The forklift is an important tool in many industries, including home and commercial construction, warehouse management and roadwork. These powered industrial vehicles account for nearly 100 fatalities and another 20,000 serious injuries in the United States each year, according to government studies.
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a forklift accident, it’s important that you know your rights, as a worker and an accident victim.
What constitutes a forklift accident?
A Forklift Accident case is often a Workers Compensation case. If you are injured on the job, you probably have a valid Workers Compensation claim. However, there may be a “third-party” claim that could result in compensation for a personal injury claim. Often, a construction site employs multiple companies, with multiple employees of different skills and skills sets, working side by side. Construction Accidents are complicated legal matters.
John Foy & Associates is a long-established Atlanta firm that has successfully tried many construction accident cases. Give our firm a call at 404-400-4000 for a free and private consultation on your accident.
What should I do if I or a loved one has been injured in a forklift accident?
First, tell your supervisor that there has been an accident and that you have been injured. If you are seriously injured, you should call 911. If you are able, gather as much information as possible. Where there any witnesses? In a large construction zone, there are often multiple contractors and subcontractors onsite. You, as a worker, may not know who works for which company. If you can use your smart phone to take photographs of the accident, do so.
And call a personal injury attorney. John Foy & Associates has on-staff investigators who can gather this information properly. We’ll find out all the players in this case and we’ll build the best possible case. Our goal is to get you back to work.
What are the causes of most forklift accidents?
The Dept. of Labor reported the majority of forklift fatalities, 22 percent involve an overturned forklift. Another 20 percent involve someone on foot who has been crushed by a forklift.
The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety lists several reasons for most forklift accidents as:
- Lack of training
- An unsafe emphasis of speed of project
- Older or poorly maintained equipment
- Lack of proper tools, attachments, etc.
- Poorly stacked loads
- Dropped pallets
Even something as innocuous as improper parking or giving a ride to a fellow worker can lead to an accident.
Our firm founder John Foy lists the three main causes of accidents that we see: “Inadequate hiring, inadequate training and inadequate supervision.”
How are forklift accidents different from other construction accidents?
Injuries from forklift accidents tend to be very severe—the machine itself is quite powerful. Forklifts are used in more places than a construction site—they are used in large-box retailers to move merchandise. Aside from the physical injuries, there are different layers of legal issues that need to be sorted out. Who are the parties involved? Is this a Workers Compensation Case or a Personal Injury Suit?
What am I entitled to in a forklift accident?
As a Workers Compensation case, you are eligible for any necessary medical treatment, including hospital stays, prescriptions and physical therapy, as well as a disability pay while you recover. In a personal injury case, you are eligible for compensation for reasonable and necessary medical care, lost income and wages due to the accident and pain and suffering.
Can I file a Workers Compensation case on my own?
Yes, an individual can file a workers’ compensation case on their own; however, the insurance companies have attorneys working for them who know the law and will use nuisances that you may not be familiar with to their advantage. An entire code section–O.C.G.A. 34-9-1 through O.C.G.A. 34-9-421—is dedicated to governing Workers Compensation in Georgia. The injured worker has very specific rights, many of which have to be affirmatively asserted. We can assist you in taking advantage of your rights that the law provides which you may not be aware of.
My boss says he’ll take care of me–do I need an attorney?
The law is very complex, we urge you to call an attorney as soon as possible. Your consultation is free and confidential.
We often hear from our clients that after an accident the responsible party says, “I’m an honest person let’s just handle this person to person.” Unfortunately a lot of times that is someone who has no intention of helping you.
Even if you like and trust your boss, your right to recover anything could disappear. Get the real facts from a Forklift Accident Attorney at John Foy & Associates.
I think I may have been responsible for the accident, does this matter?
Workers Compensation law is written so that you are covered no matter who is at fault. In fact, fault is irrelevant. Call our office at 404-400-4000 and let us investigate the case for you.
I want to get back to work because I need the money, can you help me?
Of course we can help you. We would never tell anyone not to go back to work because you may have a claim. But even if you return to work, you are entitled to the proper medical care.
Do I have a time limit to file a Workers Compensation Case or a personal injury case?
You have 30 days to report your injury to your boss, but that report does not have to be formal. And you have one year from the date of the injury to file a complaint.
Personal injury statute of limitations are typically 2 years from the accident date, but there are shorter exceptions. But there are other reasons for getting legal help sooner. You are injured and want to get back to work as soon as possible. Let us help get a case underway so that your medical treatment can proceed as soon as possible.
How can a Forklift Accident Lawyer help me?
Forklifts injuries are generally devastating, serious injuries, with significant disabling injuries that require some real sophistication and handling. Your life has changed in an instant. Don’t try to fix this alone. You want to call someone who represents Forklift Accident victims for a living. Consult our Forklift Accident Attorneys at John Foy & Associates. Our phone line, 404-400-4000, staffed 24 hours a day, every day of the year.
Even if you decide not to employ us, you’ll benefit from speaking to us. As our firm founder John Foy says, “Why wouldn’t you want to get to an honest, independent evaluation of your situation?”