Springfield ,Missouri Forklift Accidents Lawyers
Whether you're working in a warehouse or a construction site, driving a forklift can be a dangerous job. These massive machines are designed to make the work easier for you, but one wrong move can create potentially deadly situations for both the operator and any pedestrians in the way. If you've been involved in a forklift accident, then it's imperative that you know your rights. At The Law Firm of Webster & Carlton, we understand the dangers that occur on jobsites with forklifts, and we will fight to help you get the compensation you deserve. Although these incidents usually only account for 1 percent of all workplace accidents, they are responsible for around 10 percent of all workplace injuries. The reason for this discrepancy is that forklift accidents can be much more severe than others, meaning that there is a higher chance of getting seriously hurt.
- There are 34,900 serious injuries caused by forklifts every year
- About 85 people die annually because of these accidents
- The forklift overturned in 24% of cases
- There are 61,800 non-serious accidents annually
- According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), 70% of these accidents could be avoided by implementing stricter training processes
Overall, the fact is that forklifts are much more dangerous than people realize. The average machine weighs more than three tons, which means that any incident involving a forklift has the potential of being incredibly serious.
Common Risk Factors for Forklift Accidents
When driving a forklift, remember that it turns from the rear wheel. While this helps it make the machine more maneuverable, it can also make it more susceptible to overturning if you're not careful. Other issues that can arise when operating a forklift can include:
- Excessive speed: These machines can move up to 18 miles per hour, which makes it hard to correct course if driving at top speed
- Elevated loads: Forklifts are not designed to move with a high load. This throws the machine off-balance and can lead to overturning.
- Improper warning systems: When forklifts are in operation, it's imperative that everyone in the area is fully aware of their presence. If not, it could lead to accidents, such as collisions with other forklifts or pedestrians.
- Erratic behavior: Although all personnel who operate forklifts are supposed to be trained on proper safety techniques, that doesn't mean that everyone follows the rules.
- Low visibility: This problem is usually exacerbated when loading or pulling out a pallet at higher levels. Since you can't see clearly, it can lead to mistakes, which can cause the pallet to fall, or the forklift to overturn.
What to Do if You've Been Involved in a Forklift Accident
Whenever an incident occurs with a forklift, it's imperative that you understand what happened so that you can make your claim correctly. If you've suffered a significant injury, you need to be able to earn proper compensation so that you can provide for yourself and your family while you recover. Unfortunately, many claims involving forklifts are wrongly denied for a variety of reasons. Thus, you want to make sure that you have a legal team behind you that knows the risk factors and can assess your claim to ensure that you can get the money you deserve. Whether you were behind the wheel or someone else was operating the forklift, you need representation with your best interests in mind. Otherwise, you could be denied a claim and have to suffer without any financial compensation.
Call Our Worker's Compensation Attorneys
We at The Law Firm of Webster & Carlton know what you're going through, and we're here to help. Be sure to contact us immediately so that we can start working on your case and assist with your full recovery.
Why Do I Need a Missouri Workers’ Compensation Attorney?A workers’ compensation claim can take several months, even years, to resolve, especially if you continue to suffer from the effects of your work-related injury. Your employer and its insurance company will be represented by highly skilled attorneys who know how to exploit an injured employee. You need to level the playing field by hiring a Missouri workers’ compensation lawyer who will fight on your behalf.
What Happens If My Employer Denies Me Workers’ Compensation Benefits?In many cases, your employer or their insurance company will promptly pay any workers’ compensation benefits. But if they deny benefits–or stop paying them before you receive what you believe you are entitled to under the law–then you have the right to file a claim with the Missouri Division of Workers’ Compensation. An administrative law judge appointed by the Division will review your claim and either conduct mediation between you and your employer, or alternatively hold a formal hearing to determine your right to compensation.
What Kinds of Injuries Are Covered?
Under Missouri law, workers’ compensation only covers injuries that arise “out of and in the course of employment.” This includes accidents that occur during your work shift. It also includes “occupational diseases” contracted at work, provided workplace exposure was the “prevailing” cause.
Workers’ compensation is not necessarily limited to injuries suffered at your normal workplace. If your job requires you to travel–i.e., make deliveries or conduct on-site work with clients–you may be compensated for injuries sustained in the course of such travel. However, Missouri workers’ compensation law specifically excludes injuries sustained while commuting from home to work and back, even if you use a company-owned car.
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