Virginia Forklift Accident Lawyers
Forklifts are small, mobile, and quick. They can transport heavy loads from one area to another in no time flat. Due to their smaller stature, they are sometimes not taken as seriously as their big-rig cousins like the bulldozer. Yet, forklifts can be just as dangerous. Without proper training, care, and safety protocols, forklifts can be hazardous machines to operate, causing serious accidents and even fatalities.
At CHASENBOSCOLO, we know that a forklift accident can leave a victim with physical and financial damage. However, victims are not always properly compensated for their injuries or lost income after an accident. How much is a forklift accident worth? It depends on the specific accident, but an experienced Virginia forklift accident attorney can review your case and give you an assessment of its value.
Before you settle and accept any financial offer, contact the Virginia construction accident lawyers of CHASENBOSCOLO. We can review your case and help you figure out your best path to full and fair financial recovery. We offer a free consultation to help get you started.
You deserve compensation for your injuries. The team at CHASENBOSCOLO can help you seek it. Call us today to schedule your free consultation at (703) 538-1138.
Causes of Forklift Accidents
Forklifts are the perfect vehicle for transporting a variety of loads across a worksite or a warehouse. Unfortunately, due to their smaller size and the ease with which they can be operated, they are often not seen as the dangerous pieces of machinery that they truly are. According to the National Safety Council, in 2019, forklift accidents resulted in 79 work-related deaths and at least 8,140 non-fatal injuries.
Some of the most common causes of forklift accidents tend to involve the following:
- Forklifts are designed to carry loads from one place to the next. However, stacking a load too high or raising the lift too high with a load on it can obstruct the forklift driver’s view. When a driver cannot see properly, they can run into other objects or pedestrians. The impact of the collision itself can cause harm to bystanders, but a collision can also cause the load to fall and collapse on top of victims.
Unbalanced or improperly secured loads
- Loading a forklift can be a science. Improperly loaded cargo can shift the vehicle’s center of gravity, making it more prone to tipping. Improperly secured loads can shift while in transit, also causing a forklift to tip or fall over. Unbalanced or improperly loaded cargo can fall off the forklift, hitting workers nearby and causing injuries.
Operating a forklift while the load is raised
- Operating a forklift while the load is raised not only obscures a driver’s vision but can make the machine harder to control because of the shift in its center of gravity. This makes the forklift more prone to crashing or tipping over, injuring the driver or bystanders.
- Just because a forklift is able to go faster than five mph doesn’t mean that it should. Speeding in a forklift, especially while carrying a load, may seem like it saves time, but it is extremely dangerous. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration recommends that forklifts be operated at five mph or less.
Inexperienced or improperly trained drivers
- Operating a forklift is not like operating a car. It takes proper training and knowledge to be able to operate a forklift safely and effectively. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has regulations and training requirements for all forklift operators.
- Forklift use is prohibited to those under the age of 18 by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
Riding on a forklift
- Operating heavy machinery is a serious task, not fun and games. Forklift operators should never allow others to ride anywhere on the forklift itself. The weight of the riders could unbalance the forklift and cause it to tip over. A sudden stop or change of direction could also eject the rider from the vehicle.
Workplace design or layout
- Not all workspaces are ideal for forklift use. Narrow spaces, uneven floors, stairs, or multiple obstructions in a workplace make operating a forklift hazardous. Proper signage is also important so that operators are aware of safety hazards or dangerous areas such as steep gradients, ramps, or stairs.
Mechanical failures of defects
- Mechanical failures or part defects can seriously injure both drivers and workers nearby. All heavy equipment must be inspected for safety on a regular basis. Companies should keep track of all current recall notices that may impact their equipment.
Injuries Associated with Forklift Accidents
Forklift accidents can be devastating for both operators and bystanders. Often, injuries are severe and can be fatal. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration keeps a record of all reported industrial truck accidents, including forklift accidents. In the past few years, a number of forklift operators have been killed in accidents involving overturned forklifts. Bystanders have also been fatally wounded by forklift loads that have fallen, crushing the bystander, and from being struck or crushed by forklift operators.
Even though they are not as imposing-looking at their heavy machinery cousins like the bulldozer or crane, forklifts are hazardous machines that can cause significant damage when used improperly or negligently or in environments that are unsafe.
Some of the more common injuries seen in forklift accidents include:
- Traumatic head injury
- Neck and spinal injuries
- Broken bones
- Crushing injuries
- Wrongful death
Immediate treatment can be expensive, and continued care can be even more costly. Pair that with the fact that some workers may not be able to return to work because of their injuries, and victims often find themselves in a downward financial spiral. Financial instability after a serious forklift accident is a real concern for victims. An insurance settlement or workers’ compensation package may not be enough to cover all their medical expenses and lost income.
At CHASENBOSCOLO, we understand how soaring medical costs can impact a victim’s life now and in the future. That is why we strive to get full and fair compensation for victims of significant forklift accidents. An insurance company wants a quick and cheap resolution to a case. CHASENBOSCOLO wants to earn you fair compensation and a positive resolution to your case.
Before you accept any financial offer for your injury, first talk to a skilled forklift attorney with CHASENBOSCOLO. We will review your situation and help determine what your case is really worth.
Liability in Forklift Accidents
There are a lot of puzzle pieces to fit together when it comes to forklift accidents. Investigating all different aspects of an accident creates a clearer picture of who was at fault and establishes liability for the accident. If you’re in a rush to settle a case and move on, some of the more intricate aspects of an accident could be overlooked.
However, an in-depth investigation to establish liability is one of the most important aspects of a compensation claim. An accident isn’t always one party’s fault. Sometimes multiple parties may be responsible. The circumstances of each accident factor into how much compensation a victim may be able to recover.
Forklift accidents may be the fault of one or more of these parties:
- A forklift operator
- The operator’s employer
- A third-party property owner
- The forklift manufacturer
- A parts manufacturer
Why does establishing liability make such a difference? Liability and the determination of who is at fault can impact the type of case a victim has and the amount of compensation they may be due.
In cases where the operator or employer may be at fault, a victim may be able to file a workers’ compensation claim to recover some compensation for medical expenses. In cases where a parts manufacturer is to blame, it may be necessary to file a personal injury lawsuit.
No matter the cause, hiring an attorney to work with you after a forklift accident gives you the best chance at a positive outcome and recovering fair compensation. An experienced attorney will be able to review your situation, investigate the accident, gather evidence, and determine which legal avenue is right for you. Whether it is a workers’ compensation claim, private insurance claim, or personal injury lawsuit, we can represent you and your best interests in a variety of situations. All it takes is one phone call to get started.
Contact an Experienced Virginia Forklift Accident Attorney Today
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a forklift accident, it is time to talk to an experienced Virginia forklift accident attorney about your legal options. Worries over medical costs, lost income, and your future won’t go away. Make time to talk to a compassionate attorney willing to work with you to seek the compensation that you deserve after an accident.
At CHASENBOSCOLO, we know you may be struggling financially due to the accident. That’s why we offer a “No Fee Guarantee” to our clients. You don’t pay us unless we win or settle your case. We also include a free initial consultation to help get you started.
Call us today at (703) 538-1138, and let’s talk about how we can help you seek the compensation you deserve after you were injured in a significant forklift accident.