Forklifts are industrial vehicles used to lift heavy weights and transport them. Sadly their agility and quickness is also a major cause for many forklift accident deaths. A forklift has many components including the lifting mechanism which includes the fork, crosshead, mast, lifting chain and carriage. The operator sits in the forklift cab using a system of control levers to operate the forklift via hydraulics. Some of these lift trucks or forklifts are the boom or telescoping variety that can raise loads to heights exceeding 40 feet. Employers and manufacturers are well aware of the serious dangers associated with forklifts. Unfortunately many employers do not take the appropriate measures to prevent forklift accidents. Design defects also are responsible for many of the forklift deaths.
According to OSHA, forklift accidents are responsible for over 20,000 serious injuries or deaths among American workers each year. In a typical week, two forklift related fatalities and 700 serious injuries can occur involving forklift accidents. An additional 34,000 injuries are treated in Emergency rooms each year due to forklift accidents. The biggest risk of death with these powerful machines is tip-overs. Forklift tip-overs and overturns are often caused by driver error but there also many design defects that manufacturers should address.
The second leading cause of forklift deaths is being crushed by a forklift. In many the typical forklift accident lawsuit, the forklift operator training or lack of training is a central issue in establishing negligence and operator error. In other lawsuits the forklift’s design causing it to easily tipover may be considered in a product liability lawsuit against the product manufacturer or the maintenance company responsible in maintaining the lift.
In forklift accident death lawsuits in which a person has been run over or crushed, once again the operator’s past training and evidence of the operators past conduct in other accidents or close calls may be paramount in establishing employer or contractor negligence or even gross negligence. In one lawsuit, the employer was aware of the aggressive almost road rage attitude of the forklift attitude and was found negligent in entrusting the forklift to this hot tempered driver and not terminating him earlier for dangerous operation of a forklift.
If you or your loved ones have suffered a severe and debilitating injury or death caused by an accident with a forklift, the Willis Law Firm is here to help you get the compensation you may be entitled to. Often a forklift accident lawsuit must be immediately filed to protect the evidence at the scene and other critical evidence needed to win the lawsuit and damages for the clients. Call for a free case evaluation. Talk to a Board Certified Personal Injury Trial Lawyer with over 30+ years of accident and injury lawsuit experience.
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