When working with or near a forklift, things can go wrong very quickly and those who are harmed in an accident involving these heavy machines are more likely to suffer severe injuries. The Chicago forklift accident attorneys of Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers make it a priority to learn how these accidents occur, not only to build and support our clients’ cases, but to help effect changes in the industry that will prevent similar incidents in the future. After compiling data on accidents occurring across the country, we’ve provided the most common causes of forklift related injuries below.
Leading Factors in Forklift Accidents
Worker and employer negligence can cause or influence the severity of forklift related injuries and our Illinois forklift injury lawyers have noticed that while the cause of each accident may be different, there are some very striking similarities between the cases we’ve taken on. Here are some of the most common causes of workplace forklift accidents.
- Collisions with pedestrians. These accidents are normally the result of operators not paying attention when entering and exiting a trailer or when driving through intersections. It is the duty of forklift drivers to make their presence known whenever they are approaching obstructed intersections so that pedestrians have time to react.
- Hoisting another worker into the air or transporting the worker using the forks. This is an extremely dangerous activity, but workers are still reckless enough to place themselves at risk.
- Tipping over. This commonly occurs when the load is too heavy or being carried too high. The forklift’s center of gravity moves when it is bearing a load, which is why drivers should be instructed to keep the load low to the ground and drive in reverse if their vision is obstructed.
- Falling objects. There are many ways these accidents can occur, which include having a raised load fall onto the forklift or working on a construction site where tools and other objects could fall from significant heights.
- Being ejected from the forklift. This can happen when the forklift tips, rolls or falls off of a loading dock or platform. While it is advised that forklifts be equipped with seatbelts, arm rests, roll cages and grab handles, workers may not use these devices or employers may not provide them.
- Manufactural defects. When the forklift itself fails due to a defect or design flaw, it can place the operator and others at risk, especially if the failure occurs while a load is in an elevated state.
What to Do Following an Injury
If you have been injured on the job, you should seek medical attention right away. Once you’ve been stabilized, you should review your rights with an Illinois forklift injury lawyer so that you are aware of your rights. Over 86% of workers filing workers’ compensation claims are represented by attorneys due to the lengths that employers and insurance companies will go to in order to escape responsibility. Our attorneys work closely with medical professionals and accident reconstruction specialists, so we are able to help you access the medical care you require while we are investigating and building your case.
Regardless of whether you are at fault for your accident or it was the result of another party’s negligence, you are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. It is illegal for your employer to attempt to mislead you about these rights or deny you the compensation that the law has mandated. You can seek additional damages if you can prove that the accident was the result of a safety code violation, product defect or negligent behavior.
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers is an award winning personal injury law firm and our attorneys have recovered compensation on behalf of thousands of workers with injuries similar to your own. Contact us today to arrange a free case review with one of our Chicago forklift accident attorneys so that we can review your legal options with you and get to work representing your needs. If we cannot recover compensation on your behalf, our services won’t cost you a thing.