Philadelphia Forklift Accident Lawyer

Philadelphia Forklift Accident Lawyer

Philadelphia is home to many industrial businesses. Within these facilities and at job sites, there are forklifts. These machines are often found on construction sites, warehouses, and other industrial settings. With the proper training and supervision, they can operate without any incidents. However, there are times when accidents occur, leaving severely injured workers on the job.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a forklift incident, you need the help of an experienced Philadelphia forklift accident lawyer. At Laffey Bucci D’Andrea Reich & Ryan, we can assist with your case.

We will examine all the circumstances surrounding the issue and help you determine your next options. Reach out to us if you want to learn more about seeking compensation for your injuries and damages.

What Are the Leading Causes of Forklift Accidents?

Heavy equipment, such as forklifts and cranes, plays an important role in both commercial and residential construction. These powerful machines are required to lift and move heavy materials and goods.

Unfortunately, crane, lift, and forklift accidents are common and cause thousands of work-related injuries yearly. According to the National Safety Council, 15,480 forklift accidents occurred in 2022.

Forklifts need to be handled with caution. Whether through reckless behaviors or improper maintenance, these are just a few of the causes of serious injuries and even deaths. Here are a few of the leading causes of forklift accidents:

Improper Usage

While most forklifts are designed to handle large loads, there are times when they can tip or roll over. When the machine’s center of gravity shifts outside the wheelbase, it can become unbalanced and overturn.

When someone speeds and turns a corner, that can shift the center of gravity. Even sudden starts or stops lead to destabilization.

Poorly balanced loads are also a contributor to rolling over forklifts. All workplaces have safety standards in place to prevent these accidents. However, without the proper training and supervision, incidents can occur.

Poor Maintenance

If a forklift is not properly maintained, it can malfunction and cause an accident. Poorly maintained vehicles might not be safe. For example, a driver could become injured when lifting a large pallet.

Employers must ensure that all equipment is adequately maintained and repaired as required. To keep everyone safe, they need to perform regular checks on the brakes, steering, controls, and warning devices.

Additionally, workers should also be trained to identify signs of equipment failure. If there are any issues, there should be clear protocols to report any issues immediately to prevent any potential accidents or injuries.

Reckless Behavior

Unsafe behavior, such as operators performing stunts, showing off, or disregarding established safety practices, can cause accidents and injuries. Poor supervision or the lack of training can lead to these incidents at a worksite.

Once again, it is the personality of the managers to make sure their workers are trained and understand how to operate these machines safely.

Have You Been Injured in a Forklift Accident?

With their heavy weight and massive size, there is a higher risk of serious injuries when forklifts are in operation. Some of these common injuries can include:

  • Crush injuries: These injuries are common. They often happen when a person is caught between another object and the machine. Unfortunately, this can lead to internal bleeding, organ damage, or broken bones. The arms, legs, spine, and ribs are susceptible to these injuries.
  • Sprains and muscle tears: Even the forklift making a sudden stop or movement can cause injuries to the driver of the machine. With that, it can tear or steam muscles and ligaments. In some cases, these injuries are so severe that they require surgery.
  • Bruises and lacerations: A forklift has many moving parts. If a hand, finger, or other body part gets caught in the machinery, it can lead to a cut or bruise. Gloves and safety shoes often prevent these injuries, but some employers do not offer protection to their workers.
  • Traumatic amputations: In serious cases, the loss of toes, fingers, and limbs is not uncommon. If the forklift rolls over a foot or arm, it can cause serious injuries, and that could result in an amputation of the injured body part.
  • Spinal cord injuries: Falls from forklifts or being struck by them can cause spinal cord damage. Sometimes, that can lead to partial or full paralysis for the victim. In many cases, these injuries are permanent.
  • Traumatic brain injuries: If a person is struck by a machine or thrown from a forklift, head injuries can occur. While some head injuries are recoverable, there are times when these injuries will cause lifelong challenges.

