New York forklift accident lawyers from Gorayeb & Associates can help you obtain the maximum compensation you are legally entitled to if you have been injured on the job.
If you work in construction, a factory, or a warehouse, you are likely familiar with forklifts, which are machines that help move heavy materials and make transporting items easy.
Operating a forklift is a job that can lead to multiple accidents that can be serious. Forklifts play critical and important roles on a construction site and allow materials to be taken to the work area where they are needed.
The reality is that each year, workers in the construction industry, factory employees, and warehouse staff are injured or killed in forklift accidents. This is because the platform can be raised, extended, lowered, or retracted due to the weight capacity they handle, making injuries more common and dangerous.
At Gorayeb & Associates, we have over 35 years of experience protecting workers in the construction industry. Our New York forklift accident lawyers can help you. Contact us for your free consultation. You are not alone! We can provide you with the forklift accident legal help that you need.
What Types of Injuries Does a Lawyer for Forklift Accidents Handle?
Forklifts are invaluable pieces of equipment on a construction site. However, they pose significant risks to workers. Injuries caused by this type of equipment can range from minor cuts and bruises to catastrophic injuries that are likely to affect a worker for the rest of their life.
That's why we share a list of the most common injuries that occur in forklift accidents:
- Head injuries
- Brain injuries
- Back and neck injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Internal organ injuries
- Fractures and broken bones
Overcoming these injuries takes a lot of time, patience, and money. Victims may suffer long recovery times as a result of extensive surgery, prescribed rest, and physical therapy. In even more serious cases, workers experience a change in their lifestyle and careers due to long-term disability and physical limitations.
If you are involved in an accident of this type, do not hesitate to contact a New York forklift injury attorney from Gorayeb & Associates. We can provide you with excellent legal representation for forklift accidents.
Does Federal Law Apply to Forklift Operation in New York?
The answer is yes. It is considered a violation of federal law for anyone under the age of 18 and even older to operate a forklift without proper training, evaluation, and certification. Employers need to ensure that all operators of motorized industrial vehicles are competent by successfully completing an evaluation.
The labor laws of New York apply directly to accidents involving materials and loads that are incorrectly lifted, resulting in injuries to workers.
In addition, New York law states that forklifts must be in good working condition and requires them to be inspected and maintained regularly. When this does not occur, or the forklift is defective, the material is likely to slip and injure a worker, causing the owner involved in the project to be liable for the incident.
A forklift accident compensation attorney from Gorayeb can provide you all the information you might need.
Main Causes of Injuries When Using Forklifts
Construction workers are often injured when forklifts overturn, strike, or crush them. But why do these accidents happen? Is it due to human negligence or a lack of knowledge about how to operate a forklift? The truth is that it can be due to both factors. Here are some of the most common causes:
- Inadequate training for workers
- Improper maintenance of the forklift
- Errors in loading or operating the forklift
- Defects in any of its parts
- Operating under hazardous conditions
To prevent accidents, injuries, and lawsuits involving forklifts, employers need to ensure that operators are properly trained and insured. When these requirements are not met, a workday can end in a catastrophic event.
Damages or Losses Caused by Forklift Injuries
The unstable conditions in which workers often operate forklifts mean that accidents often result in serious injuries. In fact, some of the most common injuries are:
- Spinal cord injuries
- Broken bones
- Brain injuries
- Neck and back injuries
Recoverable Damages for New York Forklift Accidents
If you were injured in a forklift accident, you may be eligible to receive compensation for several types of damages, including:
- Current and future medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Reduced earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Reduced quality of life
- Future lost wages
Has your forklift injury affected your life or your ability to earn a living? Did a loved one die in a forklift accident on a construction site?
You don't have to face this situation alone. Our team of lawyers will fight on your behalf to get the compensation you deserve. We represent people injured in forklift accidents, analyze their options, and pursue damages for them. We know how these cases work, and we will help you navigate the process.
Get help from our lawyers at Gorayeb & Associates and start the legal process today.
We begin each case with a free consultation where we discuss:
- What happened and the injuries that occurred
- The victim's legal options and rights
- Workers' compensation, insurance claims, and personal injury lawsuits
- Our services and how we represent clients
- Our contingency fee arrangements
The Most Common Types of Forklift Accidents
There are five common types of forklift accidents: rollovers, speed, vehicle impact, fumes, and reckless driving. These can cause injuries, death, and property damage.
