FORKLIFT ACCIDENT LAWYER
Forklifts are dangerous machines that are used in warehouses, factories, and construction sites to move equipment and heavy materials. Although forklift operators have been trained, mistakes happen that often lead to tragic accidents. Many factors may lead to a forklift accident, from driver error to mechanical failure. Forklifts require proper training on how to operate the vehicle safely to ensure others in the area aren’t at risk. Because forklifts are so common in the workplace, it should come as no surprise that accidents happen regularly. If you were involved in a forklift accident in Texas, please contact Shamieh Law. We offer free consultations, and our attorneys would be glad to discuss your case with you today.
Even with years of adequate training, a licensed forklift operator’s recklessness, carelessness, or negligence can cause a devastating forklift accident. Given the serious nature of these types of accidents, victims often have to deal with long-term, disabling injuries– or worse. Please contact Shamieh Law as soon as possible if you were injured in a forklift accident. We will help you determine what type of compensation you may be owed, whether through a worker’s compensation or personal injury claim. Our Dallas lawyers represent both workers and non-employees in these types of cases. It is our goal to help you obtain the fair compensation you deserve for the injuries you’ve suffered in a forklift accident
COMMON CAUSES OF FORKLIFT ACCIDENTS
Forklift accidents are one of the most common types of workplace accidents that occur in Texas. Individuals who are injured following a collision or other mishap with a forklift may have the right to seek damages, either from the operator or the employer. Because Texas has such a large construction industry, it is common to see these types of incidents occur. From moving heavy materials on a job site to truck drivers delivering and picking up goods from warehouses, accidents are high-risk in the Lone Star State. Often, workers use forklifts during the peak hours of the day, which means innocent people may be involved when the driver is negligent. On the other hand, forklift operators are under a great deal of pressure to get the goods and materials from point A to point B in a timely fashion.
Some of the most common causes of forklift accidents include:
- Inadequately trained operator – When a forklift driver doesn’t have the proper training, it can make the situation dangerous. They may not know how to respond to a changing work environment, and new inventory may create unforeseen obstacles. Both the driver and the employer have the obligation to ensure anyone operating is properly trained. The certification process includes a written exam, a driving assessment, a reflex test, and an eye exam.
- Speed – One of the most common causes of forklift accidents is speed. Too often, drivers become comfortable with the vehicle and act recklessly. When a forklift travels too fast, it can be difficult to control and stop quickly.
- Improper turning – Another common cause of Texas forklift accidents is improper turning. Forklifts are designed to carry heavy, sometimes awkward loads, but this can make them unstable. If you turn a corner with a load that isn’t properly secured, it can lead to a serious accident.
- Insufficient warnings – When operating a forklift in a workplace, it is imperative there is adequate signage, warnings, and markings. Not only does this help the driver, but anyone who will be in the warehouse or forklift zone.
- Giving – Irresponsibility and carelessness also cause forklift accidents. A driver should never allow another worker or rider of any kind on the forklift load.
- Poor workplace design – In some cases, a forklift accident has nothing to do with the operator and his or her load. A warehouse with narrow aisles, for example, may not be an ideal place to operate a forklift. Always make sure the design of the space can accommodate the forklift or any other type of equipment before you get started.
Other possible reasons for a forklift accident include:
- Forklift operators failing to communicate
- The operator performs tricks or does other things with the forklift he or she should not be doing
- Incorrect parking
- The forklift operator fails to follow the correct procedure for backing up, turning, braking, or moving forward
- Overworked operators
- Fatigued or stressed forklift operators
- Poor maintenance of forklifts
Forklift drivers have a duty to protect other workers, passersby’s, and themselves. When negligence leads to injuries, the at-fault person may be held liable for any damages. If the accident occurred in a store or warehouse, that establishment is likely responsible. To learn more about your rights following a Dallas forklift accident, contact Shamieh Law today.
INJURIES FROM FORKLIFT ACCIDENTS
The following are common types of forklift injuries:
- Neck and back injuries
- Whiplash injuries
- Crushing injuries
- Injuries from dropped loads
- Broken bones
- Spine injuries
- Severed limbs
- Scars and disfiguration
Under Texas law, all employers owe a duty to protect workers and provide them with a safe workplace.
FORKLIFT ACCIDENT STATISTICS
Here are a few telling forklift accident statistics to help you understand just how devastating these types of accidents can be:
- There are more than one million active forklifts in the United States
- 11 percent of all forklifts will be involved in some type of accident every year
- From 2011 to 2017, 614 workers were killed in forklift-related accidents
- 1 in 6 workplace deaths involve a forklift
- Forklifts are to blame for approximately 85 deaths each year
- Nearly 35,000 serious injuries are attributed to forklift accidents annually
- Crushing accidents account for 42 percent of forklift deaths
- During their working lifetime, 90 percent of all forklifts will be involved in some type of accident
- 70 percent of all forklift accidents in the U.S. are preventable
This final statistic is the most important of all. By taking proper safety measures and approaching forklift operating with care, many of the accidents, injuries, and deaths that occur could be avoided. If you are involved in a forklift accident in Texas, contact Shamieh Law and make an appointment with one of our experienced workplace accident lawyers today.