If a forklift has injured you or a loved one, it may be time to seek legal counsel for your case. A Philadelphia forklift accident lawyer can assess your claim to help you understand your legal options. Case consultations are free.

Is It a Workers’ Compensation or a Personal Injury Case?

Workers’ compensation provides benefits to employees who suffer work-related injuries or illnesses, such as a forklift-related accident.  In Pennsylvania, most employers are obligated to carry workers’ compensation insurance.

When workers are injured in a forklift accident while performing job-related duties, they have the right to file a workers’ compensation claim. The injured workers can receive coverage for:

  • Medical expenses related to the injury
  • Compensation for lost wages due to time missed from work
  • Additional compensation for the permanent loss of use of a body part, such as in amputation cases.
  • Surviving family members may receive death benefits if the accident results in a fatality.

Workers’ compensation is based on a no-fault system. As a result, employees can receive benefits regardless of who was at fault for the accident. In these cases, injured workers can receive the assistance they need without unnecessary legal battles.

However, there are situations when a third-party lawsuit may be necessary to recover compensation for damages related to the accident.

Sometimes, injured workers may have grounds to seek additional legal action against third parties. These responsible parties could include:

  • Manufacturers: In instances where a defective product or part caused the injury, then a manufacturer, designer, or reseller could be liable.
  • Property owners: All property owners need to ensure that their spaces are safe. Any hazardous or unsafe conditions can lead to lawsuits.
  • Contractors or subcontractors: These parties may be liable if their negligence contributed to the incident.

In these cases, injured workers have the option to file a separate lawsuit against the responsible party to seek additional compensation. While workers’ compensation covers medical expenses and lost wages, a third-party lawsuit can help to recover other damages, such as pain and suffering.

How do you know whether you need to file a legal claim against third parties? A Philadelphia forklift accident attorney can help you understand whether you can receive additional compensation beyond workers comp. Law firms like ours, Laffey Bucci D’Andrea Reich & Ryan, offer free case reviews. Since there’s no risk in reaching out in search of answers about your rights, we urge you to call or email us now.

What Can Affect Your Case?

Several factors can affect the strength of your case. If you believe you may be entitled to compensation, a personal accident lawyer can help to clarify a few issues, such as:

Federal and State Laws

Forklift accidents fall under both federal and state regulations. Federal laws, such as those enforced by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), set safety standards for forklift operation, maintenance, and training. Your legal team will assess whether OSHA regulations were followed or violated in your case. However, there are also state-specific laws that may apply. An attorney will help to explain how these regulations impact your case.

Determining Liable Parties

Forklift accidents often occur in construction, warehousing, and manufacturing settings where multiple parties are involved. Our lawyers can determine who is responsible for the accident so you can pursue compensation.

Evidence of Damages

If you want to build a strong case, we need evidence of the damages you’ve suffered due to the accident. You will need to include medical records, photographs of injuries, witness statements, and documentation of lost wages. All these pieces of evidence are needed to help build a solid foundation for your claim.

Why Choose Laffey Bucci D’Andrea Reich & Ryan

Our work injury and accident lawyers have over 40 years of combined legal experience helping individuals injured in various types of accidents, such as work injury forklift accidents. For the past decade, our work injury lawyers have been recognized as “Top Personal Injury Lawyers in Philadelphia, PA” by Super Lawyer magazine. This recognition shows our commitment to providing high-quality legal representation for every client.

We understand the emotional and physical toll of forklift accidents. For that reason, our attorneys offer a free consultation to discuss your situation.

Schedule a consultation with our experienced Philadelphia forklift accident lawyers to protect your rights and explore your options. Whether you’ve been seriously injured or have lost a loved one, the legal team at Laffey Bucci D’Andrea Reich & Ryan is here to advocate for you.

Successful Results For Our Clients

  • $2.75 Million

    Dock worker run over by a forklift at a cruise ship terminal causing catastrophic injuries

  • $2.8 Million

    Forklift accident at marine terminal in New Jersey

Meet Our Attorneys

Primary Office

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

1100 Ludlow Street, Suite 300
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19107
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