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From industrial warehouses to department stores, forklifts are a part of daily work life for many hardworking Texans. When operated properly, a forklift is a helpful tool, but improper operation of these machines can cause serious, life-altering injuries. And fatal forklift accidents are all too common.

Someone else’s negligence while operating a forklift can leave you struggling to see a future for yourself. You have suffered immensely because of your physical injuries, and you might also face mental trauma. Medical bills are piling up, you are missing your income because you cannot work, and you can barely take care of yourself and your home.

How do you move forward when you are suffering? How do you get your life back when you are too hurt to go back to work? Fortunately, Texas work injury victims like you may have legal options that allow them to recover compensation for their injuries.

If you have been injured in a forklift accident, reach out to a Texas forklift accident attorney at The Law Giant, Personal Injury & Accident Lawyers to discuss your case. Give The Law Giant a call at (866) 523-4167 today.

Forklift Accident Statistics

In 2018, forklift-related accidents injured 310 workers in Texas, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Five of those workers died as a result of their injuries. And more than 25 percent of these injuries led to over a month in the hospital.

Nationally, forklift accidents caused 9,050 injuries that forced the victim to miss time at work in 2017, the BLS reports. Sadly, 74 fatal forklift accidents occurred in 2017 alone, according to the BLS.

The median amount of time missed at work for a forklift accident in 2017 was 13 days. For all other types of work accidents, the median amount of time spent in the hospital was eight days. That shows that forklift accidents tend to be very serious.

The BLS also breaks down forklift injury statistics by accident type. For example, 20 percent of forklift accidents in 2017 involved a forklift hitting a pedestrian. Seven percent involved the victim being compressed by or caught in the machine. And 23 percent involved collisions with other vehicles that did not occur on public roadways.

These forklift truck accident statistics sound shocking because they are shocking. Each person who is harmed in a forklift accident faces serious injuries and financial losses. The good news? The Texas forklift accident lawyers at our firm can help victims fight for fair compensation.

What Causes Forklift Accidents?

The number one cause of forklift accidents that lead to legal action is negligence. This means that someone involved in the accident did not uphold their obligation to take care with the safety of others.

Many different negligent behaviors can cause forklift accidents, including the following:

  • Going too fast
  • Having an unbalanced load
  • Driving the forklift while the load is raised
  • Operating the vehicle carelessly or engaging in horseplay
  • Failing to do routine maintenance and upkeep on the forklift
  • Not providing operators with sufficient training
  • Failing to properly connect docks with trailers

Some of the above causes of forklift accidents are the fault of an individual forklift operator, while others might be the fault of an employer or someone else on the worksite. A Texas forklift accident lawyer can help you determine who can be held accountable in your unique case.

Common Forklift Accident Injuries

While most workplace accidents are serious, forklift accidents stand out because of the catastrophic injuries they so often cause. Drivers of these heavy machines often must navigate warehouse aisles that are crowded with warehouse workers on foot. Even a split second of distraction or another negligent action can lead to a forklift accident death or injury.

The following are some of the most common injuries in forklift accidents:

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*The outcome of any individual case depends on factors unique to that case. Past case results listed on this website do not guarantee or predict a similar result in any similar or future case.

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Can I Sue for a Forklift Accident in Texas?

If you have been injured in an accident that involved a forklift, you are likely considering your options for recovering compensation. As a Texas worker, you have probably heard about workers’ compensation benefits that are supposed to kick in after a workplace injury, but workers’ comp insurance often does not cover injured workers.

If you are not covered by workers’ compensation or someone who does not work for your employer caused your forklift accident, you may be able to sue to recover compensation.

OSHA Forklift Safety Requirements

In order to sue for a forklift accident in Texas, you must be able to show that someone acted negligently, and that negligence contributed to your accident and injuries. One clear way to demonstrate negligence is to show that someone violated the forklift safety requirements from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

OSHA requires employers to train forklift operators on how to operate these machines safely. Employers must also provide safe working conditions and equipment.

Here are a few additional OSHA forklift safety requirements:

  • Operators must be certified in forklift operation that complies with OSHA standards.
  • Forklift operators must be at least 18 years old.
  • Operators must receive refresher training if they have been caught acting carelessly or were involved in an accident.

Any violation of the above requirements could point to negligence on the part of the forklift operator, a subcontractor, or your employer. To determine whether OSHA standards were violated in your accident, contact The Law Giant at (866) 523-4167 or through our website.

Third-Party Liability for a Forklift Injury

The forklift accident attorneys at The Law Giant, Personal Injury & Accident Lawyers fight for workers who have third-party liability claims. It is important to understand the difference between third-party liability claims and workers’ compensation claims.

Having a third-party liability claim means that someone other than a supervisor or coworker—a third party—caused your forklift injury. If someone who works for your employer caused your injury, you should be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, but you will not be able to sue in civil court.

A third-party liability claim for a Texas forklift accident can come from a variety of situations:

  • A subcontractor or someone from another employer caused your accident.
  • A bystander or pedestrian caused the forklift accident that harmed you.
  • A manufacturer or forklift maintenance provider acted negligently, which caused the forklift to malfunction in a way that hurt you.

When a Forklift Accident Is Fatal

When a worker is killed in a forklift accident, the family is left to grieve an unimaginable loss. A worker killed in a forklift accident clearly cannot fight to hold the at-fault party accountable, but Texas law often allows surviving family members to seek compensation on behalf of their lost loved ones.

A wrongful death claim for a forklift accident death is meant to compensate surviving family members for their anguish, lost family income, lost potential inheritance, and other losses associated with the death.

For help building a strong wrongful death claim when a construction worker dies in a forklift accident, contact a forklift accident attorney.

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Compensation for Your Forklift-Related Injuries

An injury in a forklift warehouse accident or similar situation warrants full compensation for the victim if the accident was someone else’s fault. After you and your attorney from The Law Giant have established that you have a third-party liability claim, you may pursue compensation for the following:

Why Hire a Lawyer for a Forklift Accident?

You might be able to point to the person or group who caused your forklift accident, and you may understand the basics of negligence and who can file a personal injury claim for a workplace accident. So why do you need to work with a top forklift accident attorney?

If you are pursuing compensation from a person or group covered by insurance, you will have to face the insurer’s teams of attorneys. These lawyers have one goal—to make sure you do not receive the compensation you are owed.

Without extensive legal knowledge and experience, you are likely to fall victim to the tactics that insurers and opposing attorneys use all the time. They will try to talk you into a corner, catch you making a minor mistake, and blow it all out of proportion so you are left with nothing but the injuries you suffered in the forklift accident.

That may sound grim, but it does not have to be that way. An experienced lawyer can step in on your behalf and let the other side know that you will settle for nothing less than every dollar you deserve. Sometimes, the simple act of hiring a forklift injury lawyer is enough to convince the other side to negotiate fairly.

If negotiations break down or you are unhappy with what the at-fault parties are willing to offer, you do not have to accept their settlement offer (or flat refusal to offer a settlement). Instead, your lawyer can fight tirelessly for you in court. The Law Giant will not back down until justice is served in your case.