Operating heavy machinery in the workplace, if done incorrectly, can lead to the injury and sometimes death of workers. In fact, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), there are nearly 100 forklift fatalities and roughly 35,000 serious forklift-related injuries each year. Nearly half of forklift-related deaths occur from the operator being crushed by a tipping vehicle. If you or someone you love has been seriously injured in a forklift-related accident in Philadelphia, you may be able to file a liability claim against those who are responsible for your injury. You may be able to receive compensation for your medical and hospital bills, rehabilitation costs, and if your injury was serious enough to compromise or prevent you from working, you may even be able to recover damages for a loss of wages or pain and suffering.
The personal injury attorneys at Reiff & Bily have recovered millions of dollars in settlements for our injury clients. We possess years of experience in all areas of law concerning forklift accidents and other work-related injuries. Our Philadelphia forklift injury lawyers would be honored to serve you and will work diligently to obtain the maximum recovery for your injuries. Contact us at (215) 274-0072 for your free consultation.
Forklift Injury Causes and Statistics
There are many reasons why forklifts can be a serious workplace hazard. Forklifts can weigh up to 9,000 pounds and travel up to 18 miles per hour, and unlike a car, forklifts only have brakes in the front, making them harder to stop. Forklifts have uneven weight distribution, which makes it easier for them to possibly tip over and injure the operator or a bystander. Perhaps one of the biggest reasons forklift accidents happen so often is that the view of the driver is usually obstructed, and without proper communication this can be catastrophic.
The number of serious forklift injuries hovers around 35,000 per year, however, forklift-related accidents are so commonplace that about 100,000 workers per year suffer from non-serious to fatal injuries. Many of these forklift accidents are the product of improper training and carelessness on the job. There are other behavioral and operational factors which should be considered when looking at forklift-related accidents, such as:
- Traveling at excessive speeds
- Riding with a load elevated
- Inadequate maintenance of a forklift
- Improper reversing techniques
- Riding on the forklift or giving people rides on the forklift
- Stunt driving or erratic driving
- Poor communication with others during operation of forklift
Forklift-related injuries make up about 10% of all physical workplace-related injuries. OSHA estimates that about 70% of workplace-related injuries could be prevented if employees received stricter training.
Common Forklift Injuries
Whether a forklift accident occurred because of reckless behavior, poor training, or inadequate management of a forklift, being involved in a forklift-related accident can cause life-altering injuries. Here are some of the injuries our firm is prepared to evaluate for legal action:
- Crushed by a forklift tipping over
- Hitting other employees or pedestrians
- Being struck by loads that fall off the forklift
- Falling from forklift
- Malfunction of forklift
These situations have caused many serious or fatal injuries to forklift operators and other types of employees in Pennsylvania. Here are some of the injuries commonly sustained by workers due to a forklift accident:
- Bone fractures
- Lacerations (cuts)
- Contusions (bruises)
- Strains and sprains (soft tissue injuries)
Filing a Personal Injury Claim as an Employee in PA
Depending on the type of employee you are classified as, you may be able to file for workers’ compensation benefits, although workers’ compensation may not be enough to cover all the costs of a workplace injury. This is where you should consider third-party liability claims. Though a workers’ compensation claim will generally prevent suing an employer, a third-party liability claim can allow an employee who was injured in a workplace incident to file suit against those who may be liable for the accident, like a defective product manufacturer, the property owner, or anyone else who may be responsible.
Our Philadelphia forklift accident injury attorneys are highly knowledgeable and have the resources to file personal injury lawsuits against negligent third parties for the workplace harm you have endured. Our goal is to help you obtain financial compensation for medical expenses, loss of consortium, lost wages, and other damages.
Our Philadelphia Injury Attorneys Can Help if You Were Hurt in a Forklift-Related Accident
The dangers associated with working around and operating heavy machinery are well-known, but many of these horrible accidents could have been avoided. If you or your spouse was involved in an accident due to the negligence of equipment manufacturers or other parties, our Philadelphia forklift accident lawyers may be able to help.
At Reiff & Bily, our well-versed legal team has the knowledge and experience to fight for monetary compensation for you or your loved ones. To receive honest counsel from an attorney with decades of relevant and versatile experience concerning workplace accidents and other personal injury issues, contact Reiff & Bily online or at (215) 274-0072 to schedule your free consultation.