What Are Your Options if You’re Injured at Work While Using a Forklift?

Usually, if somebody is injured on the job, they are limited to filing a workers’ compensation claim. Your Sunrise injury lawyer won’t be able to sue anybody unless there are special circumstances.

Being forced to work with a defective or malfunctioning piece of equipment would qualify as a special circumstance. If you were hurt in a forklift accident on the job, call our Sunrise workers’ compensation lawyers today.

Has Your Sunrise Injury Lawyer Already Filed Your Workers’ Compensation Claim?

If a defective piece of equipment was responsible for your workplace injuries, things can get complicated. There’s a good chance you’ll need to file a workers’ compensation claim and a personal injury lawsuit.

If this is the case, your best option is to have the same Sunrise work injury lawyer handle both claims. You don’t want a situation where two different attorneys are handling your case. All that will do is lead to confusion.

Was Your Workers’ Comp Claim Approved or Denied?

One of the first things your Sunrise workers’ compensation attorney will need to know is whether you have already filed your claim. If you filed your workers’ compensation claim, you should already know if it’s been approved.

If it was approved, then you’re likely receiving your workers’ comp benefits. This does not mean you can’t sue a third party for damages. These damages would be separate from whatever workers comp benefits you are receiving.

What Caused the Forklift Accident?

Before your Sunrise work injury attorney knows who they can sue, they must find out what happened with the equipment. If the forklift you were riding was working perfectly fine and you simply had an accident, you will not have a claim against a third party. You would be entitled to workers’ comp benefits.

If the machine was working properly but it malfunctioned on the day you were using it, then you may have a claim against the company that services the forklift.

It will depend on whether the servicing center did something wrong or if there was something mechanically wrong with the forklift itself.

Finally, if the forklift has always been causing problems for you and your coworkers, there’s a good chance that it was manufactured improperly. This would justify your Sunrise work injury lawyer filing suit against the manufacturer.

If your employer was aware that the forklift was not working properly and continued to let the employees use it, you may have a negligence claim against your employer as well.

There’s a Big Difference Between Machinery Being Defective and Malfunctioning

When it comes to a product liability claim against the manufacturer of the equipment, your Sunrise injury lawyer must know exactly what went wrong. If the machine was not working properly because somebody at your company broke it, you can’t hold the manufacturer liable for that.

If the machine was new, and you were injured due to a malfunction, then the manufacturer should be held accountable. When a manufacturer releases a product to the market that is defective or dangerous, they are strictly liable for any injuries that ensue.

Sunrise workers' compensation lawyer helping man file claim

Your Sunrise Injury Lawyer May Need to Sue the Manufacturer of the Forklift

If your attorney does decide to file a claim against the manufacturer of the forklift, they will need to prove several things. First, they will need to demonstrate that there was a defect with the equipment.

The second thing your Sunrise injury lawyer must prove is that you were injured. The third thing that you’ll have to show is that your injuries can be directly traced back to the defect. If you can prove these things, there is a good chance you will be entitled to damages.

You May Also Have a Claim Against the Company That Serviced the Forklift

If the machine was working perfectly fine until recently, you will not be able to sue the manufacturer for damages. Instead, your Sunrise work injury attorney may need to pursue the company that services the forklift.

The maintenance company that repairs and services the forklifts for your employer may have made a mistake. They may have broken something on the machine, or they may have used the wrong part to fix it. If this is the case, you may be able to sue them for negligence.

Your Claim Against the Manufacturer or Servicer is Separate from Your Workers’ Comp Claim

It is important to remember that your workers’ compensation claim is completely separate from any personal injury claim you file. Your workers’ compensation claim is processed through your employer and their insurance company.

Your personal injury claim is handled through the courts. To receive damages, your Sunrise injury lawyer will have to prove the elements we described above.

Workers’ Compensation Benefits After a Forklift Accident

After a forklift accident in the workplace, Florida workers’ compensation will cover the following.

  • Necessary medical expenses
  • Percentage of lost wages
  • Benefits if you are permanently disabled
  • Death benefits if a worker dies

What Damages Can You Demand in a Personal Injury Lawsuit?

If your Sunrise injury lawyer decides to file suit, they will need to demand damages in your initial complaint. Any damages that they ask for you will need to be proven with specific evidence.

In most personal injury cases, you can receive the following types of damages:

  • Reimbursement for medical bills
  • Compensation for future medical care
  • Reimbursement for lost wages
  • Compensation for future lost income
  • Compensation for any pain and suffering you experienced

Judges rarely ever order punitive damages in this type of case.

Your Sunrise Injury Lawyer Will Fight to Get You as Much Money as Possible

The reason you hire a Sunrise work injury lawyer is so that you can be compensated for your injuries. An employee would rarely be able to file a lawsuit for a workplace injury. However, if defective equipment caused your forklift accident, you may be entitled to damages.

There’s a good chance the defendant will have a team of lawyers working for them. You don’t want to be at a disadvantage.

We offer all new clients a free, initial consultation. You should call our office and schedule a time to meet with one of our seasoned Sunrise workers’ compensation attorneys.