Forklifts accidents are one of the most common types of work related accidents in the U.S. This is largely due to the fact that forklifts are used in multiple industries including construction, warehousing, factory/industrial, etc.
According to data by the Occupational Safety & Health Administration, there are about 30,000 forklift accidents each year in the U.S. That breaks down to about 82 forklift accidents per day.
Other types of work related accidents like trip and falls don’t usually result in major injuries. However, most forklift accidents do. Workers and innocent bystanders are often crushed or run over by forklifts. Naturally, the injuries can be fatal, and if not, the injuries are often catastrophic and life-altering.
In addition, workers injured in a forklift accident are often unable to return to work, even after their injuries have healed. Crushed limbs may require amputation, or they can result in permanent, painful nerve damage and scarring that make it difficult to resume work duties. That’s why it’s vital for workers injured in forklift accidents to seek legal advice about getting compensated for their injuries.
Compensation After a Forklift Accident (NOT JUST WORKERS’ COMPENSATION)
Workers’ compensation benefits are minimal and cover medical treatment and a portion of wage loss. In states like Pennsylvania and New Jersey, wage loss payments (indemnity) is capped at about 2/3 of the worker’s average weekly wage, up to a statutory maximum. In PA, for example, the max weekly wage is $995 for 2017. So, a worker injured in a forklift accident would be capped at 2/3 of his average weekly wage, up to a max of $995. If the worker’s average weekly wage before the accident totaled $1,500, he is short by about $500 each week or $2,000 each month, hardly chump change.
Fortunately, workers injured in forklift accidents may be able to receive full, fair compensation by filing a work injury lawsuit. This can only happen by getting advice from a work injury lawyer experienced in handling forklift accidents. An experienced lawyer will explore all avenues of liability, including potential claims against contractors and subcontractors, and even product injury claims against the forklift manufacturing company. These types of claims are actually fairly common in forklift accident lawsuits. For example, a steel worker who is struck by an employee of a forklift operating company may have a valid work injury lawsuit against the forklift operating company.
In a successful forklift accident lawsuit for a work injury, an injured worker may be able to receive compensation for medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering. Claims also include future medical treatment costs, loss of earning capacity and pain and suffering. For more info, visit our forklift accident law library.
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