Forklift Accidents

New Jersey Construction Accident Lawyers

Forklift Accidents

There are over 855,000 forklifts registered in the United States, according to the Industrial Truck Association (ITA). Forklifts are used in retail establishments, warehouses, and distribution centers. Forklifts can be extremely useful for moving large and heavy cargoes. When used improperly or poorly maintained, they can be dangerous to employees and passersby alike.

As of 2017, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) estimated that there were nearly 62,000 non-serious and 35,000 serious injuries due to forklift accidents. Around 100 people are fatally injured annually. Sadly, most forklift accidents are preventable.

Common Causes of Forklift Accidents

Most forklift accidents happen because employees are improperly trained, disregard safety standards, or because the machines are not properly maintained.

  • Forklift rollover accidents. If a forklift has been improperly loaded, it can easily tip over. When this happens, the cargo can slip off, crushing the operator or others in the vicinity.
  • Forklifts should never be used to transport or elevate people. It is not uncommon for people to be injured or even killed as a result of falling off a forklift, getting caught in its components, or being rammed into a wall or structure because the operator loses control.
  • Pedestrian accidents. Forklifts are supposed to be equipped with an audio signal that automatically alerts anyone in its path, but sometimes this feature fails. Further, operators need to be cognizant of people around them.
  • Narrow passageways. Forklifts are intended to be used in open spaces like a vast warehouse. Using them in crowded corridors is problematic because a driver cannot see what is in front of him or her, and pedestrians do not have adequate space to get out of their path.
  • Failure of safety mechanisms. Forklifts are supposed to be equipped with overhead protection systems. These are intended to shield the operator should something fall on the forklift. Sometimes, this part, or another safety device like a seat belt, is missing or broken.

Of these scenarios, the most serious are forklift overturns—resulting in more forklift-related fatalities than any other cause. The other top causes of fatalities are being struck by a forklift or falling from a forklift.

Liability for Forklift Accidents

An experienced construction accident lawyer can help you identify the party responsible for your injury, or for the death of your loved one. If multiple parties are responsible, they may be held jointly and separately liable in some cases.

For example, if a forklift injures a consumer, both the driver and their employer company could be held liable. In other cases, such as when an operator is injured or killed in an overturn accident, the forklift manufacturer may be held liable for a failure to warn of a potential hazard or for a design or manufacturing defect.

Victims of forklift accidents caused by negligence or recklessness can recover money for medical expenses (past and future), pain and suffering, and loss of income via a third-party liability claim.

New Jersey Construction Accident Lawyers at Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow, LLP Fight for Victims of Forklift Accidents

If you or someone you love has been injured or killed in a forklift accident, you need experienced legal representation. The New Jersey construction accident lawyers at Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow, LLP fight to get our clients the best possible outcome. To arrange a free, no obligation consultation, call us at 732-777-0100 or contact us online today. With offices located in Edison, Red Bank, and Toms River, we represent clients throughout New Jersey.