Forklift Accident Lawyer in Fort Lauderdale

Forklifts play an integral part of keeping many industries moving. From construction sites to warehouses and manufacturing plants, these heavy-lifting trucks move materials, shelve products, and load trucks. While these trucks are vital, their use requires extensive training and an abundance of care to prevent accidents.

Forklift accidents are not uncommon, and can be very dangerous. In fact, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reports about 85 deadly forklift accidents each year, and an additional 34,900 injuries in incidents nationwide. If you or a loved one was injured in a forklift accident, you may be entitled to compensation. Call a Fort Lauderdale forklift accident lawyer for help.

The legal team at Farmer, Jaffe, Weissing, Edwards, Fistos & Lehrman, P.L. has years of experience handling forklift accidents and can determine liability, gather evidence, and negotiate with insurers. Call to schedule a free consultation today: 954-524-2820.

How do injuries occur in forklift accidents?

According to OSHA statistics, 42 percent of the deaths after a forklift accident occur when the truck tips, trapping and crushing the operator underneath. However, pedestrians are also at risk for injury or death when they are walking in the same area the forklift is operating. These victims may be run over, pinned between the forklift and another object, or crushed by cargo that falls from the truck’s forks. Other ways accidents occur include:

  • Victims who fall from a platform lifted by the truck
  • Victims who drive trucks off a loading dock or other elevated surface
  • Victims who operate trucks between a loading dock and an unsecured trailer

Because they involve heavy machinery and heavy cargo, the injuries from forklift accidents are often very serious. Traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries are common, and treating them can cost hundreds of thousands — if not millions — of dollars over the rest of the victim’s lifetime. Other common injuries include:

  • Internal injuries
  • Amputations
  • Fractures

Who is liable for a forklift accident?

OSHA sets national standards for forklift safety in the workplace and requires specialized training for operators and others who work with this type of equipment. Simply adhering to these safety standards and following required protocol and procedures could prevent many forklift accidents.
OSHA requires that only trained and certified operators use a forklift. This training raises awareness of the dangers of these trucks, and ensures the drivers understand safety protocols for operating them. OSHA also mandates a certain level of supervision for the operation of forklifts in the workplace.

When accidents occur because an employer failed to ensure operators received proper training or supervision, the employer will be liable for any injuries sustained. Employers may also be responsible when a driver fails to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines, or when an employee or visitor has not received a warning about the possibility of an approaching forklift.

Liability may fall to the forklift owner if the injuries or death occur due to lack of maintenance on an older lift. In other cases, the forklift manufacturer or maintenance company may be liable for injuries. This most commonly occurs when the forklift has defective parts or incorrect repairs.

How can I recover compensation after a forklift accident?

There are several factors that determine how you can recover compensation after suffering injuries in a Fort Lauderdale forklift accident. This includes whether you were working when the accident occurred, whether you work for the forklift owner, and what caused the accident.

Because there are so many questions to answer in a Florida forklift accident case, having a lawyer familiar with these claims is key.

The three most common routes for compensation after a Fort Lauderdale forklift injury accident include:

  • Workers’ compensation
  • A third-party insurance claim
  • A personal injury lawsuit

Florida’s workers’ compensation law ensures employees who suffer workplace injuries get compensation for their medical treatment and a portion of their lost wages if they suffer an injury that keeps them out of work. This law establishes a no-fault system, so proving liability is not necessary to recover workers’ compensation benefits.

However, for injuries that are more severe, you may need more money than workers’ compensation provides. It is important to note that workers’ compensation laws prohibit workers from suing their employers, so you will need to find another negligent third party, such as a manufacturer.

Note: This route is also available for accident victims who did not work at the site.

We can help you determine any potential liable parties based on the facts of your case, and identify the responsible party or parties.

Once you know who is liable for your injuries, we can help you file a third-party insurance claim or products liability suit. This type of claim typically requires extensive investigation, and the evidence necessary to prove your claim may include:

  • Interviews with accident eyewitnesses
  • Testimony from medical expert witnesses
  • Accident reconstruction
  • OSHA certification and training records
  • Maintenance records for the machinery
  • Medical bills
  • Proof of lost wages
  • Receipts for other accident-related costs

What types of damages can I recover?

Forklift accidents often leave victims with severe, lasting injuries. Many require ongoing care for the remainder of their lives. Even in comparatively minor accidents, the costs of treatment and rehabilitation add up quickly. With a third-party insurance claim or lawsuit against the liable party, you can collect a wide range of compensation for your damages. This may include:

  • Medical costs
  • Rehabilitation and physical therapy
  • Ongoing care costs
  • Necessary home renovations, such as building ramps and widening doorways
  • Current and future lost wages
  • Lost benefits due to inability to return to work
  • Pain and suffering
  • Other accident and injury-related costs

Contacting a Fort Lauderdale Forklift Accident Lawyer

If you or a family member suffered injuries in a Fort Lauderdale forklift accident, you may be entitled to compensation to cover your losses. Even if the insurance company is already offering a settlement, it is a good idea to discuss your case with a Florida forklift accident lawyer to ensure you are receiving the full amount you deserve.

Farmer, Jaffe, Weissing, Edwards, Fistos & Lehrman, P.L. offers free, no-obligation case evaluations for Fort Lauderdale accident victims.

Call us today at 954-524-2820 to learn more.