Forklift Accidents

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Pittsburgh Forklift Accident Lawyer

Forklift Accident Attorney Advocates for Clients Injured in Forklift Accidents in Pittsburgh and Throughout Pennsylvania

If you have been injured in a forklift accident, you could recover monetary compensation for your damages through a workplace injury claim. Before you are able to make a legal claim for financial compensation, you need to determine who was responsible for your forklift accident. Only an experienced forklift accident attorney such as Mark A. Smith can review the details of how you become injured and help determine who was negligent and what legal options you may have for flailing a claim and seeking monetary compensation. 

While forklifts are a key piece of equipment in factories, warehouses, and workplaces around the world, many forklift accidents cause serious injuries or even death. A huge piece of workplace equipment, most forklifts are approximately 10,000 pounds. Any piece of industrial equipment as massive as a forklift can be extremely dangerous. Sometimes a forklift can malfunction and often it is negligently operated, which is the cause of life-changing permanent injuries.

There are many causes of forklift accidents. Among the most common are:

Operation of an unsafe forklift

A lot can go wrong in operating a forklift and it often does. Poor load weight management, infrequent and spotty maintenance, and deferred inspections can all contribute to forklift accidents.

Substandard communication practices

Forklift operators need to make their presence known to other forklift operators. As many accidents occur at high-traffic points in the workplace, an action as simple as using the horn can prevent an accident. Failure to take such preemptive safety actions may be a legal breach of duty.

Absence of a safety door 

Operators are more easily thrown from standup forklifts than they are from other types of forklifts. In accidents involving standup lifts, the absence of a door to keep the operator safe and inside the forklift is often the cause of an accident.

Operating a forklift with a raised load 

Standard industry procedure is to not transport a raised load. The safest operational practice is to lower a load prior to transporting it so as to not raise the center of gravity and increase the odds of the forklift crashing by tipping over.

Improper Forklift Maintenance or Unsafe Work Environment

You may have a legal claim against your employer where they poorly maintained the forklift that caused your injury. An experienced construction accident attorney will look closely at records indicating maintenance intervals and whether the forklift maintenance deviated from the standard in the industry. You also may have a legal claim against your employer where they allowed an unsafe work environment to exist.

Often, an employer might have been aware of some sort of defect in the forklift yet failed to fix it before your accident. At other times, the employer might have similarly disregarded their obligation to keep you safe by failing to keep a properly-organized, clean, and safe warehouse space. In both of these situations, your employer could be held liable for your injury.

Negligent Forklift Manufacturing 

Sometimes a forklift accident happens because the forklift itself malfunctions in some way. If you have suffered a forklift accident because the forklift malfunctioned, the manufacturer of the forklift could be held legally liable for any injuries you have suffered. 

Given the weight, power, and size of a forklift, a safe forklift needs to operate as designed. For a forklift to operate safely, regular and thorough maintenance needs to be done regularly, excellent logs of any maintenance issues need to be kept, and repairs and part replacements need to be done in a very timely manner.

Every feature and function on a forklift needs to work perfectly every time it is used. Brakes need to be fully functional so that the forklift stops as a response to normal brake pressure. A forklift needs to accelerate at the right speed, turn accurately in all directions, have a fully functional power source and properly-maintained parts that are built specifically for that make and model of forklift. 

As such information can be critically important to your claim, Attorney Mark A. Smith will determine whether there have been recalls or other accidents involving the make and model of the forklift that injured you.  Contact our firm today for a free consultation.

Third-Party Responsibility for a Forklift Accident

If you are injured by a forklift that is under the control of a party other than your employer, you may legally have a third-party claim. 

Many workers are injured off-site on another company’s property by their forklift. The cause of this forklift accident may involve negligence, irresponsible and reckless behavior, or not adhering to the operational and safety protocols of that company and their industry. 

Sometimes this third party bears a very close relationship to your actual employer. Many companies are one company of a much larger set. Your employer may claim that the forklift accident in which you were injured isn’t their responsibility because it isn’t their company. But in a situation where that company is another part of your employer’s supply chain, you may have a third party legal claim.

Frequently Asked Questions About Forklift Accidents in Pittsburgh

What are the most common reasons for a forklift accident?

Approximately 25% of forklift accidents are caused by a forklift overturning. Many other factors may be responsible for a forklift accident, so do not hesitate to contact Attorney Mark A. Smith to review the details of your forklift accident and to discuss your rights.

Are forklift accidents common in the workplace?

Yes. 17% of work-related deaths are caused by forklifts. These sometimes occur on construction sites or in factories, but also in many other types of workplaces.

Are most forklift accidents avoidable?

Yes. OSHA has determined that 70% of forklift accidents were caused by negligence. These forklift accidents could have been easily avoided. If you were injured in a forklift accident caused by another party’s negligence, Attorney Mark A. Smith is here to help you get what you deserve.




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