South Florida Forklift Accidents
Powered industrial trucks, commonly known as forklifts, are utilized in workplaces, including warehouses, grocery stores, construction sites, and department stores, to lift and move heavy objects, normally when unloading or loading tractor trailers and handling pallets. While forklifts are immensely useful and indispensable across many industries, they can also be dangerous, even fatal.
In a recent year, forklift accidents were responsible for 7,290 serious injuries and 70 work-related fatalities. Injuries stemming from South Florida forklift accidents can include the following:
- Head and brain injuries
- Amputated limbs
- Crushed or broken bones
- Spinal cord injuries
- Blunt trauma injuries
- Back injuries
- Internal organ damage
How South Florida Forklift Accidents Happen
Forklifts have a standard load capacity of 1,500 to 8,000 pounds. Some can even accommodate up to 30,000 pounds of cargo. Due to how forklifts are used, they can be incredibly hazardous and must be operated with proper caution. According to OSHA, forklift accidents can result from the following:
- The forklift hits or runs over a person
- Someone falls from the forklift or the cargo being lifted
- Someone accidentally drives the forklift off the loading dock
- The forklift falls between a nearby unsecured trailer and a loading dock
- The operator failed to use the horn as required
- Unsecured or unstable cargo fell on a person
- Uneven floor surfaces
- The operator tries to jump off a tipping forklift
- The operator was not trained properly
- The operator drives a forklift at a higher speed than normal
- The mirror arrangement does not account for blind spots
- The forklift was not regularly inspected
- The forklift did not have a visual or audible warning device in case of defects
Unfortunately, many things can easily go wrong when forklifts are used at work, especially if contractors or employers fail to train their employees properly. Most workplace forklift accidents happen when the operators handle forklifts carelessly or are inexperienced. And because of the high heights and heavy objects involved in forklift operations, when accidents do occur, the results are usually devastating or deadly.
Defectives Forklift Accidents in South Florida
Some forklift accidents result from the equipment’s manufacturing process or a design flaw. For instance, a forklift might have a design defect that makes it more susceptible to tipping over than a forklift that doesn’t have that defect. When a manufacturer releases a defective forklift, anyone who has been injured due to the defect can bring a product liability claim against the manufacturer. This includes injured workers, who can file a third-party liability claim to pursue damages for their losses.
Consult With Our Seasoned South Florida Forklift Accident Attorney Now
If you were hurt or a loved one was killed in a forklift accident, the South Florida forklift attorney at Rosenthal, Levy, Simon & Sosa can provide the legal representation and guidance you need. The question of fault and liability following a forklift accident is rarely clear-cut. To avoid liability, contractors, employees, and other parties will attempt to blame injured workers for the accident.
Our South Florida forklift accident attorney can determine whether the accident is only compensable through a workers’ comp claim, such that the party liable for the accident is a co-worker or employer, which prevents an injured worker from filing a lawsuit. Remember that workers are usually not allowed to sue their employers or co-workers after suffering a work injury. But depending on the injured worker’s specific situation, they may be eligible to file a workers’ comp claim and initiate a lawsuit against third parties.
Whatever your situation, you can learn more about your case by setting up a free consultation with our South Florida forklift accident attorneys. Call 866-640-7117 or reach us online for more information.