Forklift Accident Lawyers
If you or someone you love has suffered serious harm due to a forklift accident, you may be seeking a construction accident lawyer New York residents have long trusted to fight for fair compensation. There can be little doubt that working in the construction trades is a very dangerous proposition, with severe injuries occurring on a nearly daily basis. Considering the substantial weight and extreme heights often involved with forklift activities on worksites, it is not surprising that such accidents can cause debilitating injuries and other long-reaching consequences.
The NYC & Long Island personal injury lawyers at Edelman, Krasin & Jaye understand the complexities of your potential forklift accident lawsuit and want you to know that we are here to help. Dating back to 1952, our firm has prided itself on providing unrivaled advocacy on behalf of the injured and securing the financial recovery they and their families deserve.
Key facts about forklift accidents
According to the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA), roughly 11% of all forklifts in service will be involved in some type of accident each year, with 90% of all forklifts being involved in such an incident at least once during their predicted useful lives.
No less than 20,000 individuals sustain serious harm in forklift accidents annually, and nearly 100 are fatally injured. Forklift accidents are alarmingly common on construction sites, and can produce life-altering circumstances for workers and their entire families. Given the seriousness of the harm regularly caused by forklifts, otherwise known as powered industrial trucks, it is important to understand the risk factors and conditions that frequently lead to such dire outcomes.
Forklifts are used largely to move heavy materials and to lower, raise or remove objects or groups of objects placed on pallets or in other types of containers. These machines may either be ridden by a trained operator or controlled by an operator on foot. Though following proper operational protocols can greatly increase the safety of forklifts, it is all too common for workers and contractors to cut corners in order to complete jobs faster than they otherwise could.
Some of the most common types of forklift accidents involve:
- Ejection of drivers
- Machines tipping over
- Falling debris on the job site
- Workers being pinned between forklifts and other surfaces
- Unsafe elevation of workers
- Unsafe path conditions
- Collisions with pedestrians
Injuries commonly sustained in forklift accidents
Given the massive amounts of weight involved and the unstable conditions in which forklifts are typically operated, the injuries that are regularly sustained in such construction accidents can be extraordinarily severe.
Common forklift injuries include:
- Brain trauma
- Internal injuries and organ damage
- Neck injuries
- Fractures to the lower extremities
- Fractures combined with blood vessel harm that necessitates amputation
Such harm frequently produces lasting disability, making it virtually impossible for injured workers to pay the substantial medical bills they have incurred, replace lost wages or compensate for the reduction in their ability to earn a living. At Edelman, Krasin & Jaye, we understand the feelings of panic, despair and confusion felt in the immediate aftermath of a forklift accident, and we are prepared to take action on behalf of the injured.
Workers compensation and third-party claims in forklift accidents
In New York, as in most jurisdictions, workers compensation is meant to be the main channel through which those injured on the job receive payment for medical expenses and lost wages resulting from their accident. By accepting compensation in this way, a worker must forfeit his or her right to pursue their employer for any negligence that may have led to the incident in question. While the “no-fault” system itself is convenient and eliminates the need for time-consuming, costly litigation, the dollar amounts provided by workers compensation insurance are rarely sufficient to meet all of the injured individual’s needs.
Fortunately, New York Labor Law section 240 provides injured workers the possibility of seeking additional compensation by initiating a third-party negligence claim against parties other than their employer. This law affords injury victims the opportunity to sue engineers, architects, general contractors, subcontractors, equipment manufacturers or any others, the acts or omissions of whom created the unsafe working environment that resulted in harm.
Such a lawsuit can fill the gaps left by a workers compensation award that is likely to include payment for lost wages and medical expenses, but will offer nothing for other types of losses.
As is the case in any other type of personal injury lawsuit, definite time limits exist within which such claims must be filed. It is essential for victims of forklift accidents to align themselves as soon as possible with attorneys who are familiar not only with workers compensation claims and New York Labor Law section 240, but also with OSHA’s forklift standards for general industry.
The lawyers of Edelman, Krasin & Jaye are dedicated to asserting the rights of those harmed by the negligence of others, and have cultivated an extensive network of medical experts, occupational safety consultants, case investigators and support staff, all of whom work tirelessly to further the interests of each and every client. Our team of professionals will work diligently to analyze the facts of your case, interview witnesses and investigate possible violations of key forklift safety rules and manufacturing standards as we seek the compensation to which you are entitled.
Available compensation in forklift accident lawsuits
Pursuing a third-party negligence claim following a forklift accident often proves to be the best way to secure maximum financial recovery for victims. Though the lost wages and medical expenses covered by workers compensation are important pieces of the puzzle, it is vital for those harmed in forklift mishaps to have an opportunity to seek payment for:
- Diminished earning capacity
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Disruption to familial and marital relationships
- Loss of support
Selecting the right New York forklift accident attorney
Tackling a New York forklift accident lawsuit is not something an injury victim should attempt to do alone. The aid of a seasoned construction accident attorney with a demonstrable background in injury cases is critical to success and can make all the difference in the ultimate likelihood of recovery.
When seeking a forklift accident attorney in New York City or Long Island, look for a professional who:
- Is able to provide evidence of substantial experience in the area of construction accident law
- Does not guarantee a specific outcome, but can point to prior success stories
- Has access to a team of medical and economic loss experts, construction consultants and legal support staff
- Is experienced in all stages of litigation, encompassing initial discovery, settlement talks and trial practice
Conversely, when seeking legal representation in a forklift accident case, be aware of the following red flags that will inevitably result in substandard representation:
- Lack of a concrete background handling similar matters
- Unwillingness or inability to provide personalized attention
- Unresponsiveness to client inquiries and contact
- Absence of a tangible track record of successful litigation outcomes
Effective, accessible New York forklift accident attorneys
Those injured in forklift accidents invariably experience a wide range of emotions including anger, frustration and anxiety. Worrying about paying the bills while simultaneously learning to cope with a life-altering injury can overtake even the strongest individuals, leaving them wondering where to turn. If you have found yourself in this unenviable position, the New York construction accident lawyers at Edelman, Krasin & Jaye stand prepared to offer a lifeline.
We accept no fees unless and until we secure financial recovery on your behalf. For a no-obligation, complimentary consultation, contact us at 1-800-469-7429.
- United States Department of Labor - Occupational Safety & Health Administration, Powered Industrial Trucks - Forklifts, https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/poweredindustrialtrucks/
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Preventing Injuries and Deaths of Workers Who Operate or Work Near Forklifts, http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/docs/2001-109/
- CBS 2 New York, Man Crushed, Killed In Brooklyn Forklift Accident, http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2014/06/10/man-crushed-killed-in-brooklyn-forklift-accident/