Maryland On-the-Job Forklift Accident Lawyer
Driving a forklift is a skill-intensive job that takes considerable training to do well and safely. Unfortunately, forklift accidents can happen even to the most experienced forklift operators. These injuries can often need intensive medical procedures, which can get quite expensive, to say nothing of potential long-term care like physical therapy or professional medical assistance that may be required to live with these injuries.
If you were injured in a forklift-related accident while working, our lawyers can help. We are experienced attorneys who have helped many injured plaintiffs get the compensation they need, and we are now ready to help you with your situation. When you work with us, you know that you will have legal counsel that will fight for you from start to finish.
For a free case review, call our on-the-job forklift accident lawyers with Rice, Murtha & Psoras at (410) 694-7291.
Filing a Forklift Injury Lawsuit as a Forklift Driver
There are some important considerations you need to take into account if you are considering filing a lawsuit based on an injury you sustained while driving a forklift. When you go over your case with our on-the-job forklift accident lawyers, we can examine the facts of your situation to determine what is the best path forward for you after your accident.
OSHA Rules and Regulations
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration sets rules and regulations for many different jobs that may incur injury, including the operation of forklifts. These rules are intended to mitigate the chance of an injury occurring on the job, and a violation of these rules by an employer may be grounds for a lawsuit.
Common OSHA rules surrounding forklifts include making sure that the forklift is in good working order, meets accepted construction standards, and that the forklift is operated at appropriate, safe speeds. If your employer has not made sure that all relevant OSHA rules have been followed and that led to a forklift accident, you may have a claim against them.
Another consideration to take into account when considering an on-the-job forklift accident related claim is the workplace conditions surrounding the accident. Employers are required to make a good effort to keep the work area free of hazards such that a forklift can be maneuvered and operated safely.
Defective Forklift Design
Another potentially less thought-about cause of forklift accidents is a problem with the actual machine. Defective forklift design or failure to properly maintain the forklift can easily lead to an accident.
Filing a Forklift Injury Lawsuit When Injured by a Forklift Driver
If you were injured by a forklift driver as a pedestrian or in a vehicle, there will be slightly different considerations in your forklift accident lawsuit. Indeed, you will still need to take into account things like OSHA regulations and workplace conditions, but you may also want to look at other factors regarding the driver of the forklift who hit you.
It is a requirement that forklift drivers be at least 18 years old. If your employer hired someone to drive a forklift who was under the age of 18 and they injured you, you may have a claim against whoever hired them.
Driving a forklift can be tricky, so forklift operators require specialized training before being considered forklift certified. The training has to be done by people with appropriate skills and expertise. So the training cannot, for example, be carried out by a shift manager just because they happen to be on-hand and wanted extra pay. Additionally, forklift operators must undergo “refresher training” to keep up their skills.
Workers Compensation Vs. a Lawsuit for On-the-Job Forklift Accidents
There are two ways that you can get financial compensation for a forklift accident that happens at work. The first and most common is Workers’ Compensation, while the second is filing a lawsuit against your employer or the appropriate party. In some circumstances, you may be able to do both, but that is a complicated issue that you should discuss further with our lawyers.
Workers’ Compensation Claims
The primary method for getting financial help after you are injured at work is through Workers’ Compensation. Workers’ Compensation takes the place of a lawsuit for most work-related injuries. Essentially, the employer does not contest the issue, and the employee gets a certain amount of financial compensation to cover all of their medical bills and some of their lost wages.
Workers’ Compensation is usually the “exclusive remedy” for injuries caused by employer negligence. Therefore, if you believe that negligence/carelessness on the part of your employer led to your forklift-related injuries, you cannot sue your employer for negligence and must use Workers’ Compensation instead. That being said, injuries that are not work-related are not covered, so you will still have to file a lawsuit in those instances.
Filing a Lawsuit
While Workers’ Compensation will cover many workplace injuries, some circumstances may require a lawsuit as the appropriate legal remedy. Having Workers’ Compensation is required by law. If you find out that your employer does not have Workers’ Compensation, a lawsuit will be available instead, potentially leading to higher damages.
Also, Workers’ Compensation only covers injuries caused by negligence or faultless accidents. This means that if your employer intentionally injured you at work, you may be able to sue them.
Additionally, Workers’ Compensation only applies to employees. This means that if you are an independent contractor, it is not an available remedy for you. In those cases, you will need to file a lawsuit to get compensation.
Finally, you can sue instead of using Workers’ Compensation if a third party caused the injuries. For example, if a car crashes into the forklift you are driving, you could be entitled to sue the third-party driver instead of relying on insurance for damages.
Talk to Our On-the-Job Forklift Accident Lawyers About Your Case
For free help with your situation, call our on-the-job forklift accident lawyers at Rice, Murtha & Psoras at (410) 694-7291.