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blog home Construction Accidents Personal Injury What Should I Do If I Was Hurt in a Forklift Accident at Work?

What Should I Do If I Was Hurt in a Forklift Accident at Work?

By Grant Law Office on June 15, 2022

yellow forklift picking up packages

Forklifts, also known as powered industrial trucks, lift trucks, fork hoists, or fork trucks, are a vital piece of machinery in most warehouses and yards.

While vital, forklifts are also dangerous and can easily cause injury to their operators or bystanders. If you have been injured in a forklift accident you may have grounds for a civil lawsuit.

A thorough investigation of the accident must be undertaken, which can be done by Grant Law Office, experienced construction accident attorneys. Call us at (404) 995-3955 for a free case evaluation today.

Should I see a doctor if I was injured in a forklift accident at work?

Unfortunately, forklift accidents often result in serious injury. If you are involved in any kind of forklift accident, it is important to seek immediate medical attention.

In an instance where you do not feel injured, it is still important to be assessed by a medical professional and have the incident noted on your medical record. Even if you think the accident was your fault, you should still be assessed.

Provided you were not intoxicated, engaged in illegal activity or horseplay, you are entitled to workers’ compensation insurance coverage. If your employer was negligent, you may also be able to bring a claim against them.

Who might be responsible for the accident?

Determining responsibility for an accident is a key part of your attorney’s role. If you are responsible for the accident, you are still entitled to worker’s compensation insurance coverage.

This covers medical, out-of-pocket expenses, and a portion of lost wages. If you opt to receive worker’s compensation, you are prevented from bringing a claim against your employer unless they were grossly negligent. You can however, receive worker’s compensation and file a third-party claim.

A third-party lawsuit is a claim for damages against an individual or business other than your employer. In a third-party claim, you must prove your injury occurred due to the third party’s negligence.

Premises liability and product liability

The most common basis for bringing a claim against a third party is premises liability and product liability. Premises liability concerns a landowner or property manager. They may be liable if they contributed to the circumstances that caused the accident that led to injury.

Other liable parties covered under this category include contractors who are contracted to maintain the property, or building contractors whose negligence caused unsafe conditions resulting in the accident. Product liability refers to a manufacturer’s responsibility to ensure their product is safe.

Any part of a forklift that fails to perform can be a defective product. If this is proved, the person or company who produced the forklift can be held responsible for the accident and resulting injuries.

Were there OSHA violations?

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and state regulatory agencies require employees to be trained and certified before they operate a forklift. OSHA estimates that 70% of forklift accidents are preventable.

This is an outstandingly high figure considering forklifts are known to be dangerous. If training has not been provided, and a forklift is operated, OSHA, as well as state regulations, will have been violated.

Failure to provide proper training is considered negligence, and an employer may be liable for accidents caused due to lack of operator training.

Why involve an attorney?

Due to the high stakes and complexities of claims in negligence and against third parties, an experienced attorney must be engaged to help you if you were hurt in a forklift accident at work. An attorney can ensure you receive the best representation possible and are properly compensated for your accident.

For over 30 years Grant Law Office has been providing aggressive personal injury legal representation. Call us at (404) 995-3955 today.

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Grant Law Office Disclaimer: The legal information offered herein by Grant Law Office, is not formal legal advice, nor is it the formation of an attorney client relationship. In order for our firm to be considered your attorney there must be a signed agreement between the client and the firm. Any results set forth herein are based solely upon the circumstances of that particular case and offer no promise or guarantee on the outcome of any other case. Please contact a lawyer for a consultation.

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*Wayne Grant has been practicing law since 1979. Grant Law Office was founded in 2000.