Forklifts are powerful tools. While they are useful for moving heavy loads, they can also be highly dangerous. Hundreds of deaths and thousands of injuries each year involve these machines. In many cases, the forklift accidents can be traced to unsafe operation.
However, if you were injured at work by a forklift, you may be eligible to collect benefits that can pay your medical bills and cover a portion of your lost wages.
Workers’ compensation attorney Frank M. Eidson has extensive experience representing the victims of workplace forklift accidents throughout Orlando and central Florida.
To learn more about your rights, contact him by phone or through our online form. Our consultations are always free.
How Common are Forklift Accident Injuries?
Forklifts cause roughly 100 fatalities and nearly 95,000 injuries each year, the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) estimates. One in six workplace deaths in the U.S. involve a forklift, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
Who Is At Risk of Suffering a Forklift Accident Injury?
The forklift operator is obviously at risk for injury. However, according to Compliance and Safety (a safety training video supplier), nearly 80 percent of forklift accidents involve a pedestrian. In fact, the BLS reports that the leading type of fatal lift truck accident among workers is a pedestrian getting struck by a forklift.
By industry, forklift accidents most commonly occur in:
What Types of Forklift Accidents Injure Workers?
Several types of forklift accidents are prevalent, including:
- Being struck by a lift truck
- Forklift overturns
- Crushed by a forklift
- Crushed between a forklift and a surface
- Crushed between a forklift and another vehicle
- Fall from a platform on the truck’s forks
- Struck by falling material
- A lift truck driven off a loading dock
- A truck falling between a dock and an unsecured trailer.
How Are Forklift Accidents Caused?
According to OSHA, 7 out of 10 forklift accidents are avoidable. The most common reasons for forklift accidents are insufficient training and failure to obey safety procedures.
Specific factors that commonly lead to forklift accidents include:
- Speeding (especially driving too fast over rough terrain)
- Unbalanced load or excessive load
- Failure to use a safety belt
- Trucks not properly maintained
- Forklifts that should no longer be in use due to their age
- Lack of proper attachments and accessories
- Riding with an elevated load
- Improper backing, turning, braking, parking or accelerating
- Failure to warn workers about nearby forklift use
How Can a Florida Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Help With Your Forklift Accident Injury?
A lawyer familiar with the Florida workers’ compensation system can help you to seek the maximum amount of benefits in an as timely of a manner as possible.
For those unfamiliar with the system, navigating the bureaucracy can be difficult. Your employer may also try to deny your claim, put off paying you or fire you. There might also be issues concerning who, exactly, is at fault. A lawyer will protect your rights.
In cases in which a lawsuit is brought against a non-employer, or “third party,” an investigation may be needed. Medical experts may need to be consulted as well. Because forklift injuries tend to be severe, the stakes in these cases are often high.
Frank M. Eidson, P.A., is available to put his years of experience in this area of the law to work for you. Contact our Orlando or Winter Park office today and get started with a free initial consultation.
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