Due to Alabama's concentrated manufacturing industry, many Alabamians are seriously injured in forklift accidents every. Based on their annual report of workplace accidents, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) estimates that forklift accidents cause nearly 90 workplace deaths and seriously injure nearly 35,000 workers on the job each year.
Forklifts are primarily used to haul and lift heavy cargo. Thus, it is no surprise that turnovers are the leading type of forklift accident. When a forklift tips over, usually due to improper weight distribution, both the operator and bystanders become susceptible to a wide array of injuries that may include traumatic work-related amputation, severe head trauma from objects falling from the forklift and surrounding storage shelves, and/or serious industrial burns if the forklift is hauling flammable liquid at the time of the accident.
Forklift accidents may also stem from a machine's malfunction, arising from a mechanical or design defect in the forklift. If injury occurs from a machine's inherent flaw, injured employees may have a product defect claim against the forklift manufacturer and/or a third party who improperly serviced the machine.
Since forklift accidents occur almost exclusively while on the job, most individuals injured in these accidents will be eligible to recover workers' compensation benefits. However, even if an injured employee qualifies and receives workers' compensation, he may still have a lawsuit against his employer, supervisors, and/or the manufacturer of a machine or piece of equipment. Thus, individuals hurt on the job should be careful not to forego any additional claims simply because they receive benefits under Alabama workers' compensation plan.
Individuals injured in workplace accidents should seek the advice of a Birmingham job accident attorney. Lawyers experienced in personal injury law can help you identify and pursue claims for your on-the-job injuries under Alabama law.