Workers who are injured in forklift accidents which occur on the job are often able to make two types of claims for financial recovery. First, a workers’ compensation claim provides medical treatment. In cases of temporary or permanent disability, an injured worker can make a workers’ compensation claim for indemnity, which pays the worker for a portion of their average weekly wages. The exact amount of indemnity payments is determined by statute and varies depending on the injured worker’s weekly wage amount.
Second, a worker who is injured in a forklift accident like a forklift strike accident may be able to make a claim against non-employer parties, like a general contractor or a subcontractor. These types of cases are filed as tort or injury lawsuits.
Liability for Work Related Forklift Accident Injuries in PA
Under PA law, injured workers are usually legally unable to bring injury lawsuits against their employers. This is the trade-off of workers’ compensation – in exchange for providing workers’ compensation benefits to workers, employers are immune from liability for work related accidents and injuries. However, there are some exceptions to this rule. One of the most commonly litigated exceptions is the intentional tort exception. Under this exception, an employer may be held liable for fraudulent behavior which leads to a work injury.
The reality is that many work related accidents occur because of the negligence of other, non-employer parties. For instance, a forklift operating company which provides day laborers/forklift operators may be liable for failing to train or certify their operators properly, or a forklift maintenance company may be liable for negligent repair. Common issues in forklift accident lawsuits include negligent training, negligent maintenance, and failure to adhere to a safety program.
Forklift accidents often result from the negligence of multiple parties, such as:
- operating companies, or
- maintenance companies.
In addition, there may be a products liability claim against a forklift manufacturer or distributor for defective design. Unfortunately, many injured workers are misinformed about their right to file a lawsuit against all responsible parties; many believe that their only legal recourse is a workers’ compensation claim.
There is simply no way to be sure whether there is a case unless the case is investigated by a qualified and knowledgeable workplace accident lawyer with experience in handling forklift accident cases.
Related Article: Forklift Accident Lawsuit Claims in New Jersey and Pennsylvania
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Last updated: February 2, 2015