Safe forklift operation is crucial, which means employers must take proper precautions and ensure machinery meets industry safety standards and employees have adequate training. Despite the need to keep employees safe, accidents happen. If you work with forklifts, you may want to know more about forklift accidents and pursuing a claim should something happen. You may be wondering, What a case is worth? What is the most common type of lift truck accident? 

If you sustained injuries in a lift truck accident, it’s best to speak with an experienced California accident lawyer at Silva Injury Law, Inc. We can help you determine your legal rights and what your case could potentially be worth.

What Is the Most Common Type of Lift Truck Accident?

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), rollovers are the most common type of lift truck accident. Forklift operators who fail to wear a seat belt are at a higher risk of catastrophic or fatal injuries in a rollover. Rollover lift truck accidents can occur in a variety of ways. The most common causes of a lift truck rollover are:

  • Turning on an incline;
  • Making a turn too quickly;
  • Driving on non-level surfaces, such as hitting a pothole or up a ramp;
  • Carrying uneven, overweight, or unbalanced loads;
  • Moving with an elevated load;
  • Stopping abruptly;
  • Accelerating too quickly in reverse; and
  • Tilting the mast back or forward.

Someone operating a sit-down forklift should remain seated, brace themselves and try to lean away from the side of impact. Someone driving a stand-up lift truck can try to step back out of the compartment and away from the vehicle.

Lift Truck Accident Statistics

According to the National Security Council (NSC), there were 7,290 forklift injury accidents in 2020, which resulted in an average of 17 days away from work. The most common events or exposure included:

  • Transportation incidents;
  • Flips, slips, and trips;
  • Striking an object;
  • Being caught in an object, equipment, or material; and
  • Overexertion and bodily reaction.

The most commonly involved industries are:

  • Service providing industries;
  • Transportation and warehousing;
  • Wholesale trade;
  • Retail trade;
  • Professional and business services;
  • Goods-producing industries;
  • Manufacturing; and
  • Construction.

According to the NSC statistics, forklift accidents decreased in 2020 by 850 injuries.

Injuries from Fork Lift Accidents

Any number of injuries can happen in a lift truck accident, but some are more commonly seen than others. Injuries from forklift accidents depend on the type of accident. For example, someone injured in a rollover might be crushed or pinned underneath it. Someone who is a bystander could be pinned or knocked down. Some of the most common injuries include:

  • Fractures and broken bones,
  • Brain and other head injuries,
  • Spinal cord injuries,
  • Muscle tears and sprains,
  • Contusions and bruises,
  • Other soft tissue pain, and
  • Punctures or lacerations.

Proper training can prevent many of these injuries from forklift accidents. Operators must learn the correct procedures and practices to operate a lift truck safely. However, high-stress work environments or fatigue can cause an operator to make mistakes or cut corners. For example, wearing a hard hat can help protect your head in the event of an accident. If an operator jumps in to move something quickly, they may wrongly assume nothing will happen.

Why Lift Trucks Are Dangerous

Despite their appearance, lift trucks can weigh up to 9,000 pounds, which is around three times as heavy as a car. They generally have only front brakes, making them more challenging to stop in the event of an emergency. Given that top speed can hit 18 miles per hour, there’s definitely a risk of a severe accident.

Lift trucks are heavier in the back to compensate for carrying heavy loads in the front. This feature can add to the difficulty of operating a lift truck. When a driver has a load, it can also obstruct their view.

Contact Our California Lift Truck Accident Lawyers

If you sustained injuries in a lift truck accident, please speak with our California truck accident lawyers to determine what legal rights you have. Our skilled legal team has years of experience assisting injured victims like you. We understand personal injury and workers’ compensation laws that could apply in these types of injury accidents. Don’t attempt to handle a lift truck injury claim independently. Contact our office to schedule an initial consultation. Let us review your case and help you determine the best course of legal action.

FIND OUT HOW WE CAN HELP

At Silva Injury Law we promote healing through compassionate advocacy. With each case tailored to the individual, we look our for your best interests by evaluating your unique circumstances. Contact us today for a FREE in person or remote consultation.