Have you been in an accident involving a forklift?
If so, you are among the thousands of heavy machinery operators injured each year on construction sites. Many of these workers sustain serious injuries as a result of these accidents and are not compensated fairly for their loss of wages and other expenses incurred because of the accident.
Safety Standards for Forklift Operation
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) provides guidance for the safe maintenance and operation of forklifts. This includes specific standards for constructing, maintaining and safely using the machinery to avoid hazards that may result in employee injury. Unfortunately, accidents still happen. The most common forklift accidents are rollovers that happen when the driver fails to properly navigate uneven terrain and falls from or hits by moving forklifts. These accidents can result in the injury of the driver and other employees in the area.
Forklift Accident Injuries
Some of the injuries that can occur as a result of forklift accidents include:
- Head injuries, including traumatic brain injuries
- Back injuries, including spinal cord injuries
- Trauma to appendages or joints
Any one of these can result in mounting medical bills, the loss of wages, and the future ability to earn and income.
Worker’s Compensation or Personal Injury Claim?
If you’ve been injured by a forklift while at work, it may be difficult to determine whether or not a third party (other than your employer) is to blame for the accident. The best way to determine “fault” is to document the accident as thoroughly as possible, including:
- Taking pictures,
- Talking with witnesses, and
- Recording your own full recollection of the incident.
You may then opt to discuss your case with a personal injury attorney who is knowledgeable about construction accidents and Indiana labor laws. He or she can then provide you with the counsel you need to determine the cause of your accident and what party or parties may be ultimately responsible for your injuries.
In some cases, the responsible party may be the manufacturer of the forklift or the company hired to perform routine maintenance on the machine. If that is the case, you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit to recoup your medical expenses, lost wages, and even pain and suffering, depending upon the extent of your injuries.