One of the most common types of lift truck accidents is forklift tip-overs, according to the Centers for Disease Control And Prevention (CDC). This occurs when the forklift becomes unbalanced or unstable and topples over, often due to factors like uneven ground, improper loading, or operating on slopes. Forklift tip-over can lead to serious injuries or fatalities for the operator and bystanders. 

Other common types of lift truck accidents include collisions with other vehicles or pedestrians, objects falling from the forks, and accidents caused by improper use or lack of training. Implementing proper safety measures, providing thorough training, and adhering to operational guidelines can help prevent these accidents.

What are the main causes of forklift rollovers?

The main causes of forklift rollovers include:

  • Operating on uneven or unstable surfaces: Forklifts are more prone to tip over when operated on surfaces that are uneven, sloped, or unstable. This can cause the center of gravity to shift, leading to a rollover.
  • Overloading or improper load handling: When a forklift is overloaded, or the load is not properly secured or distributed, it can increase the risk of a rollover. The weight distribution plays a crucial role in maintaining stability.
  • Excessive speed or sudden maneuvers: Operating a forklift at high speeds or making sudden turns, especially with an elevated load, can cause the forklift to become unstable and tip over.
  • Lack of training or experience: Inadequate training or lack of experience in operating a forklift can increase the likelihood of accidents, including rollovers. Proper training on safe operating procedures and load-handling techniques is essential to prevent rollovers.
  • Poor maintenance or mechanical issues: Neglecting regular maintenance, such as checking tires, brakes, and steering components, can contribute to rollovers. Mechanical issues or malfunctioning parts can affect the stability and control of the forklift.

To prevent forklift rollovers, it is crucial to address these causes by providing comprehensive training, maintaining equipment properly, implementing safe operating practices, and conducting regular inspections.

How to determine liability in forklift accidents

Determining liability in forklift accidents involves examining various factors and gathering relevant evidence. Some steps to help determine liability includes:

  • Conduct an investigation: Gather all available information about the accident, including witness statements, photographs, video footage, and any relevant documentation. Identify potential causes and contributing factors.
  • Review safety protocols and procedures: Evaluate whether the forklift operator and other involved parties followed established safety protocols and procedures. Determine if any violations or negligence occurred.
  • Examine training and qualifications: Assess the training and qualifications of the forklift operator and other individuals involved. Verify if they had the necessary certifications, proper training, and experience to operate the forklift safely.
  • Assess maintenance records: Review maintenance records to ensure that the forklift involved in the accident was properly maintained. Check for any past issues or mechanical failures that could have contributed to the accident.
  • Consider workplace conditions: Evaluate the workplace environment and conditions in which the accident occurred. Look for any hazards or safety deficiencies that may have played a role in the accident.

Liability in forklift accidents can vary depending on the specific circumstances. It may involve the forklift operator, employer, maintenance personnel, equipment manufacturers, or other parties.

What damages you can recover after a forklift collision?

After a forklift collision, you may be eligible to recover various types of damages, including:

  • Medical expenses: You can seek compensation for all current and future medical costs associated with your injuries
  • Lost wages: If your injuries prevent you from working, you can pursue damages for the income you have lost and any future earning capacity owing to your injuries.
  • Pain and suffering: It includes physical pain, emotional distress, and mental anguish caused by the injuries.
  • Property damage: If your personal property, such as clothing or personal items, was damaged in the forklift collision, you may be able to recover the cost of repairing or replacing those items.
  • Loss of consortium: If the accident has affected your relationship with your spouse. It may result in loss of companionship or unable to maintain normal relationships.

Need Legal Help? Contact a lawyer.

A forklift accident can result in serious injuries and financial losses. An experienced truck accident lawyer can guide you through the legal process to protect your rights and pursue compensation. They can guide you through the legal process, assess your case, and help determine liability.