Loading Dock Accident Lawyers: Chicago, Illinois
Illinois has long been a transportation hub, especially among large commercial trucks. The state is ranked third in the number of interstate miles nationwide.
Many commercial truck drivers travel through in Illinois and, at some point, load or unload cargo at a dock in and around Chicago or other Illinois cities.
The dockworkers, forklift operators, and truck drivers that work on these docks are at high risk for serious injury when loading and unloading these large trucks. Even minor injuries can result in massive medical expenses, time lost from work, and even permanent disability or death.
Hiring a Chicago Truck Loading Dock Accident Lawyer
If you or a family member is involved in a loading dock or other fall accident, contact our personal injury lawyers at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC now! Schedule a free consultation to discuss your legal rights confidentially in an attorney-client relationship.
Our law office will file a work injury claim or wrongful death lawsuit on your behalf to begin your personal injury case.
Truck Loading Dock Accident Injury FAQs
What is the Safety Precaution Used on Docks?
Loading docks are dangerous. Never push anyone or fool around in the warehouse or loading area and remain away from the dock edges. Never jump off or onto the loading dock and always watch what you are doing when around the forklift driver.
Wear steel-toed boots or shoes manufactured with non-skid soles to provide adequate support for your ankles and feet. Never run on the loading dock, even when in a hurry.
Why do We Need to Know Things of Loading Docks?
Dockworkers and truckers must understand the settings of the loading dock and receive training on operating the equipment and dock leveler safely. Moving forklifts and cargo-carrying devices in and out of the trailer onto the dock could expose workers and the trucker to accidents and damage.
What is Dock Safety?
Truckers should take precautions and look for floors marked with tape that identify the off-limits areas. Many dock accident cases list getting hit and injured with heavy machinery and forklifts as the basis of filing a compensation claim.
Walking in areas with clear floor markings can provide a safe path to prevent unwanted injuries.
What is a Loading Dock Leveler Accident?
Truckers open the trailer's doors and back up to the loading dock to load or unload transported cargo. However, the height of the trailer might be higher or lower than the dock and require a dock leveler to allow forklifts and other cargo-carrying devices to gain access into the back of the trailer.
The trucker, cargo handlers, and others on the dock can trip and fall over a dock leveler that is not resting securely on the floor of the trailer. These accidents can cause the victim to slip off the dock and suffer injuries.
Dangers Facing Truck Loading Dock Workers in Chicago
Estimates reveal that 25% of the injuries that occur in warehouses happen on loading docks and dock levelers. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA ) claim that loading docks are riddled with hazards on the warehouse floor with various mechanical equipment and large trucks coming in and out of the area.
Workplace accidents on the loading dock often occur in hectic, chaotic environments, which can add significant dangers the result in severe injuries in fall accidents.
Some of the most common hazards include:
- Slip and fall - Warehouse workers face common injuries when working on the loading dock, including slips and falls. Workers can fall from the dock and slip on oil and water spills from equipment and forklifts, making the dock floors dangerously slippery.
- Pallet or load tip-overs - Truckloads and pallet stacks in a queue to be loaded can be dangerous to workers. Stacked loads can become unstable during transport and fall on an unsuspecting worker when the trailer doors are opened. Improperly stacked pallets can topple and injure workers on the dock as well.
- Backing up related injuries - Warehouse employees have been severely injured, even fatally, when caught between a backing truck and the dock. With nowhere to go, the worker can be crushed either between the truck and dock or under the commercial vehicle.
- Forklift accidents - Forklift Injuries are common occurrences on loading docks. Forklift operators and those working in the area must remain alert to common hazards to avoid backing over other workers, falling off the dock edge, or crushing cargo handlers in the trailer.
- Lifting injuries - Back injuries can happen anywhere in a warehouse but are even more prevalent on the loading dock. Often, workers feel rushed to maintain a fast pace of the loading dock atmosphere fail to follow proper safety precautions and restraints when lifting, causing back and other soft tissue injuries.
- Exposure - Employees are exposed to the many hazards of loading docks that can cause injury. Hazardous materials, carbon dioxide from truck/equipment exhaust, and noise pollution can all be harmful to workers.
Employers Responsibility in Protecting Loading Dock Workers From Accidents
Employers must provide a safe work environment, especially in every hazardous area, like the truck loading dock. The company must provide the necessary safety gear, training, and equipment to prevent injury.
For example, OSHA requires truck drivers at loading docks to use chocks or restraints to prevent the trailer from moving while being loaded and unloaded. If the company does not provide the necessary restraints and an employee is injured, the company can be blamed for the worker's injury, and this can trigger a workers' compensation claim.
Establishing Guilt in Chicago Loading Dock Accidents
Employers are automatically held responsible under the Illinois Worker's Compensation Act when injuries occur on the job. The worker is not required to prove who was at fault to receive benefits in a workers' compensation claim.
Illinois employers provide every employee worker's compensation insurance medical treatment coverage that pays the injured worker benefits, including money for lost wages and other expenses.
Illinois law guarantees workers' benefits. However, additional compensations might be available from other financial avenues if the injured truck loading dock employee or truck driver files a lawsuit with the help of an experienced personal injury attorney.
Chicago Loading Dock Accident Statistics
- One-quarter of work accidents in the industrial sector happen on a loading dock.
- Annually, almost 100,000 people are injured on or near loading docks using forklifts.
- Loading dock accidents cause dozens of deaths each year around Chicago.
- OHSA cautions that fatigue and distraction lead to the most loading dock incidents.
- About three-quarters of all loading dock accidents could have been prevented with additional caution.
Getting Help After a Chicago Loading Dock Accident
Dock accident victims have many legal options for relief and financial compensation after an incident in the Chicagoland area. Many legal claims can achieve recovery for their suffering, costs, and other harms and damages. Consult a qualified personal injury attorney to discuss all options and benefits available to you.
Experienced Illinois Loading Dock Accident Advocacy
Our personal injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers have many years of experience in handling injured worker claims, including those from dock accidents. Our law firm can help you or a loved one with investigating, communicating, litigating, and negotiating a settlement to ensure you get the financial compensation you deserve in a Chicago court.
Chicago Truck Loading Dock Injury Accident Lawyers
Minor to fatal loading dock injuries create unexpected medical bills, loss of work, and ongoing expenses for the injured worker or family members of the deceased. Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC investigate truck loading dock accidents and use our expertise to compile your case.
Our legal team pursues the maximum worker's compensation benefits for all of our clients and seek recovery from any non-employer (third-party) also responsible for the accident. Contact our Chicago truck accident attorneys (888) 424-5757 for real-time assistance to schedule an initial consultation.
We accept all cases a contingency fee basis, ensuring that you are paid through financial compensation before we receive any payment. Your discussions with our attorneys will remain confidential through an attorney-client relationship.