Recovering From Forklift Accidents: Know Your Legal Rights

Forklifts are simultaneously one of the most common and most dangerous of all construction site accidents. Used across the construction, manufacturing, and warehousing industries, forklifts are a staple of northeastern work sites. Not only is the forklift operator at risk of injury, bystanders on the construction site are often more likely to be injured by these machines. Whether you were injured working at a construction or just passing by, you may have a legal right to compensation. Consult a work injury lawyer to determine, specifically, how those rights apply to your situation.

The Basics of Your Legal Right to Compensation

Recovering from a forklift accident starts with knowing your legal rights. In most states, including New Jersey, victims of forklift injuries are entitled to workers’ compensation and are given the opportunity to bring a civil lawsuit against any non-employer parties involved, particularly when negligence can be proven. While both parties are covered, the rights differ slightly between injured workers and injured bystanders. A construction accident lawyer can help you better understand your rights.

Work Related Forklift Injuries

Let’s start by reviewing a common forklift injury scenario.

A construction company begins work on a larger site than usual. In an attempt to take the job and get it done quickly, they neglect to properly train their lift operators. As a result, an untrained operator makes an error in calculation and strikes an employee of another company on the job site. That employee is injured and unable to perform at work. Is the non-company employee considered a bystander or a worker?

This exact situation is actually quite common at docks and ports, especially in New York and New Jersey. The bottom line here is that negligence was clearly involved. The non-company employee has a viable legal claim against the forklift operator’s company for negligent forklift operation. He can bring a civil lawsuit for financial compensation against the forklift operation company. Compensation can include pain and suffering, as well as medical bills and lost wages. A work injury lawyer can help ensure you get the compensation you are entitled to in this situation.

Bystander Related Forklift Injuries

Bystander related forklift injuries are common construction site accidents. Individuals are often walking by construction sites while on their daily commute and have been struck by forklifts. What rights do these individuals have?

Clearly they are not entitled to worker’s compensation benefits unless they were actually doing their job at the time of the injury. An example of this would be if a delivery worker was making a delivery run and was struck by a wayward forklift. In that case, the worker would be eligible for worker’s compensation from their employer.

If the bystander was “on the job” at the time of the injury, they may still be able to bring a lawsuit against the forklift operation company and the general contractor of the site itself. Bystanders may be entitled to compensation for pain and suffering, along with medical bills.

How To Secure Legal Representation

If you, or someone you care about, has been injured in a forklift accident, contact an experienced NJ construction accident lawyer at the law offices of Garces, Grabler & LeBrocq today at 800-923-3456. Our construction accident lawyers are eager to help you receive the compensation you deserve for your injuries and losses.

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