If you have injuries from a forklift accident, you may be able to obtain compensation from the responsible party. If you are not an employee, you may be able to receive compensation for your injuries from the party that caused the accident.
If you have been injured in a forklift accident, call the West Palm Beach Workers’ Compensation Lawyer at the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine for a free consultation.
Injuries to Employees in Forklift Accidents in West Palm Beach, Florida
Whether you are the forklift operator or a worker in the area, you can obtain compensation for your injuries.
How a Forklift Accident Can Happen
Forklift accidents happen at construction sites, warehouses, docks, and many other places. Here are a few examples of common forklift accidents:
- A forklift rolls off a dock, injuring the operator
- A forklift backs into another worker on a warehouse floor
- A stack of material falls off a forklift, injuring a nearby worker
- A forklift tips over and the operator jumps off, hurting the operator
- A forklift bumps into a stack of materials, causing them to fall on the operator and other employees in the area
Injured Workers in Florida Can Receive Workers’ Compensation
Florida law requires most employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance on its employees. Workers’ compensation has advantages, including:
- You do not have to prove negligence on the part of your employer.
- You do need to show you were doing your job
- Your negligence will not reduce your compensation
- You receive money quickly
- Promptly paid medical bills
Workers’ Compensation Disability Benefits
According to Florida law, you can receive up to 104 weeks of temporary disability benefits. You receive two-thirds of your weekly wage. The maximum weekly amount you can receive is $917 for injuries as of 2018. You can receive 80 percent of your weekly wage for the first six months if your injuries are severe, for example, your injury results in paralysis.
After you reach your maximum recovery, your doctor will determine if you are permanently disabled. If so, you would receive weekly benefits for life.
If you are partially disabled, your doctor will assess an impairment rating. You receive 75 percent of what you gained in temporary disability benefits. Your impairment rating determines how long you will receive payments. You will not be able to recover for your pain and suffering.
If a work accident results in death, your spouse, children, or other dependents can receive death benefits, with a maximum of $150,000. The amount depends upon the number of family members and a percentage of your weekly wage. Your family can also get up to $7,500 in funeral expenses.
Your employer or its workers’ compensation insurance carrier may want to settle your claim. You can settle your claim without a lawyer, but a lawyer can advise you on what is in your best interest. Contact a West Palm Beach personal injury lawyer at the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine today at 1-800-747-3733 for a free consultation.
An Injured Worker May Sue A Third Party for an Injury in a Forklift Accident
If your employer carries workers’ compensation insurance, the workers’ compensation law provides your exclusive remedy against your employer. However, you may be able to bring an action against a third party for a forklift accident.
If a forklift is defective, you may be able to file a product liability action against the manufacturer of the forklift or the manufacturer of the defective part. How does the product liability suit work?
- You do not have to prove the manufacturer was negligent.
- You must prove that the forklift or part was defective and caused your injury.
- You are not limited in your recovery. You receive compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, future earnings loss, and pain and suffering.
Under the principle of subrogation, your employer may join your product liability suit. If you win, your employer will likely receive reimbursement for the workers’ compensation benefits it paid you.
Injuries to Persons Other Than an Employee in a Forklift Accident
Someone who is not an employee can be involved in a forklift accident. For example, an object falls off a forklift, injuring someone visiting a warehouse, or a forklift strikes an employee of a subcontractor working on a construction site.
A Personal Injury Suit Against the Operator, Operator’s Employer, or Contractor
If you are not an employee, you cannot file a workers’ compensation claim against the operator’s employer for your injuries, but you can file a personal injury suit against the operator or his or her employer. You must prove the operator was negligent. The operator’s employer would be liable for the acts of the operator if the operator were acting within the scope of his employment. You may be able to bring a personal injury suit against the contractor responsible for the safety of a construction site.
Your damages will be the same as in any other personal injury suit. You can recover for your medical expenses (present and future), your lost wages, your loss of future earning capacity, and your pain and suffering.
A Product Liability Suit Against the Manufacturer of the Forklift
If a defective forklift or machine part caused the accident, you could file a suit against the manufacturer of the forklift or part. You will not have to prove negligence on the part of the manufacturer. You will have to prove the product was defective and that the defect caused your injury. Your damages will include your medical expenses, your lost wages, your loss of future earning capacity, and your pain and suffering.
Call the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine for a Free Case Review
Injuries in forklift accidents can be severe and are sometimes fatal. You may need medical care for the rest of your life.
You need a lawyer to make sure you receive all the compensation allowed by law. If you have injuries from a forklift accident, call a forklift accident and injury lawyer at the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine: 1-800-747-3733. Consultations are free.
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