April 3rd, 2014

Dock and Terminal Forklift Accidents

Forklifts are used widely across industries, including construction sites, factories, manufacturing sites, and in ports. This is why forklift accidents top the list of major work-related accidents in the U.S.

Port NY-NJ, One of the Largest Ports in the U.S.

Forklift activities are quite routine at docks and terminals across the U.S. In fact, the Port of New York and New Jersey is one of the largest ports in the U.S., and accounts for a significant part of U.S. trade and cargo. From carrier vessel services to heavy container/warehouse operations, the Port of NY-NJ terminals use literally dozens if not hundreds of forklifts.

According to internal data at the Port of NY-NJ, each year, $175 billion dollars of cargo makes its way through the port’s many facilities and terminals, which include:

  • Port Newark,
  • Port Elizabeth,
  • Port Jersey,
  • Red Hook,
  • Howland Hook, and
  • Port Brooklyn.

Forklift Accident Lawsuits – Who are the Parties?

Port and terminal operations are incredibly complex. Terminals are operated by large companies, which in turn hire multiple outside companies to handle specific parts of the operation. For instance, special warehouse companies provide refrigerated container services for grocery cargo. In addition, there are special customs examination warehouses operated by outside companies.

With respect to operation of forklifts, outside forklift operation companies handle much of a given terminal’s forklift operations. There may be heavy equipment maintenance companies on-site.

As a result of the complexity of the operations at a given terminal, work accidents such as forklift accidents must be evaluated carefully in order to determine who the players are and whether they are liable for negligence in contributing to an accident.

Identifying the Correct Legal Parties in a Forklift Accident Case

Whether a forklift accident occurred at a marine terminal/dock or at a warehouse, many parties may be held liable. However, many injured workers make the mistake of only filing workers’ compensation claims and never seek additional legal advice on the viability of other claims. The reality is that in many forklift accident cases, other parties are liable, such as:

  • forklift operating companies,
  • forklift manufacturer/retail companies, and
  • forklift maintenance/service companies.

In addition, entities which hire these types of companies may be liable as well. The key is obtaining all relevant contracts. These contracts will identify the respective duties and obligations of the various contractors.

Forklift Accident Legal Help

The forklift accident lawyers at Laffey Bucci D’Andrea Reich & Ryan are licensed in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Florida and West Virginia and accept cases in other states such as New York, Delaware, etc.

Our firm has significant experience handling work accident cases including forklift accident cases. Please call for a free consultation. Click To Call

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