Forklift Injuries
Last Updated : February 11, 2022

Beaumont Forklift Injury Lawyers

Did you sustain a forklift injury at work? If so, you might be able to seek financial compensation. Forklifts are dangerous machinery used to lift and transport heavy objects. An estimated 11% of forklifts around the country cause an accident at some point during their use. Additionally, 85 people die every year while operating or working near one.

A majority of individuals who work in the manufacturing and construction industries end up using a forklift at least once during their career. If you never received the proper training, you’re putting yourself at risk every time you use one. Forklifts are challenging to maneuver if you’re inexperienced. It’s easy to get injured in dangerous scenarios if you don’t know how to handle them.

At Portner Bond, PLLC, we understand the devastating consequences of forklift accidents. We represent Texas workers and ensure they are able to get medical treatment and recover lost wages or disability payments when they get hurt on the job. When you hire us, we’ll make sure that you get the full compensation you deserve. If you were the victim of a forklift accident, call us at (409) 838-4444 to schedule a free consultation.

Different Types of Forklift Accidents in Texas

Muscle strain and exhaustion occur when you lift and carry heavy objects. Forklifts reduce those kinds of injuries by allowing a machine to do all the work for you. However, improper maintenance and operation cause accidents on the job site every day.

The most common forklift accidents employees get injured from include the following:

  • Falling from a forklift
  • Getting struck by a falling load
  • Electrocution
  • Collision with a moving forklift or its parts
  • Forklift tipping over

Many times, injury occurs because of operator error. However, there are situations when the employer is to blame. If the owner of the company doesn’t maintain their heavy machinery, they could assume liability for any accident. Additionally, the workplace must follow a design that allows proper navigation. Blind spots, narrow aisles and turns, and obstructions prevent employees from moving around seamlessly.

OSHA Safety Regulations

OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) regulates the operation, maintenance, storage, and training of forklifts. There are various standards individuals must follow to ensure their safety.

  • Training: This standard requires training and licensing for everyone operating the forklift. Additionally, operator performances should also get evaluated periodically.
  • Maintenance: This standard requires the maintenance of all forklifts before use. If an exam shows adverse conditions that could negatively impact anyone’s safety, no one should use it until the problem gets corrected.
  • Operation: The user must follow all operational guidelines to prevent improper loading, unauthorized driving, or crashing into people or other machinery.

If OSHA regulations are violated, the employer could receive citations. Citations lead to potential penalties, such as expensive fines.

Forklift Accident Insurance Claims

Workers’ compensation benefits provide payment for an injured worker’s medical treatment, lost wages, and additional expenses associated with the accident. Many states throughout the country require workers’ compensation insurance. However, Texas isn’t one of them.

If your employer does carry a workers’ compensation policy, you could apply for benefits. The steps you should take after suffering an injury from a forklift are:

  1. Notify an executive of the company of the accident and ask for a copy of the incident report
  2. Complete the employee portion of Form 041to submit to the workers’ comp insurance carrier
  3. Undergo a medical evaluation for your injury
  4. Check the status of your insurance claim. If approved, you should begin to receive benefits while you’re still treating.

In a situation where the company doesn’t provide workers’ compensation benefits, you could file a third-party liability claim. You would file a claim against your employer’s general liability carrier. All businesses should carry general liability with bodily injury coverage in the event an accident occurs.

Workers’ comp and third-party liability are different because the former provides immediate benefits while the latter provides reimbursement for past expenses. Additionally, liability claims require that you show proof of fault on the part of your employer. If you can’t prove fault, you won’t be able to seek compensation.

What Benefits or Compensation Could I Receive?

If you pursue a workers’ compensation claim, you could receive benefits for the following:

  • Temporary Income
  • Supplemental Income
  • Total Disability
  • Additional Benefits: Reimbursement for travel to and from medical treatment more than 30 miles from your home, vocational rehabilitation to look for another place of employment, and death benefits in the event the injured worker dies, and their family would like to seek compensation.

If you pursue a third-party liability claim, you could receive reimbursement for the following expenses related to your injury:

  • Medical bills
  • Lost wages
  • Physical pain and suffering
  • Emotional trauma
  • Disfigurement

Another option for receiving compensation is through a lawsuit. There are many people or entities you could file a lawsuit against depending on how the injury occurred:

  • Your employer for not maintaining the forklift or creating a hazardous work environment, if workers’ comp is not available
  • The manufacturer of the forklift for selling equipment with a defective part
  • The property owner of the job site where the accident occurred for their negligence
  • A coworker or other individual whose reckless behavior caused your injury

Whichever option you choose, it’s useful to hire a lawyer from Portner Bond, PLLC. We understand Texas law and what kind of evidence we need to provide to prove someone else caused your forklift accident. Handling your case on your own is a huge undertaking. It’s a complex process that’s stressful for anyone to take on without legal representation.

How Can Portner Bond, PLLC Help Me in My Forklift Accident Case?

If you were the victim of a forklift accident, call the Texas workplace injury lawyers of Portner Bond, PLLC today. Our legal professionals are available 24/7, so you can reach us when you need us. We believe in providing superior customer service to our clients. When you hire us, we’ll handle every legal aspect of your case so you can focus on your recovery.

We offer free consultations to all prospective clients. We’ll be happy to sit down with you and review the details of the accident to determine if we can move forward with your case. We’ll work hard to get you the financial compensation you deserve. Call us at (409) 838-4444 or fill out our contact form.