Forklift Accidents at Work

employee maneuvering forklift

    Forklift accidents can have devastating consequences and can leave victims unable to work while facing a mountain of bills. However, if you suffered injuries from a forklift accident, you don’t have to get through it alone. The dedicated attorneys at The Callahan Law Firm stand ready to help you seek the financial relief you need to meet these challenges. We have more than 25 years of experience helping injury workers like you secure justice and compensation.

    To learn more about your legal options, contact our forklift accident lawyers in Houston today for a free case review

    Why You Need Our Law Firm for Your Forklift Accident Case

    Taking on a legal case while struggling with a difficult and painful recovery can be daunting. At The Callahan Law Firm, we handle the legal details of a case so clients can focus on getting the medical care they need and recovering from their injuries. Hiring the right attorney makes a difference between getting the resources you need and scrambling to handle accident-related challenges on your own.

    When the stakes are high, you deserve competent and compassionate representation from a qualified attorney. With over 25 years of legal experience, our Houston forklift accident lawyers have the knowledge and resources to get the compensation and justice you deserve. We work tirelessly on behalf of our forklift accident clients and their families to maximize the value of their cases, including compensation for medical bills, lost wages, impairment, pain, suffering, and other losses.

    Our firm has secured tens of millions of dollars in settlements and trial verdicts for injured people like you. We are prepared to handle your case from the outset through trial to ensure you get the best possible outcome.

    Houston Forklift Injury Statistics

    An estimated 4.5 million Americans operate forklifts as part of their jobs, resulting in thousands of preventable injuries yearly. According to the National Safety Council, in one recent year, work-related forklift incidents resulted in more than 7,000 nonfatal injuries requiring time away from work and nearly 80 occupational fatalities nationwide. Nonfatal work incidents involving forklifts resulted in a median of 17 days away from work per injured person.

    The Texas Department of Insurance reports that more than 300 Texas workers were injured in forklift incidents in one recent year. Of those injured, more than a quarter required inpatient hospital care resulting in more than 31 days away from work, and five died from their injuries.

    Common Causes of Forklift Accidents at Work

    Numerous factors might contribute to a forklift accident at work. Some of the common causes of these accidents include:

    • Workplace factors – Common workplace factors contributing to forklift accidents include fast production speeds, lack of appropriate safety equipment, improper workplace assignments of forklifts or operators, poor forklift maintenance, and lack of proper forklift operator training.
    • Operator factors – Common operator factors that lead to forklift accidents include operating forklifts at excessive speeds, backing up, blocked view causing inability to see, operating with elevated loads, improper maneuvers or techniques, lack of appropriate warnings to others near the forklift operator, lack of proper communication in shared spaces, lack of awareness of suitable forklift routes, allowing others to ride on forklifts or loads, improper forklift parking, and general horseplay.
    • Environmental factors – The layout and design of the work area where a forklift operates can also contribute to accidents. Common environmental factors contributing to forklift accidents include narrow or crowded aisles, shelving that obstructs forklift operations, obstructions at intersections and doorways, excess foot traffic in the work area, ramps and uneven flooring, poorly maintained loading docks, and other workplace conditions like excess noise and poor lighting.
    • Load-related factors – Common load-related factors that contribute to forklift accidents include poorly stacked and secured loads, pallets in poor condition, loads that are too heavy for the forklift, loads that are unstable or uneven, and loads that block the forklift operator’s line of sight.
    • Mechanical factors – Common mechanical factors contributing to forklift accidents include malfunctioning brakes and steering systems, malfunctioning clutches and transmissions, malfunctioning mast assemblies, leaking hydraulic fluids, missing or inadequate safety devices, operator blind spots, and confusing arrangements of forklift displays or controls.

    Common Types of Forklift Accidents and Related Injuries

    Common types of workplace accidents involving forklifts include:

    • Forklift collisions with pedestrians
    • Forklift collisions with objects or structures
    • Forklift accidents due to improper training
    • Falling forklift load accidents
    • Forklifts falling off docks or trailers
    • Forklift rollover accidents
    • Workers falling from elevated forklifts
    • Forklift accidents due to blind spots
    • Mechanical failure forklift accidents
    • Workers getting crushed or struck by forklifts

    When a forklift accident happens in the workplace, people can suffer injuries such as:

    Personal Injury Lawsuits for Forklift Accidents in Houston

    In most workplace accidents, individuals injured in a forklift accident will be covered by their employers’ workers’ compensation policies. However, if the accident was caused by the negligence of a forklift operator who was working for another company, or because of the negligence of a company that was not your employer, you may be able to make a third-party claim and recover money damages in addition to any workers’ compensation benefits.

    In addition, Texas is different than most states because it does not require employers to carry workers’ comp coverage. In this instance, an employer is referred to as a non-subscriber and a claim can be made against the employer for the negligence that caused or contributed to the forklift accident and the injuries.

    Because of the different types of legal claims that can be available, it is best to consult with an experienced forklift accident lawyer to make sure your claim is handled properly and to ensure you receive maximum compensation under the law. A successful case can compensate you for medical bills, lost wages, pain, suffering, physical impairment, and more.

    You should speak to our forklift accident attorneys in Houston. We represent people in forklift accident cases in and around Houston and throughout the state of Texas and are ready to evaluate your case and identify all potential sources of compensation.

    OSHA Forklift Safety Regulations & Hazards

    According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), there are various ways to avoid forklift hazards and decrease the likelihood of forklift accidents. OSHA recommends that forklift operators follow the following forklift safety tips:

    • Always operate forklifts according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
    • Always wear a seatbelt if one is provided.
    • Never exceed load capacity and ensure loads are stable.
    • Never raise or lower loads while traveling.
    • Stay a safe distance from platforms, ramp edges, and other vehicles.
    • Maintain clear visibility of work areas and pay attention to clearance.

    Contact Our Houston Workplace Injury Attorneys

    If you were injured in a forklift accident at work, the team at The Callahan Law Firm wants to help.  We have a long history of successfully representing people injured in forklift accident cases and have the experience, resources and skills necessary to win. Contact our Houston workplace injury attorneys today for a free case evaluation