Rollovers occur when the forklift or its load tilts if the center of gravity moves outside the stability triangle. This can be caused by:
- An unbalanced load on the forks (for example, the operator lifts the load with one fork or without checking where its center of gravity is)
- An unbalanced load that shifts on the forks or the pallet
- A load that moves internally
- The operator loads a load that is too heavy for the forklift
- Improperly stacking a load that then tips over
- The operator tries to jump off a forklift instead of holding on and ends up being crushed
If the forklift is carrying a heavy load, it will require a lot of energy to turn or stop. Suppose the load is raised and the operator moves the vehicle. In that case, even slight changes in direction can move the center of gravity outside the stability triangle, which is why accidents are caused by:
- Driving around a corner too quickly
- Not being able to stop in time
- Braking too hard might cause the load to fall off the forks
Forklifts are heavy and can cause a lot of damage. However, pedestrians are at a higher risk of having an accident because:
- They are hit by the forks or the load
- Pedestrians walk towards forks that are not lowered to the ground
- The rear of the forklift hits an object or pedestrian while swinging
- The operator is crushed between the forklift and an object (common with feet and hands that are not kept inside the forklift cage)
Using the right forklift for the type of area you are working in helps prevent accidents related to fumes:
- LPG and diesel generate carbon monoxide when idling. Operating in enclosed areas can cause symptoms ranging from delayed reaction times to loss of consciousness and death.
Sometimes, operators take shortcuts and drive dangerously, which can cause problems such as:
- Carrying two people on a forklift
- Carrying a person on the forks
- Not securing a personnel cage
- Dropping the forks and a load onto a pedestrian
Forklift Accident Statistics
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 100 workers die, and 20,000 are seriously injured in incidents related to forklifts each year. Statistically, this means that one in ten will be involved in an accident each year.
A study by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) found that 25% of forklift accidents are due to inadequate operator training.
According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), nearly 20% of forklift accidents involve a pedestrian, and 36% of forklift deaths are pedestrians.
Common Causes of a Forklift Accident
Safety should be a priority when operating large equipment in a distribution center or warehouse. OSHA requires businesses and distribution centers to follow certain guidelines and procedures regarding forklift operations. Properly training and teaching employees about forklift maintenance and operation will help make your warehouse safer and more productive.
Fewer accidents in your warehouse means greater savings in lost time, repairs, insurance, and employee costs. Here are four common causes of forklift accidents and ways to prevent them:
• Inadequate or insufficient equipment training
A forklift operator or equipment operator must be properly trained to operate the machinery, as insufficient training can be dangerous for the warehouse.
If an operator does not know basic information such as the lifting mechanisms, proper backing, the lifting capabilities of the equipment, or how to respond to the constantly changing conditions in a warehouse, they could cause extreme injuries or damage. Without proper equipment training, they are putting their lives and the lives of other employees who work in the warehouse at risk.
• Poor floor layout
The floor layout of a warehouse is a critical factor for safety and efficiency in the workplace, as it directly affects workers' ability to work productively in a safe environment.
Narrow aisles, poor lighting, sharp turns, and inadequate floor markings or signage are all major factors that can increase the risk of an accident. A good floor plan should have clear aisles that are easy to maneuver, as well as warning signs for all employees.
• Excessive speed
Although not as common, if a driver is accelerating while operating a forklift, it can cause an accident with devastating results.
Excessive speed affects the operator's reaction time, increasing the risk of an accident in case an object or person suddenly appears in front of the forklift.
It is less likely that experienced personnel will accelerate, as they understand the risks involved in the improper use of this tool, but that may not be the case with someone new to the job.
Managers should also make sure that all employees follow the proper operating protocols and procedures for heavy equipment to avoid the risk of an accident.
• Defective or damaged equipment
Another common cause of forklift accidents is because they are defective or damaged. The best way to reduce the possibility of a broken forklift is to perform routine maintenance checks.
Can an Undocumented Immigrant File a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
Yes! You should know that New York law protects all workers regardless of whether they have papers. Therefore, if you or a loved one suffered a construction elevator accident, you have the right to sue for negligence and receive compensation.
At Gorayeb & Associates, we work to get justice in your case while ensuring the privacy of your personal information.
What Should You Do If You Were Injured in a Forklift Accident?
First and foremost, you should get medical attention. Remember that health is important; the adrenaline of an accident can hide the injuries. For this reason, you should consider a complete check-up by a doctor.
- If you have a cell phone, take pictures of the accident and surroundings.
- Report the accident to your supervisor so that an incident report can be filed.
- Contact us immediately and speak to a New York forklift accident compensation attorney from Gorayeb & Associates. No matter the time or day, we are here for you 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
How Long Do You Have to File a Claim for Compensation for a Forklift Injury in New York?
According to New York law, workers must report their injuries within 30 days of the accident. Employees have up to two years to file a claim if an injury has caused other damages. A lawyer for forklift injury claims can help you.
Why Should I Hire Gorayeb & Associates for a Workers’ Compensation Case?
Over 35 years at Gorayeb & Associates, we have won several cases for our clients and have become an integral part of the local Latino community in defending workers' rights in New York.
Our New York forklift accident lawyers at Gorayeb & Associates can help you obtain the maximum compensation you are legally entitled to if you have been injured on the job. Contact us for your free consultation. You are not alone!
Frequently Asked Questions about Forklift Accident Lawyers
An attorney specializing in forklift incidents fromGorayeb & Associates is prepared to help all our clients. Whether you speak English or Spanish, we are ready to help you.
Yes! You have the right to file a claim even if you do not have a witness. To do this, you must specify the date your accident occurred and any other information that will help your case.
The answer is yes, since cities are liable for their acts which are regulated by different statutes of limitations.