According to OSHA, forklifts are responsible for 85 deaths and nearly 35,000 serious injuries each year. A serious forklift accident can have disastrous consequences for the workers involved. Workers injured in an accident with a forklift may be forced to miss work for months or years, resulting in the loss of essential wages. Furthermore, a serious accident can result in high medical bills which may not be covered by insurance. In many cases, these hardships could have been avoided had certain individuals used the necessary caution involved in operating a forklift.
In many cases, workers who have suffered injuries in forklift accidents may have grounds to recoup compensation for any damages incurred. Workers have grounds to collect compensation in cases where their injury was caused due to another individual's negligence. Negligence occurs when one party breaks their duty of care to another party-a duty of care is a legal obligation that an individual has to act with certain degree of caution when performing potentially dangerous tasks. Injured workers may have grounds to file a lawsuit if another individual's negligence caused their forklift accident. As a result, workers injured in forklift accidents should seek the counsel of an experienced construction accident attorney.Are You Eligible for Compensation?
In order to have grounds for a lawsuit, construction workers injured by forklifts must be able to show that another party's negligent actions led to their accident and injury. Furthermore, in order to have a valid claim, the worker's injury must have caused damages; such as medical bills or lost wages. Forklift injuries caused by any of the following may constitute grounds for a lawsuit:
- The forklift was not properly maintained
- The forklift operator lacked adequate training
- The forklift was not appropriate for the task being performed when the accident occurred
- The forklift malfunctioned
- The worker's injury occurred due to objects falling from the forklift
- The operator or construction company failed to take proper safety precautions before using the forklift
Injured workers should be aware that another individual's negligence leading to injury is not necessarily grounds for a lawsuit. For instance, if the injured worker's employer was the negligent party, they would not have a valid claim. The injured worker would not have grounds for a lawsuit in the aforementioned scenario due to the fact that New York law prohibits construction workers from suing their employers in third party claims.Do You Have a Claim Under New York's Labor Laws?
In addition to having grounds for a negligence lawsuit, construction workers who have suffered forklift-related injuries may also be able to file a claim under New York Labor Laws 240(1) and 241(6). New York Labor Law 240(1) provides construction workers compensation after suffering an elevation-related injury. For instance, if a piece of equipment falls of a forklift, striking and injuring a construction worker, they may be able to collect compensation under New York Labor Law 240(1). New York Labor Law 241(6) charges general contractors with adhering to all specific safety rules under section 23 of the industrial code while performing construction, demolition, or renovation. As a result, workers who suffer forklift-related injuries while performing demolition, renovation, or construction may have grounds to file a lawsuit against the property owner or general contractor if any safety rule of section 23 of the industrial code was violated.Should You Hire a Construction Injury Attorney?
If you have been injured by a forklift, it is important that you seek the counsel of a construction accident lawyer. The legal process for construction accident cases can be complicated, retaining the services of a skilled attorney can make it easier to navigate. Furthermore, an experienced lawyer will not accept at lowball offers from property owners, insurance companies and construction companies, but will pursue maximum compensation for you. At Queller, Fisher, Washor, Fuchs & Kool, our construction accident lawyers will investigate your injury to help you determine whether you have grounds for a lawsuit. If we find that your injury constitutes grounds for a claim, our attorneys will handle all aspects of the legal process; including interviewing witnesses, filing the lawsuit before the statute of limitations expires, negotiating settlements when necessary, and pursuing maximum compensation in court. Our attorneys have been handling construction accident cases for over 50 years and have secured many favorable verdicts and settlements for workers who have suffered injuries due to another party's negligence.
Have you suffered a forklift-related injury? If so, you may have grounds to file a lawsuit. Queller, Fisher, Washor, Fuchs & Kool are currently giving free consultations to injured workers. For a free review of your legal options, call 212.406.1700 or contact us online.