Have you been hurt in a forklift accident in Houston, TX? You may be entitled to financial compensation through a personal injury lawsuit or claim for workers’ compensation benefits. Attorney Brian White & Associates, PC is here to help you seek the full compensation you deserve.
Contact our law office today to request a free case review with a Houston forklift accident lawyer who can help you explore your legal options.
How Attorney Brian White & Associates, PC Can Help with Your Forklift Accident Case
A forklift accident can change your life and leave you facing a painful recovery, mounting medical bills, and costly time off work. During this stressful time, the last thing you should be worried about is fighting for the compensation you deserve for a work-related injury, but many Texas workers find themselves in that position.
You potentially have two avenues to recover compensation: workers’ compensation or a personal injury lawsuit. Unfortunately, you may encounter roadblocks in either path. The insurance company and your employer may argue your injuries were pre-existing, you were not seriously injured, or your claim is not worth as much as you say.
A Houston personal injury lawyer with Attorney Brian White & Associates, PC is here to help you explore your options and fight for the full compensation you deserve. We advocate for injured workers in Texas with a reputation built on the high-profile claims we have handled. Brian White is a board-certified personal injury trial lawyer with a Texas Board of Legal Specialization only 3% of Texas lawyers can claim. He has secured life-changing settlements and jury verdicts for his clients and will fight to do the same for you.
When you choose Attorney Brian White & Associates, PC to help you, you can count on us to:
- Perform an investigation of your accident
- Identify parties who may be liable and avenues to recover compensation
- Gather and assess evidence
- Consult with experts to build the strongest case possible
- Handle communications and negotiate on your behalf
If negotiations with the insurance company fail, we are not afraid to take your case to court. You do not have to fight the insurance company alone. Contact our law office to schedule a free consultation with a forklift injury lawyer in Houston who can help you.
Texas Forklift Accident Statistics
There are more than 4.5 million people in
the U.S. operating forklifts in hundreds of industries, according to the Industrial Truck Association. Unfortunately, forklift tip-overs, collisions, and other forklift accidents are frighteningly common.
Across the United States, 614 workers were killed in forklift accidents between 2011 and 2017. In 2017 alone, there were more than 9,000 non-fatal forklift injuries reported. In Texas, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 310 workers were injured in 2018 in forklift accidents.
Among Texas workers hurt in a forklift incident, over 25% required a hospital stay and more than 31 days away from work. Five of these injuries were fatal.
Our Houston law firm represents clients who have been injured in all forklift accidents, including workers for Lowes, Home Depot, Walmart, Costco, and other big box stores and warehouses. Call our legal team to discuss your rights and options today.
What Causes Forklift Accidents in Houston?
Forklifts can be dangerous to not only forklift operators but other workers and visitors to a job site. Many forklift accidents occur in construction, transportation, wholesale, retail, and manufacturing. Nearly 1 out of every 6 workplace fatalities involves some type of forklift incident.
Forklift accidents come in many forms such as:
- Crushing accidents when someone is caught between a forklift and another surface or crushed by the forklift itself
- Forklift rollovers
- Loads falling off a forklift
- Forklift striking a pedestrian
Many factors may contribute to a forklift accident. These accidents are often caused by human error, but they may also be caused by a defective forklift. About 25% of all forklift accidents are attributed to inadequate training alone, according to OSHA. Common factors in forklift accidents in Houston include:
- Operator inattention
- Operator inexperience
- Inadequate training of the operator
- Excessive operation speed
- Improper turning
- Insufficient hazard warnings
- Unstable or elevated load
- Faulty or poorly maintained forklift
A forklift may seem easy to operate. Sometimes employers even allow or encourage workers to use forklifts with minimal training. However, these vehicles are extremely prone to tipping and rolling over thanks to a high center of gravity. The high speed a forklift can achieve can also make them unstable. Once the forklift reaches a high speed, it can be difficult to stop because it only has front brakes.
Forklift accidents often happen when workers operate the equipment at high speeds, attempt tricky turns, move unsecured or excessive loads, or attempt to jump out of a forklift that is tipping over.
In comparison to a car, which is around 3,000 pounds on average, the typical forklift is 9,000 pounds. Forklifts are heaviest at the rear to counter the weight when loaded. They typically only have front brakes. To turn a forklift, only the back wheels move which gives them a smaller turn radius than a vehicle. Forklifts are most at risk of tipping when turning.
Common Injuries in Houston Forklift Accidents
Even normal operation of a forklift for long hours can aggravate back pain and lead to repetitive strain injuries. The vibration and long hours in a seated position can also cause back and neck pain. When a forklift accident occurs, operators and other workers can suffer even more serious injuries.
The most common injuries we see in forklift incidents include:
- Whiplash. This can be the result of unexpected acceleration, a collision, or a sudden stop.
- Head and brain injuries. Many head injuries are the result of getting into/out of the forklift, attempting to jump out of a tipping forklift, or in a tip-over accident.
- Foot injuries. These injuries may occur when the forklift tips over or even when a pedestrian is struck by a forklift.
- Fractures may occur when someone is trapped or struck by the forklift, is thrown or jumps from the forklift, or is hit by a load falling from a forklift.
- Catastrophic injuries can also occur in a forklift incident.
While some forklift accidents only result in minor injuries, many result in serious injuries that require hospitalization, surgery, and a lengthy time away from work. Some Texas workers are even killed in forklift accidents on the job.
Damages Available in a Forklift Accident
There are two primary ways to recover compensation after a forklift accident in Houston: a personal injury lawsuit or workers’ compensation. The option available to you will depend on whether:
- Your employer has workers’ compensation coverage
- Your employer was negligent
- A third party shared liability for your accident
Workers’ compensation is a no-fault system, but filing a lawsuit requires showing that the other party was legally liable. A personal injury lawsuit offers more broad forms of damage and may be brought against your employer if they do not have workers’ compensation coverage or a third party.
With a personal injury lawsuit, you may be entitled to the following types of damages:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages for time you took off work
- Lost or reduced earning capacity if disabled
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Mental anguish
Workers’ compensation has more limited benefits:
- Medical expenses
- Temporary income
- Impairment income
- Supplemental income
- Lifetime income
- Burial and death benefits
If your employer has workers’ compensation insurance, you must use the workers’ compensation system to recover benefits because you are generally barred from suing your employer. A third party, such as a contractor, manufacturer, or coworker, may still be found liable.
Your personal injury lawyer will explain the types of compensation or benefits that may be available in your case.
Statute of Limitations for Filing a Forklift Injury Claim in Texas
After your accident, you must file a claim for compensation before the statute of limitations expires. This is a legal deadline to file your claim and the deadline depends on the type of claim you are filing.
With workers’ compensation, you must notify your employer of the incident as soon as possible and file a report within 30 days. The statute of limitations for a personal injury claim against your employer or another party is two years.
Don’t make the mistake of assuming you can wait to begin pursuing your claim. Delays can make it difficult to collect evidence of your accident and injuries. Contact a Houston forklift injury lawyer with Attorney Brian White & Associates, PC as soon as possible to begin pursuing your claim.
Schedule a Free Case Review with a Houston Forklift Accident Lawyer
A forklift accident can change your life forever. When you are facing mounting medical bills, time off work, and an uncertain future, you should not be left on your own to navigate the complex legal landscape. Attorney Brian White & Associates, PC will fight for you and help you through every step of your claim.
Contact a Houston forklift accident lawyer at our law office today to get started with a free case review. We work on a contingency fee basis; you never pay attorney’s fees unless we recover for you.