Forklifts are gentle loading and unloading equipment for cargo. We have seen them in large retail stores too. Others may have noticed that they load and unload goods at transportation hubs and are part of many companies. Many employees do not know that forklifts cause many injuries or even deaths every year. Every year, approximately 35,000 forklift accidents lead to serious injuries and 85 forklift-related fatalities. However, Florida workers’ compensation covers these injuries.
Florida Workers’ Compensation for Forklift Injuries:
Those affected by forklift accidents should be compensated in the form of workers’ compensation. Companies do not have to deal with most civil claims filed by workers injured at work but can compensate employees for injuries suffered without asking questions.
Additional Claims for a Forklift Accident:
Though, there is a loss limit that this type of compensation will cover. Other damages, like pain and suffering, require a separate personal injury compensation claim. Such personal injury claims cannot be filed against the employer; unless the employer deliberately causes the person to be injured by the forklift. This also constitutes filing a claim against a third party if they wish to obtain compensation for harms other than the loss of medical expenses and wages.
Claiming damages against a third party in a forklift accident can be difficult. There are many investigations and negotiations with insurance companies. Also, the plaintiff must find out who might be responsible for their injury. Hiring the right lawyer can simplify this process and increase your chances of obtaining compensation.
How Do Forklift Accidents Occur?
Forklift accidents are often the result of negligence leading to disasters. Forklifts are powerful and heavy machines that can cause serious injuries. Some common causes of forklift accidents are as follows:
- Horn was not used as a necessity
- No daily inspection of the vehicle
- Improper training of the forklift operator
- Load stability is not centered properly
- Not lifting the load, even driving downhill
- The operator tries to jump off the vehicle
- Arrangement of mirrors for blind-spots
- Falling off a forklift
Common Forklift Accidents:
Some of the most common types of forklift accidents include:
Forklift Tipping and Overturn:
Forklifts carry heavy objects. If they are not handled properly, they may tip over and hurt the driver or another employee/pedestrian.
Pedestrians Hit by Forklift:
Forklifts travel at low speeds, but they have a lot of power and weight. The impact of a forklift can cause serious injuries. People may be hit by the chassis or fork.
Falls from a Forklift:
Sometimes employees ride over a forklift, which can be dangerous. If used improperly, the forklift may run over someone or they could fall off.
Fallen Forklift Loads:
The forklift may drop the load it carries and hurt pedestrians/employees. Forklifts carry heavy objects, and it can be dangerous if they fall. They may also tip over objects that may injure others or the operator.
Common Forklift Accident Injuries:
OSHA estimates that forklifts cause approximately 100 deaths and 95,000 injuries each year. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that one in six work-related accidents is related to forklifts. These injuries result in lifelong disability and deformity due to crushed limbs and fractures.
Forklift Fall Injuries:
Transporting employees of the forks can be dangerous and may cause serious injuries to their head, spine, etc.
Injuries Caused by Falling Debris:
Debris from the forklift load may injure people working near the forklift and the operator. Fragments can cause blunt injuries due to their weight and can cause cuts due to sharp edges, and also, the fallen fragments may contain toxic chemicals.
Forklift Crushing Injuries:
The forklift is heavy and can crush someone. The forklift may tip over and fall on workers or pedestrians, causing fractures and shattering organs.
Forklift Impact Injuries:
Being hit by a fork or the chassis itself, it can pan and grab unsuspecting pedestrians. The moving speed of the forklift may not be very fast, but the power is strong, which can cause fractures and severe blunt-arm violent injuries.
Who Is at Risk for Suffering Forklift Injuries?
Forklift drivers are naturally at risk of injury, but pedestrians are involved in approximately 80% of accidents. The most common areas for forklift accidents include:
Contact a Workers’ Compensation Attorney:
A skilled lawyer can help you get the compensation you need. Due to the complexity of the laws applicable to workers’ compensation insurance, recovering compensation can be very complex. If you or someone you know is injured at work, be sure to discuss your legal rights and resources with a Florida workers’ compensation lawyer. Contact us to discuss your legal options and obtain the compensation that suits you.