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One of the most common workplace injuries that Los Angeles workers compensation attorneys see among their clients is the forklift injury. Forklifts are used in a wide range of business sectors, from warehouses to construction sites. Around 20,000 workers find themselves injured as a result of forklift operation each year, and about 100 people die from forklift accidents. Workers who sustain serious injuries during a forklift accident generally receive compensation for their injuries from their worker’s comp policies.
CDC data indicates that around one-fourth of all forklift injuries occur when a forklift overturns, causing injury to the forklift operator and potentially those around him. The second-leading cause of forklift injuries occurs in 20 percent of cases and involves workers on foot being struck by a moving forklift. Another top cause is falling from the forklift while it is in operation. Injuries and fatalities are impacted by several circumstances, including the condition and operating capacity of the forklift itself, the environment in which the forklift is being operated, the actions of the forklift operator, and any safety hazards present. The operator may accidentally swing the rear of the vehicle into a coworker or standing materials or inventory, causing an accident. Overloaded forklifts can also tip when driven recklessly or on steep inclines.
Avoiding forklift accidents requires ensuring a safe work environment, maintaining equipment to ensure the safety of the operator and bystanders, providing a high level of worker training on the equipment, practicing safe work standards, and managing the flow of foot traffic around the forklift while it is in use.
As your Los Angeles workers comp attorney will explain, all covered workers are eligible for worker’s comp benefits even if they cause the accident. The exception to this is if you are intoxicated on drugs or alcohol, or if you were doing something illegal at the time. Your injury is the only proof needed to file a worker’s compensation claim; this means you don’t need to prove that your employer directly caused it.
If you have experienced a forklift injury, then workers compensation will cover the cost of your medical treatment, including initial treatment and any physical therapy you might require to recover. Workers comp pays for related out-of-pocket expenses, and it provides for around two-thirds of your lost income while you’re being treated for your injury. Should your injury result in a partial or total disability, then you may also receive a lump-sum cash settlement payout.
There is a gap in worker’s comp coverage when it comes to being made fully whole after a work-related injury, an accident, or sickness. Depending on the severity of your injury, you may want to work with your Los Angeles workers compensation attorney to launch a third-party personal injury suit to recoup any shortfall in your case. This type of suit can help you claim your entire full lost income, the anticipated loss of income in the future, pain, and suffering, and any claims for your family for the loss of consortium. Schedule your free consultation with the Law Offices of Koszdin, Fields, Sherry & Katz to discuss the particulars of your case.