While standup forklifts provide added mobility and the ability to fit into tighter spaces, this comes at the sacrifice of safety and places operators at risk. The Chicago forklift accident attorneys of Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers review the circumstances of standup forklift injuries to determine whether proper measures were taken to protect the worker. In the event a manufactural defect or willful violation of safety protocol resulted in the accident, it is possible to recover compensation on behalf of the victim in addition to whatever workers’ compensation benefits were already guaranteed. If you have been in a workplace accident, it is important to understand your rights and we are happy to answer any questions you may have.
The Advantages and Disadvantages of a Standup Forklift
Traditional forklifts are much safer than their standup counterparts because drivers have access to a greater number of safety devices that include seatbelts, overhead cages and other devices meant to keep the operator secure. When operating a standup forklift, workers are able to fit into smaller spaces and warehousing companies are able to use their floor space more efficiently as a result. These forklifts are more prone to tip over, however, due to a much higher center of gravity when a load is lifted, and because workers are standing, they are at greater risk of being thrown from their machines during an accident.
Our Illinois forklift injury lawyers have noticed that about one quarter of all forklift fatalities involve forklift overturn. This can result from the unsafe operation of the forklift, manufactural defects or simple human error. One example of a common manufactural defect is the lack of a third vertical safety post to provide load stability when raising or lowering a load. Here are some common ways operators may cause or become involved in an accident.
- Operating the forklift with a raised load. Safe procedure is to lower a load prior to transporting it because having it raised raises the center of gravity and increases the chances of tip over.
- Failure to make others aware of one’s presence. Many accidents occur when two forklifts collide at intersections and sounding the horn when approaching each intersection is a simple method of making others aware of your presence that can prevent accidents.
- Lack of a compartment door designed to keep the operator inside of the forklift. Operators are more easily thrown from standup lifts than they are from others, which is why it is important to install equipment that will keep them inside of the forklift during the course of an accident.
- Operation of a forklift that fails to meet safety standards. There are several tests that many standup forklifts in use fail and these include a weight load test and crush test that determine the ability of the machine to stabilize a load and keep the operator safe when weight crashes down on top of it.
Your Legal Options Following an Accident
Our Illinois forklift liability attorneys specialize in accidents involving the improper maintenance or operation of forklifts. We’ve noticed that one of the greatest factors preventing workers from receiving the compensation they are entitled to is that they are unaware of their rights. Some may even choose not to file a claim simply because they feel they cannot prove fault in the accident. The truth is that you are entitled to workers’ compensation even if the accident was your fault and you can recover damages in the amount of your medical bills, out of pocket expenses and wages lost while you are unable to return to work.
Contact Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers today to learn more about your legal options during a free consultation with one of our award winning Chicago forklift accident attorneys. We will gather all of the information we need to launch an investigation into your case and will explore every avenue available to maximize the value of your case. Should we be unable to recover damages on your behalf, our services won’t cost you a thing.