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What’s the problem?
Statistics say that about 100 workers are killed and about 20,000 are seriously injured by forklift accidents every year. Inadequate safety standards – including inadequate training, overzealous employers, and poor maintenance – are the primary causes of these accidents. Forklift accidents can be life-altering or deadly, and they can be prevented.
Causes of Forklift Accidents
Employers who are more concerned with getting the job done quickly than getting the job done safely may overlook safety standard requirements. Pushing a machine such as a forklift past its safety limits is bound to result in an accident. There are several types of construction forklift accidents:
- Tipping Over – Carrying an excess load can cause a forklift to tip over, often crushing construction workers in the path of the overloaded material, or crushing the forklift driver if a “Roll Over Protection System” has not been installed.
- Falling Debris – Construction site forklifts should have an “All Falling Object Protection System” installed to protect the operator from falling objects.
- Driver Ejection – The driver seats should be equipped with seat belts, arm rests, and “Grab Handles.”
- Hitting Pedestrians – Often times a worker fails to notice an oncoming forklift if it does not have an automatic signal alarm installed.
- Elevating Workers – A forklift is not made for the purpose of elevating workers, who may fall if an operator losses control.
- Unsafe Driving Conditions – Low visibility, narrow or congested pathways, obstructed intersections are all unsafe conditions to drive in.
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Consequences of a Forklift Accident
Forklift accidents usually happen when the forklift is moving, which means there is a driver behind the wheel when the accident occurs.
Even if they are obeying all rules and have updated certifications, forklift drivers involved in these types of accidents may experience guilt, PTSD, and other types of emotional stress. The individual may go on to develop a fear of forklifts, an accident recurrence, or may even decide never to drive or work around forklifts again.
In other cases, the driver is not at direct fault but may be a victim of the accident as a result of unmaintained equipment, lack of training, or pressure to perform risky behavior.
Many forklift accidents have witnesses. Depending on how serious the accident is and what takes place, these witnesses may themselves suffer from emotional trauma.
The injured person may even be a good friend or valued employee, which makes the emotional effects of what happened all the worse.
Depending on how the accident occurred, or who was at fault, employee morale takes a hit. Anxiety, PTSD, and other stress are real consequences for witnesses of forklift accidents.
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Do I have a Forklift Injury Accident Lawsuit?
The Personal Injury & Product Liability Litigation Group at Schmidt & Clark, LLP law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus exclusively on the representation of plaintiffs in forklift injury accident lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting new cases in all 50 states.