While forklifts are commonly used in workplaces across America, they also lead to thousands of injuries each year. In some cases, the worker operating the forklift is responsible for the injury, while in other cases, the injury was unavoidable. But because workers' compensation is a no-fault system, you should consider speaking with a workers' compensation attorney regardless of who is at fault.
What Happens After a Forklift Accident
Because forklift injuries can often be fatal, one of the primary concerns after a forklift accident is to get the participants treatment as soon as possible. Because treatment for these injuries can be expensive, the next step is to make sure that you obtain financial support by talking to your employer and a workers' compensation attorney.
Employers in all 50 states are required to carry workers' compensation insurance. After you are injured, your employer should contact their insurance provider to file a claim. Also, you will want your employer to relay details to the insurance provider regarding what happened that lead to your injuries.
You will need photographs from the scene of the accident. You will also need witness statements if they are available. Finally, you will need medical records related to your case. If you're not sure if you have all the needed documentation to prove that you were injured at work, consult with a workers' compensation attorney.
The reason why the forklift accident occurred is important because you may also be able to pursue a claim against the forklift manufacturer if you are able to prove that the forklift was defective. If you were not using the forklift improperly, you may find it easier to make this claim.
A third-party claim might be beneficial because you will not be able to receive compensation for pain and suffering from a workers' compensation insurance provider. Instead, you may be able to settle with the forklift manufacturer or take them to court.
How the Accident Occurred
To sue the third party, your attorney will need to build a case for why a forklift defect was responsible for your injuries and not your own actions. For example, if your forklift tipped over because you overloaded it, you may be at fault. However, if the forklift is incorrectly rated for a weight that it cannot carry without tipping over, the forklift company would be responsible and you would be entitled to compensation.
To learn more, contact a workers' compensation lawyer.