The Main Causes of NYC Forklift Accidents

Forklifts perform the necessary lifting and moving tasks at many New York construction job sites and workplaces. Unfortunately, many forklift drivers do not have the requisite training and experience to avoid dropping carried loads. Accidents involving forklifts are among the most common causes of serious injuries at workplaces where they are present.

Every year in the United States, tens of thousands of construction workers and pedestrians walking by construction sites are seriously injured by forklifts, and still others are injured while operating forklifts.

When you work in construction, you understand that there are very real risks on a job site, and you also understand how hazardous a forklift can be. Workers in the vicinity of forklifts may be struck by the vehicle or even struck by a falling object.

Forklifts, also referred to as lift trucks or powered industrial trucks, are used in many industrial workplaces, warehouses and construction sites to move materials, boxes, crates, pallets and containers. Forklift accidents are among the most frequent accidents in warehouses and on construction job sites.

If you have been seriously injured in a forklift accident in New York, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits to pay your medical bills and related out-of-pocket expenses.

At many construction job sites, multiple companies are working on-site simultaneously. If a worker in injured due to the negligence of some party other than his employer, they may be able to file an action against that at-fault party. You should speak to an NYC Construction Accident Lawyer to protect your legal rights.

To schedule a free, in-office consultation contact Michael J. Redenburg, Esq., PC at 212-240-9465 to get the wheels of justice spinning for you!

Types of Forklift Accidents

There are numerous types of forklifts and each presents its own injury hazards. For example, counterbalanced high lift rider trucks are likely to be involved in falling load accidents because they can elevate a load much higher. Among the commonly used types of forklifts are:

  • Electric motor rider trucks
  • Electric motor narrow aisle trucks
  • Electric motor hand trucks
  • Internal combustion engine trucks with solid tires
  • Internal combustion engine trucks with pneumatic tires
  • Electric and internal combustion engine tractors
  • Rough terrain forklift trucks

The most common types of forklift accidents causing fatal injuries are:

  • Crushing accidents caused by forklift tipping over
  • Crushed between vehicle and surface
  • Crushed between vehicles
  • Struck or run over by forklift
  • Struck by falling objects

Drivers may suffer crushing injuries or traumatic brain injuries when they try to jump clear of a forklift that is tipping over. They land in its path and then are struck by the safety guard. As the stats above note, many deadly forklift injuries are caused by crushing injuries when a forklift falls.

In retail settings, pedestrian accidents involving forklifts are a serious safety issue and more likely to occur if an operator is driving too fast or failing to follow proper safety precautions.

New York requires that every person who operates a forklift has an operator’s license and receive adequate training before taking the controls of the forklift. Employers must ensure that operators have proper training. Yet, poor operator training and disregard for safety guidelines contribute to the majority of accidents caused by forklifts.

Forklifts often operate in fast-paced workplaces, and they lift extremely heavy loads that can sometimes obscure the vision of the driver. OSHA requires forklift operators to slow down and sound a horn at cross aisles and other locations where their vision is obstructed.

Forklift operators who have not received proper training in the operation of motorized industrial trucks pose a hazard to other workers. For example, a forklift operator who hasn’t received training in loading cargo on a forklift may try to move an unbalanced load, causing it to topple. Too often, however, employers allow workers to operate forklifts without the proper training.

If proper and better training techniques were kept in place, it would help reduce the risk of forklift-related accidents and deaths.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Who May Be Liable in a Forklift Accident?

Many different parties, or even multiple parties may be liable for your forklift accident, including:

  • The forklift manufacturer
  • The forklift rental company
  • A maintenance company
  • Your employer

An experienced NYC construction accident lawyer can investigate your situation and help you determine all of the people or companies who should be held accountable for your injuries.

  1. Forklift Rental Companies May Be to Blame

If your employer rents a forklift from a rental company and you are injured, it may be the fault of the rental company. They are supposed to provide regular maintenance for forklifts, and ensure those who use them are properly trained.

  1. How Much Is my NYC Forklift Accident Claim Worth?

It is impossible to tell exactly how much money you can get for the injuries you received in your forklift accident. A lawsuit filed against the at-fault party, other than your employer, will allow you to pursue pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life claims.

Contact Michael J. Redenburg, Esq. PC at 212-240-9465 for a free, no obligation, in-office consultation and get the wheels of justice spinning for you.