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New York Forklift Accident Lawyers

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One type of machinery often seen on constructions sites is a forklift. Forklifts are helpful on construction projects as they allow for transport of heavy materials without individual workers having to lift and carry them. This relieves stress on their bodies and allows for more efficient construction work.

Operators of forklifts must be trained on how to safely use this construction equipment. In New York City, owners and general contractors are under pressure to get the job done quickly. This leads to shortcuts in terms of safety, training, supervision, inspections, and monitoring. Shortcuts unfortunately lead to forklift accidents. OSHA statistics report nearly 700,000 forklift accidents each year in America.

Types of Forklift Accidents

  • worker struck by falling load
  • worker run over or struck by a forklift in operation
  • forklift overturning
  • electrocution
  • fall from a forklift

Common Types of Forklift Injuries

  • crush injuries
  • orthopedic injuries
  • degloving injuries
  • brain injury
  • spinal cord injury
  • fractured bones
  • paralysis

Another common cause of forklift accidents is the construction site work area design and layout. Examples of hazardous job conditions include:

  • construction debris
  • failure to clear passageways and aisles
  • narrow passageways and or aisles preventing a forklift from passing
  • lack of space for a forklift to turn
  • lack of safety monitors or flagmen to direct the forklift while it is turning or reversing
  • vertical columns, poles, and other obstructions
  • ramps, inclines, holes, height differentials, and other construction floor or ground hazards
  • poorly maintained loading docks

Other common causes of forklift accidents include:

  • failure to communicate with other construction workers who are walking near the forklift
  • failure to adequately warn others of what the forklift will be doing: reversing, lifting or dropping loads, turning, etc.
  • improper or inadequate training of the forklift operator and other personnel
  • forklift driver error
  • Speeding
  • negligent driving
  • failing to follow safety rules
  • inadequate lighting
  • tight intersections in a busy construction site; blind spots
  • carrying a load that is too heavy; tip over accidents

A forklift accident can also occur due to a failure to repair, maintain, and inspect the forklift itself leading to problems with the brakes, mechanics, clutch, and other elements of the machinery.

Who is at fault in a forklift accident ?

  • Workers compensation insurance will pay the injured worker lost wages and medical bills
  • A third party lawsuit can be filed in New York against the individual or company that was at fault as long as it is not the plaintiff’s employer
  • The New York State Labor Law statute may be implicated in forklift accidents

Contact the forklift accident lawyers at the F&A injury law firm at (212) 222-1111, fill out an online contact form, or dial #919 from any New York City cell phone to reach us.

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