When you get hit by a vehicle, it’s really possible that a major, catastrophic injury can occur. A lot of those vehicles pack a ton of power. A great example of this is when you get hit by a forklift.
We have helped out people in probably more than 500 forklift accident cases in Illinois. They often result in crush injuries to feet, legs, hands and arms. We’ve also seen people get paralyzed, suffer traumatic brain injuries (TBI’s) and even die.
The biggest cause of these accidents is user error. Someone drives the forklift negligently. Maybe they weren’t trained on it properly. Maybe they aren’t paying attention or got distracted. Possibly proper safety protocols aren’t in place. And of course in some cases it’s just an accident that happened.
In other cases there is fault with the forklift itself. Some of those reasons include:
• Bad Brakes: Forklifts rely heavily on their braking systems to stop safely. Brake failures can lead to catastrophic accidents, including collisions, tip-overs, and injuries to both operators and bystanders.
• Steering Mechanism Issues: Defects in the steering system can result in loss of control, leading to accidents, collisions, and potential injuries. Poor steering responsiveness can be especially dangerous in confined spaces.
• Faulty Hydraulics: Forklifts depend on hydraulic systems for lifting and lowering loads. Hydraulic failures can cause loads to drop unexpectedly, posing a significant risk to operators and those nearby.
• Tire Issues: Damaged or underinflated tires can destabilize a forklift and increase the risk of tipping over, especially when you are carrying heavy loads.
• Operator Visibility Issues: Limited visibility due to defects in mirrors, cabs, or other components can result in accidents involving pedestrians or other equipment.
• Electrical System Problems: Forklifts often use electrical systems for various functions, including lights and horn signaling. Electrical defects can hinder communication and visibility, increasing the likelihood of accidents.
• Load Capacity and Stability Deficiencies: Forklifts are designed with specific load capacities. Defects in this area can lead to overloading, tipping, and accidents.
• Lack of Safety Features: Missing or malfunctioning safety features such as seat belts, backup alarms, and overhead guards can significantly increase the risk of accidents and injuries.
• Inadequate Maintenance: Neglecting regular maintenance can lead to various defects and issues in forklifts. It’s essential to investigate whether maintenance procedures were followed correctly.
• Design Flaws: Some forklift models may have inherent design flaws involving doors, safety restraints, weight distribution, onboard operator systems, brake placement etc. that make them more prone to accidents or defects. These flaws may require a thorough engineering analysis.
If an accident happens due to a forklift issue, it’s possible that you not only have a workers’ compensation case, but also a personal injury lawsuit. Some of those cases can be worth millions of dollars. That will depend on a lot of factors including if your employer maintained or manipulated the vehicle.
If you would like to discuss a forklift accident case with an experienced lawyer, please call us any time at 888-705-1766. We handle these cases on a contingency basis which means there is no fee unless a recovery is made.