New Jersey Forklift Accident Lawyers
Forklifts are used routinely in factories, warehouses, lumberyards, big-box retail outlets, nurseries, and anywhere products need to be stacked or moved from here to there. Machine operators are supposed to be certified, but many companies allow almost anyone to drive a forklift. Due to substandard training and the busy nature of the businesses that use them, accidents have been increasing yearly, and the trend is not likely to stop. In New Jersey, the law firm of Mazie Slater Katz & Freeman protects the rights of people who have been injured by poorly trained operators using defective forklifts. Our lawyers have collected tens of millions of dollars on behalf of clients who have been seriously injured in forklift accidents.
Forklift accidents happen for various reasons and in several ways, such as the following:
- The driver runs into a shopper who is walking or standing.
- The operator accidentally drives the forklift off a loading dock.
- The forklift falls when a ramp between the dock and a truck gets knocked aside.
- A pallet or product being carried falls onto the driver or another person.
- Two forklifts collide.
Forklifts can be Deadly Weapons
When operators use these heavy, powerful machines in a reckless fashion, innocent people become seriously injured. The Occupational Safety and Health Association (OSHA) reports that approximately 85 fatal accidents involving forklifts occur annually throughout the United States, which makes these types of accidents a leading cause of death in industrial settings. Nearly 35,000 serious injuries and 61,800 minor injuries are caused by careless forklift operators or defective forklifts.
There are 855,900 forklifts registered in the United States and approximately eleven percent have been involved in an accident of some type, says the Industrial Truck Association. When a worker or shopper is injured, the driver and the company that employs the driver can be held liable for any injuries incurred, including medical expenses, pain and suffering, and loss of income. Fatal forklift accidents can be the result of poor training, inadequate maintenance, or uncertified drivers, but even the best forklift operator can be injured due to a defect in the machine. The defects can include a design defect, a manufacturing defect, or a failure by the manufacturer to warn about certain dangers in the forklift, which led to the accident.
Reducing Forklift Injuries
Using common sense can reduce forklift accidents and injuries. should not be used to carry workers or to lift them onto a dock or another level of a building to fetch supplies. The passenger could fall, get hung up on the forks, or get crushed between the forklift and another object.
The payload on the forks should never obscure the driver’s field of vision. Frequently, forklifts rumble through narrow aisles, crowded common areas, and areas where it is hard for the driver to see other people. Forklifts must always have an automated audio signal to alert co-workers and pedestrians that a forklift is moving through the area.
Rollovers can easily occur if the load is improperly balanced or if the driver is operating the forklift too quickly. All machines should have a roll bar to protect the driver in the event of a rollover accident. When a forklift rolls over, the lift or the cargo can crush the driver.
They should have a seat belt, a grab rail and arm rests. A protective cage is required to protect the driver from any cargo that falls from the lift.
NJ Forklift Injury Lawsuits
The New Jersey forklift accident lawyers at Mazie Slater Katz & Freeman have years of experience handling industrial accidents of all types. We aggressively represent the rights of people who have suffered injuries in industrial/warehouse/construction site accidents. If you or a loved one were injured in such an accident, please contact us to speak with one of our New Jersey accident lawyers. We will respond as soon as possible to discuss your case at no cost to you.