Every day, construction workers rely on hazardous machinery and heavy equipment to help them do their jobs. Forklifts are common pieces of machinery that can allow workers to carry out a number of tasks, including lifting, pulling, stacking, and carrying material. If they are not used properly or in good working order, forklifts can be dangerous — or even deadly. If you have been injured or lost a loved one in a forklift accident on a construction site, you may be entitled to compensation.
Common Ways Forklift Accidents Occur
There are many ways forklift accidents can occur on construction sites — and unfortunately, they are not uncommon. According to the National Safety Council, forklifts were linked to 79 deaths and 8,140 nonfatal injuries that resulted in days out of work in 2019. Critically, while forklifts are inherently hazardous, the risk of accident can increase considerably if contractors, owners, and others on the worksite fail to follow safety protocols and OSHA guidelines.
Some of the most common types of forklift accidents include:
- Forklift turnovers — Forklifts can overturn if they are overloaded, improperly turned, or driving at an excessive speed.
- Crush accidents — Forklifts weigh several thousand pounds and can cause catastrophic injuries if they overturn on a worker.
- Forklift collisions — If a forklift operator is not trained correctly or does not observe a blind spot, a collision can occur.
- Loading hazards — Accidents can happen if a forklift is loaded beyond its capacity or the load is not secured.
- Refueling explosions — Refueling or recharging a forklift can increase the risk of fire and lead to an explosion.
In addition, construction workers can be struck by moving forklifts if they are operated incorrectly. They may also be struck by falling materials if they are not adequately secured to the forklift.
Compensation for Forklift Accident Injuries
If you were in a forklift accident, you may be aware that you can file a claim for Workers’ Compensation. However, the injuries that can arise due to a construction site forklift accident can be devastating — and the monetary recovery you obtain from Workers’ Compensation may not be enough to cover your medical bills and lost wages. Additionally, it doesn’t compensate you for the pain and suffering you experienced as a result of the accident.
Although you can’t sue your employer for your construction site injuries because of New York State’s Workers’ Compensation laws, you may still be able to hold a third party accountable for your injuries in a personal injury lawsuit. Significantly, in many cases involving forklift accidents on construction sites, someone besides your employer may be to blame, such as a subcontractor or property owner. Or, if the accident was caused by a defect in the forklift machinery, the manufacturer may be held liable.
By filing a personal injury action for your forklift accident-related injuries, you may be entitled to a wide variety of damages. You may be able to recover your economic losses, including unreimbursed medical expenses and out-of-pocket costs incurred in connection with the accident and your lost wages. You may also be eligible to receive compensation for the pain and suffering you endured, and the loss of enjoyment of life you suffered as a result of your injuries.
If you lost a loved one in a forklift accident, you may be entitled to receive compensation in a wrongful death lawsuit.
Contact an Experienced New York Personal Injury Attorney
A construction site forklift accident can be life-changing and cause permanent disability. If you’ve been in a forklift accident on a construction site, it’s crucial to contact a personal injury attorney immediately to ensure your rights are protected. The Dearie Law Firm, P.C. has more than three decades of experience fighting for the rights of injured construction workers — and securing positive results in their cases.
The Dearie Law Firm, P.C. has convenient office locations in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and the Bronx, as well as mobile locations serving Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, the Bronx, Staten Island, Westchester, Rockland County, Nassau County, and Suffolk County. Contact us today for a consultation.