Virginia Forklift Injuries Lawyer

Used to lift heavy objects, forklifts are an essential tool for many construction and warehouse workers around the world. When operated correctly, forklifts are helpful in a myriad of settings. Unfortunately, when forklifts are neglected or operated improperly, they can pose a safety hazard to others.

If you were injured in a forklift accident, it is crucial to understand your legal options. Even if you have the right to file for workers’ compensation, you may want to consider taking legal action against your employer, primarily if they engaged in gross negligence. A Virginia forklift injuries lawyer may be able to help you decide if you have a case against your employer.

Types of Forklift Accidents

Forklifts, sometimes referred to as lift trucks, are commonly used on constructions sites, in factories, and warehouses to transport materials that are too heavy to be lifted by humans. Forklifts are heavy, and so are the materials they carry, and if a forklift is involved in an accident with a person, the outcome can be devastating. For this reason, only qualified or licensed workers should be allowed to operate forklifts.

Forklift drivers must follow specific protocols and remain on the lookout for other individuals. Drivers who neglect to take such measures place themselves and others in great danger. The following types of forklift accidents often cause injuries:

  • A load drops on an employee, resulting in a crushing injury or death.
  • A forklift driver accidentally hits another employee while driving.
  • Loads fall on part of the body part of an employee due to uneven weight distribution.
  • A forklift collides with another large piece of equipment, injuring the forklift driver and the other operator.

Crushing and pinning accidents involving forklifts are some of the most common, and such injuries often cause numerous medical complications, even when they are treated quickly and effectively. Such injuries can also be permanent, preventing a person from living a healthy, pain-free life or ever returning to work. Overturns are often the cause of these crushing and pinning accidents.

OSHA Regulations

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, often abbreviated OSHA, is a government agency in charge of drafting and enforcing safety regulations for the workplace. OSHA recognizes the hazards associated with forklifts due to their size, and for this reason, there are laws regarding the operation of such machines.

If an injury on a forklift is caused by gross employer negligence, OSHA will even cooperate in the prosecution of the employer by a Virginia forklift injuries lawyer.

OSHA has also stated that employees working around forklifts are exposed to the following hazards:

  • When an operator is unaware others are surrounding, or behind the forklift, they may back into or run over the unseen worker.
  • Entering and leaving the forklift can cause injury to an employee.
  • Operating a forklift at high speed can increase the risk of flip-over accidents.
  • Turning, reversing, or operating a forklift on an incline can be dangerous and result in accidents.
  • Operators should watch for blind spots, even after making sure the surrounding area is clear of other workers.

Accidents can be avoided by providing employees with the proper training, safety equipment, and adequately inspected forklifts.

How a Virginia Forklift Injuries Attorney Can Help

Forklifts should never be operated by irresponsible or untrained employees, even if they demonstrate proficiency. If a company allows unqualified workers or uses poorly maintained forklifts, they can be held liable if an accident injures one of their employees. No one should be stuck with medical bills resulting from an accident they did not cause.

Consult a Virginia forklift injuries lawyer now for additional information.