Our Michigan forklift accident lawyers handle lawsuits for people injured in accidents. The injuries caused in a forklift accident are often catastrophic and many times deadly. The Buckfire Law Firm has special expertise in handling these cases for both victims and their families.
Forklifts are heavy and powerful machines that are commonly used in warehouses, factories, and other industrial settings to move and lift heavy loads. Unfortunately, forklift accidents occur far too often and can result in serious injuries and fatalities.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a forklift accident, you may be entitled to significant money compensation through a forklift accident lawsuit.
- Forklift Accident Statistics
- Who can I Sue for a Forklift Accident?
- Am I limited to only a Workers Compensation Claim?
- Can I File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit for a Forklift Accident?
What are the most Frequent Causes of Forklift Accidents?
There are several different causes of a forklift accident, but the most common causes include:
- Operator error, often a result of improper training and inexperienced operators.
- Mechanical failures, usually from poor maintenance and lack of repairs.
- Crushing accidents from people run over or hit by the forklift.
- Tipping accidents from the forklift falling over on someone.
- Workplace hazards, such as uneven floors or congested areas.
- Improper loading, often due to loads not properly secured to the machine.
- Drops or falls to lower levels.
- Personnel falling off the forklift.
- Emissions poisoning, like carbon monoxide poisoning, in poorly ventilated areas.
- Defective design of the forklift, including lack of necessary safety features.
- Lack of warning signs in the areas where forklifts are used.
Forklift Accident Statistics
The number of forklift accidents in the United States is staggering. Forklifts were the source of 70 work-related deaths in 2021 and 7,290 nonfatal injuries involving days away from work in 2020.
On average, about 75 to 100 workers are killed annually in forklift accidents, Fatal forklift accidents increase about 30% each year, which is surprising in light of increased safety awareness and training for operators.
In addition to fatalities, there are close to 35,000 serious injury and 62,000 non-serious forklift accident injuries every year. A forklift overturning accounts for 25% of all forklift accidents.
Common Forklift Accident Injuries
Heavy machinery accidents can result in a serious and permanent injury. The most common injuries from a forklift accident include:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Broken and fractured bones
- Nerve damage
- Internal injuries, including damaged organs and bleeding.
Who Can I Sue for a Forklift Accident?
If you were injured in a forklift accident, you may be to sue a negligent party and demand compensation for your injuries. To file a lawsuit, you must prove that another party was negligent and that negligence caused your injuries. Potential negligent parties include the forklift operator, the employer, the manufacturer of the forklift, or other parties like a contractor.
Our experienced Michigan forklift accident lawyers will fully investigate your case to determine who you can sue for recoverable damages. We will get all investigation reports, witness statements, violation notices, and other evidence. We will also locate any video that may show the cause of your accident.
Am I limited to only a Workers Compensation Claim?
In some cases, your only legal remedy for compensation will be a workers compensation claim if your forklift accident occurred during your course of employment. However, there are occasions when you may be able to file a lawsuit for pain and suffering damages too. This could include if you were injured by a forklift operator working for a different company than you, or if the injury another party was responsible for your injuries.
If your injury was caused by a defective machine, you may be able to sue the manufacturer, or the company hired to maintain the forklift. You may also be able to file a personal injury lawsuit if there was gross negligence by your employer that caused the accident.
A Michigan forklift accident lawyer can help you gather evidence to support your case, such as witness statements, photographs, and expert testimony. Our attorneys will also negotiate with the other party’s insurance company and represent you in court if necessary.
How much is the Compensation for a Forklift Accident Victim?
Victims of forklift accidents may be entitled to various types of compensation, including:
- Pain and suffering damages, which includes compensation for physical pain, disability, and mental anguish resulting from the accident.
- Lost wages, especially if not covered by a workers compensation insurance policy.
- Medical expenses, past, present, and future
The amount of your settlement will depend on the specific factors of your case. Our attorneys will obtain your medical records, work records, tax records, and all other documents needed to help maximize your settlement award. We often hire an economist to determine your future loss of earnings caused by the injuries suffered in the forklift accident.
Can I File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit for a Forklift Accident?
In the event of a fatal forklift accident, the surviving family members be able file a wrongful death lawsuit. These lawsuits include damages for the pain and suffering of the decedent prior to the death, loss of financial and emotional support, and loss of society and companionship caused by the death.
If the injury occurred at work or in the course of employment, the damages may be limited to those limited by the workman’s compensation laws. Our experienced attorneys will determine if you can sue for compensation in addition to Michigan workers compensation payments.
Examples of Forklift Accident Settlements
- $9,000,000 settlement for a man who was run over by a forklift and suffered a leg amputation.
- $4,795,000 settlement for a forklift worker injured while loading cargo into a semi-truck.
- $3,258,000 jury verdict for a person hit by a forklift in a grocery store.
- $1,000,000 settlement for a leg crush injury caused a tipping forklift.
Contact Our Michigan Forklift Accident Lawyers Today
If you or a loved one has been injured in a forklift accident, you should contact our experienced law firm immediately. A forklift accident lawyer at The Buckfire Law Firm will explain your rights and options and guide you through the complex legal process.
With the right legal representation, you can receive the compensation you deserve and move forward with your life.
We will represent you under our No Fee Promise. This means that you will not pay any lawyer fees unless you receive a settlement. And we only get paid at the end of your case.
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