of 18 operate a forklift
  • Train and certify all operators to ensure they operate forklifts safely
  • Properly maintain haulage equipment, including tires
  • Examine forklift truck for defects before using
  • Do not modify or make attachments that affect the capacity and safe operation of the forklift without written approval from the manufacturer
  • Follow safe operating procedures for picking up, moving, putting down, and stacking loads

Workers’ Compensation Claims for Forklift Accident Injuries

Workers’ compensation laws were enacted in the United States to protect the rights of workers injured on the job, regardless of the industry in which they are employed. Workers’ compensation benefits provide critical compensation for medical bills and lost wages, offering life-saving support for workers whose injuries require extensive medical care and prevent them from returning to work. Unfortunately, some workers’ compensation claims are denied by the insurance company, leaving some injured workers in pain, unable to work, and buried under a mountain of medical expenses. With the help of a construction accident attorney, workers injured in forklift accidents can fight for their rights and appeal their rejected workers’ compensation claim. In circumstances in which a forklift accident was caused by a third party not employed by your employer, such as in equipment malfunctions, you may have grounds to file a third-party liability claim for additional compensation.

A Construction Accident Attorney Can Help

Construction accidents cause some of the most devastating injuries, due mostly to the size and weight of machines and tools used in the construction industry. Forklifts are no exception, contributing to considerable workplace injury and death every year. If you were injured in a forklift accident on a construction site, or if you lost a loved one in a forklift accident, a construction accident attorney can help. You may be entitled to compensation for your medical expenses and loss of income, which you can pursue by filing a workers’ compensation claim. If your claim is denied, the expertise of a construction accident lawyer can benefit you during the appeals process. Seeking the reimbursement you deserve after suffering an on-the-job injury can be extremely difficult. With the help of a qualified construction accident attorney, you can ensure that your legal rights are protected while pursuing the compensation you deserve.

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