What is the Most Common Type of Lift Truck Accident?

Lift trucks, more commonly known as forklifts, are regularly used in warehouses and other types of businesses throughout Washington. These vehicles are used for transporting heavier materials along non-roadway areas, typically through a factory setting, across parking lots, or in some other industrial workplace. Unfortunately, accidents involving forklifts do occur, and they often result in significant injuries. Here, our truck accident lawyers want to discuss the most common causes of these accidents.

Forklift Accidents Caused Collision With Objects of Equipment

Information available from the National Safety Council indicates that forklift injuries most commonly occur as a result of transportation incidents or contact with other objects or equipment. When we think about the types of areas and occupations that lift trucks are used in, this makes sense.

Forklifts are used in areas where larger vehicles cannot get around, which means that they are typically operated in crowded spaces where there are not only other people but also fixed objects and moving objects such as other vehicles.

Lift truck operators do not have much protection from the force of a collision. These vehicles are not required to have the same types of safety standards as traditional passenger cars. In many cases, there is not even an enclosed cab around a lift truck.

In 2020, the latest full year of reporting data for forklift injuries, there were 78 work-related deaths caused by these incidents. Additionally, nearly 7,300 individuals sustained non-fatal injuries involving days away from work as a result of a lift truck incident.

Other Types of Lift Truck Accidents

Forklift accidents can also occur in a variety of other ways. This includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • The forklift overturning (rollover incident)
  • Workers outside of the lift truck being struck by the vehicle
  • Victims becoming crushed by a forklift
  • Following off of a forklift

How These Incidents Occur

Lift truck accidents can occur in a wide variety of ways. The most common causes of forklift incidents include the following:

  • Operator and attention
  • Inadequate forklift operator training
  • Failing to watch out for pedestrians
  • Slippery surfaces on the forklift
  • Unbalanced, uneven, or poorly secured cargo loads
  • Operating the forklift at high speeds
  • Taking sharp turns with the vehicle
  • Debris on the floor around the forklift
  • Poor floor conditions
  • Improper brake use or forklift brake failure
  • Mechanical issue with the lift truck
  • A defective lift truck

Our Seattle injury lawyers encourage any person who has sustained a lift truck injury in the workplace to reach out to a skilled attorney who can review their claim and then help recover compensation for their losses. These may be workers’ compensation claims, but there are also times when lift truck accidents become third-party personal injury lawsuits. A skilled attorney will offer a free evaluation of the situation and then help determine the best steps moving forward.

The ultimate goal was to ensure that lift truck accident victims recover compensation for their medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering damages.