A Forklift Accident Lawyer Can Maximize Your Recovery of Damages
As forklifts are regularly operated in narrow, cramped spaces, accidents can occur, resulting in injuries to workers and bystanders. These machines are designed to carry large loads. However, in tight spaces filled with scaffolds, ladders, loading docks, movable platforms, electrical lines, and various debris, operators who are inexperienced or unaware of their surroundings can cause serious injuries. If you have been in a forklift accident, you may be eligible for workers' compensation and entitled to file a personal injury claim. Our team at the Law Offices of Richard R. Kennedy in Lafayette, LA, can review the unique circumstances surrounding your case and determine the best course of legal action. To review your options, contact a forklift accident lawyer today.
A forklift accident can result from an oversized load, poor operation, or lack of proper training.
Factors That Contribute to Forklift Accidents
This type of workplace accident can occur for a variety of reasons, including:
- Lack of training – Learning how to start, stop, turn, and park a forklift requires training, as does learning how to properly communicate with others. Employees who have not been educated on the latest safety standards and regulations can misuse this device and injure those around them.
- Poor operation – Should an operator turn a corner too fast, the forklift could tip over.
- Lack of situational awareness – If you are driving a forklift, it is imperative to remain aware of your surroundings so as not to injure employees who are not involved in forklift tasks.
- Oversized load – A forklift carrying an oversized load can easily tip over. Further, an oversized load can obstruct an operator’s vision, resulting in an accident.
- Lack of designated zones – It is obligatory to clearly mark construction zones with floor tape, standing signs, or paint. This can protect those walking through the area and ensure all are aware of the presence of heavy machinery.
- Poor work area design – If a large forklift is operating in a narrow aisle, there may not be enough room for successful maneuvering.
We can take into account all circumstances surrounding a forklift accident in order to determine the cause and hold liable parties accountable.
To ensure we pursue the appropriate party, we can review all aspects of your case, including employee records, inspections, and damage reports.
Who is Liable in a Forklift Accident?
There are several parties that may be held liable after a forklift accident, including:
- Employer – The employer may be held accountable if the forklift operator was not trained or certified to operate the machine.
- Forklift Owner – The owner may be held responsible if they neglect to adequately maintain the forklift.
- Manufacturer – The manufacturer may be held liable if they produced or sold a defective forklift.
- Maintenance Company – The maintenance company may be held accountable if they failed to keep the forklift in good working condition.
To ensure we pursue the appropriate party, we can review all aspects of your case, including employee records, inspections, and damage reports. We can use this information as evidence in both a workers' compensation claim and personal injury case.
How Can I File a Workers’ Compensation Claim?
If you are injured on the job in Louisiana, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits including medical care, time off work, and compensation to cover lost wages. Within 30 days of your accident, you must report injuries to your employer. Your report should include when and where your injury took place, how the accident happened, and which areas of your body were affected.
Within 10 days of notifying your employer, they must submit a first report of injury to their insurance company. Upon receiving the report, the insurance company will notify the Office of Workers’ Compensation Administration (OWCA). This group will assess a number of factors to determine your eligibility, including your medical records and work experience. Your claim will either be accepted or denied. If it is denied, you may appeal by filing a Disputed Claim for Compensation form with the OWCA. Our firm can guide you through each step of the legal proceedings, to ensure paperwork is filed when due and all relevant documentation is provided.
Schedule your consultation
If you have been injured in a forklift accident, our seasoned legal team can ensure you receive proper restitution. The forklift accident lawyers at Law Offices of Richard R. Kennedy have been defending victims of catastrophic injury cases for five decades. We can use our extensive resources and knowledge of Illinois law to ensure we present a strong case on your behalf. To learn more, contact us online or call (337) 232-1934.