Forklifts are used to move materials and products at factories, warehouses, construction sites, lumberyards, and more. They are one of the most common industrial vehicles and heavy machinery, and a frequent cause of serious workplace accidents.
If you have been seriously injured in a forklift accident, you may be entitled to compensation from not only workers’ compensation but also negligent third parties. Recovering the compensation you deserve can be an uphill battle, but a New York forklift accident lawyer can help. Goidel & Siegel is ready to put more than 30 years of experience to work for you.
Between 2011 and 2017 alone, the BLS reported 614 workers were killed in forklift accidents. Every year, around 7,000 workers suffer non-fatal injuries in forklift accidents that require time off work.
While forklifts are only involved in about 1% of factory and warehouse accidents, they are responsible for 10% of all injuries in these settings. On average, 62,000 workers suffer non-serious injuries and 35,000 suffer serious forklift injuries every year.
Forklifts can be dangerous to operators, other workers, and customers or visitors. Forklift accidents can happen in many ways:
Why do accidents involving forklift accidents happen? Common factors include:
Unfortunately, the most common factor in accidents is user error, usually due to inadequate training or supervision. While a forklift seems very easy to use, they are extremely prone to rolling or tipping over. They can reach high speed easily, but become unstable. Overturn accidents can happen when the forklift is operated at high speeds or a turn is taken too sharply. Tip overs are most likely to happen when the forklift’s load capacity is exceeded.
When a forklift tips over or rolls over, many workers are hurt or killed when they attempt to jump from the forklift rather than remaining in the vehicle. This frequently causes crush injuries. Workers should always be trained to remain inside the forklift when it tips over because it is safer to remain inside than face the high risk of being pinned under the vehicle.
Sadly, OSHA estimates that around 70% of all forklift accidents could be prevented with better training policies alone.
After a work-related forklift accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries from several sources. The main source for compensation for your damages after a workplace accident is workers’ compensation. In New York, this no-fault system covers your medical bills and offers benefits for disability and lost wages. In many cases, workers’ compensation is not enough to even cover your full lost earnings, and it does not allow you to recover anything for your anguish, pain, suffering, and lost enjoyment of life.
A third-party lawsuit may be available to seek additional compensation. If a third party’s negligence or defective equipment caused your accident, you can seek compensation beyond what workers’ comp covers.
New York Labor Law also offers enhanced protection for injured construction workers. Property owners and general contractors can be held strictly liable if they failed to provide adequate safety equipment under Labor Law 241. They can also be held liable if they did not provide a reasonably safe work environment and protect you from hazards they could control under Labor Law 200.
A forklift accident can change your life forever. You may be unable to return to work with medical bills and living expenses that need to be paid. Goidel & Siegel is committed to giving you the sound legal representation you need to seek full compensation to move forward with your life.
Our law firm has represented injured workers for over three decades. Contact our multilingual trial lawyers today for assistance with workers’ compensation, labor law claims, and third-party personal injury cases.
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