Every year, there are about 35,000 serious injuries and 85 deaths caused by forklift accidents. Although forklifts are involved in only 1% of all warehouse and factory accidents, those accidents account for 10% of all the injuries in those workplaces. While operator error is a factor in many forklift accidents, the very design of the forklift and the tasks it performs make it exceptionally accident-prone.
Injured in a forklift accident in WI: Liability & lawsuits Insurance companies offer larger settlements to law firms who win in court.
Why are forklifts so hazardous?
- Forklifts weigh as much as 9,000 lbs. and go as fast as 18 mph.
- They only have front brakes, which makes stopping slower.
- To compensate for heavy loads carried in front, they are weighted more heavily in the rear.
- Only the rear wheels turn, which causes the rear end to swing to the side on turns. This increases the risk of tip-overs and of hitting nearby workers on foot.
- Because loads are carried in front, the driver’s view is often obstructed.
- Raising heavy loads up high with poor visibility is inherently dangerous.
Forklifts and forklift operators play a critical role in getting products from the factory floor to warehouses, onto trucks, and into stores and other businesses. Like any other heavy machinery, they can cause loss of limb, paralysis, and other serious (and even fatal) injuries to both those driving them and anyone nearby.
Workers compensation vs. personal injury lawsuit
While workers comp provides welcome financial relief at a difficult time, it precludes you from filing a lawsuit against your employer or a co-worker unless either was grossly negligent. In most cases, it's advisable to take workers comp, but every situation is unique. Workers’ comp laws limit your benefits to medical bills, out-of-pocket expenses, and a portion of your lost wages. However, receiving workers comp does not prevent you from pursuing a third-party lawsuit.
A third-party personal injury lawsuit seeks compensation for damages caused by an individual or business other than your employer. These claims are for injuries other than what worker’s comp covers, such as pain and suffering, mental anguish, and loss of companionship. In third-party lawsuits, you have the burden of proving your injury occurred due to the negligence of the other party.
Most third-party lawsuits over injuries caused by forklifts are premises liability and product liability suits. If the actions (or inactions) of a landowner or property manager where the injury occurred contributed to your injury, they can be held liable under premises liability. If it can be shown the manufacturer of the forklift produced a defective or dangerous piece of equipment, they can be held liable under a product liability claim.
Wisconsin personal injury lawyers get maximum compensation for forklift injuries
If you’ve been injured in a workplace accident and are considering filing suit, your legal representation is just as critical as the facts in your case. You can’t pick a law firm based on a billboard, or a TV ad with a famous athlete, or a cutesy rhyme. The insurance companies you are going up against value your claim on the quality of your lawyer, and most personal injury law firms in Wisconsin are just “settlement mills.” They make money by negotiating settlements and rarely ever take cases to trial. Insurance companies know these law firms just want to push the case through and move on to the next one, so they make lowball offers and the attorneys advise their clients it’s the best they can expect.
Warshafsky Law is different. By preparing every case to go all the way to trial, even appeal if necessary, we always get our clients the maximum compensation possible. Insurance companies know we don’t shy away from taking cases to trial, and that’s the last thing an insurance company wants. Juries tend to be sympathetic to injured workers, especially when insurance companies try to weasel out of their responsibilities. When an insurance company is up against a proven/trial-tested personal injury lawyer, they’d rather cough up more money in settlement than risk greater losses at trial.
You have 3 years to file a suit, don’t put it off!
Wisconsin has a 3-year statute of limitations on filing a personal injury suit against those liable for your injuries. Three years from the date of your accident might seem like a long time, but insurance companies have a way of dragging things out and leading you to believe that any minute everything will be sorted out. The years can fly by before you know it. The sooner you contact the truck accident lawyers at Warshafsky Law, the sooner you can get the restitution you deserve.
Free consultations, all cases fully funded through trial
With Warshafsky Law, you only owe for our services if we win your case, and you only pay after you have received compensation. Do you have an attorney already, but don’t feel confident with the job they’re doing? It’s not too late to change horses. Take advantage of a free initial consultation with Warshafsky Law to learn how we would handle your case. With our no-win-no-fee policy, you have nothing to lose.
Our experienced personal injury lawyers will help you evaluate a settlement offer versus what you stand to win from a judgment or verdict at trial. If the settlement is reasonable, we’ll let you know. If it’s not, we’ll take your case to court to ensure you get everything you deserve.