FORKLIFT ACCIDENT ATTORNEY
Forklifts, cranes and other heavy machinery are essential for modern construction, and most of the time they are used safely. It is also true that the greatest number of catastrophic injuries to construction workers when they are not used properly or they malfunction. When forklift operators are injured, they need a Forklift Accident Attorney with many years of experience handling these complicated cases.
FORKLIFTS AND CONSTRUCTION ACCIDENTS
There are over a million forklifts operating in the United States, and over 1.5 million forklift operators. Construction continues to be a growing industry, so catastrophic injuries and fatalities among forklift operators is increasing rapidly. Forklift accidents also frequently injure other workers in the vicinity and bystanders.
The most common cause of forklift accidents is lack of proper training and certification for operating the machinery. When companies allow workers to operate without providing the proper training and licensing, they are liable for the injuries to the workers and to anybody else that might be injured as a result. When untrained or undertrained workers operate heavy machinery, lives are at risk.
Another frequent cause of forklift accidents are forklifts that are not properly maintained. OSHA recommends that forklifts be driven at a maximum speed of five miles per hour, but that is not possible to do effectively when a worker is provided with a forklift that has a broken speedometer. An experienced forklift accident attorney will investigate whether the forklift was defective when it was built at the factory (product liability,) or whether improper maintenance was the cause, and if so, exactly who was responsible for the maintenance.
When forklifts are driven with an elevated load a highly dangerous condition is created. OSHA recommends that forklifts drive their loads as close to the ground as possible, which generally means just 4-5 inches off the floor. When workers and supervisors have not been schooled in safety regulations, loads can fall from heights off forklifts, causing serious injuries. The best way to know your rights after a forklift accident is to call an experienced construction accident attorney or forklift accident attorney.
Other common causes of forklift accidents are:
- Forklifts without visual or audio warning equipment or where such equipment is defective
- An industrial horn is not available or is not used as required
- An inspection of the forklift is not performed on a daily basis
WHAT TO DO IF A WORKER OR BYSTANDER IS INJURED BY A FORKLIFT
Priority number one is always to seek medical treatment for injured people. If the injury is serious, dial 911 immediately. If the injuries are less severe, report the accident to the foreman or supervisor, to document the incident in case the injuries seem more serious later. Take pictures of the scene and all involved. Take videos as well if you can. Get contact information and take pictures of all scenes that show the names of construction companies, contractors and the manufacturers of equipment. If you’re not sure, just make sure to take pictures of all names and addresses on signage in the area.
WHAT TO DO IF A CO-WORKER IS HURT IN A FORKLIFT ACCIDENT
Immediately assess the seriousness of the injury and call 911 if necessary. Report the accident to the foreman. Take pictures of the accident scene, making sure to note if there are any companies other than the employer that might be responsible, such as subcontractors or vendors. Note whether a machine malfunction might have contributed to the accident. Notice whether proper safety equipment was being used on the site.
CALL AN EXPERIENCED CONSTRUCTION ACCIDENT ATTORNEY
The only way to know for sure what ou rights are after a construction accident is to call an attorney with knowledge of all the possible intersecting claims that you may have. Call Wittenstein & Wittenstein for a free consultation and learn your rights. Call 718-261-8114.