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Case Types We Handle
Personal Injuries
Car Accidents
Truck Accidents
Motorcycle Accidents
Bicycle Accidents
Nursing Home Abuse
Wrongful Death
Slip and Fall Accidents
Daycare Injury & Abuse
Premises Liability
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Case Types We Handle
Personal Injuries
Car Accidents
Truck Accidents
Motorcycle Accidents
Bicycle Accidents
Construction Accidents
Nursing Home Abuse
Wrongful Death
Slip and Fall Accidents
Daycare Injury & Abuse
Dangerous Drugs
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The #1 Forklift Accident Lawyer: How TorHoerman Law Can Help

Use the chatbot on this page to find out if you qualify for a Forklift Accident Lawsuit Claim.

Contact TorHoerman Law for a free consultation.

Written By:
Tor Hoerman
Tor Hoerman

Attorney Tor Hoerman, admitted to the Illinois State Bar Association since 1995 and The Missouri Bar since 2009, specializes nationally in mass tort litigations. Locally, Tor specializes in auto accidents and a wide variety of personal injury incidents occuring in Illinois and Missouri.

This article has been written and reviewed for legal accuracy and clarity by the team of writers and attorneys at TorHoerman Law and is as accurate as possible. This content should not be taken as legal advice from an attorney. If you would like to learn more about our owner and experienced injury lawyer, Tor Hoerman, you can do so here.

TorHoerman Law does everything possible to make sure the information in this article is up to date and accurate. If you need specific legal advice about your case, contact us. This article should not be taken as advice from an attorney.

The Role of an Experienced Forklift Accident Lawyer

On this page, we will discuss the role of a forklift accident lawyer, lawsuits for those injured in forklift accidents, common causes of forklift accidents, types of injuries from forklift accidents, and much more.

Forklift Accident Lawyers for Injured Workers and Customers

Forklifts are indispensable tools in various industries, making it easier to move heavy materials and goods.

Despite their utility, these powerful machines pose significant risks to forklift operators and bystanders due to their size, weight, environment, and operation complexities.

forklift accident lawyer; forklift injury lawyer; forklift accident lawsuit; forklift injuries;

Forklift accidents can result in serious injuries or even fatalities, leaving victims and their families with devastating physical, emotional, and financial consequences.

If you or a loved one has been injured by a forklift at work or as a customer, you may be eligible to seek compensation for your losses through a forklift accident lawsuit.

At TorHoerman Law, our experienced forklift accident attorneys are dedicated to representing injured workers and customers in their pursuit of justice and fair compensation.

We understand the complexities surrounding forklift accidents and have the resources and skills to fight for your legal rights.

Contact us for a free consultation.

You can also use the chatbot on this page to find out if you qualify for a forklift lawsuit instantly.

Table of Contents

Prevalence of Forklift Accidents

Forklifts or powered industrial trucks are essential in many industries, such as warehousing, construction, manufacturing, and transportation.

Even your local grocery store or home improvement depot relies on a forklift truck to move and stack heavy items.

These machines can also cause accidents that result in catastrophic injuries or even death.

Since forklifts are so prevalent in various workplaces, they are more likely to cause accidents.

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), around 85 fatalities and 34,900 severe injuries involving forklifts occur each year in the United States.

These statistics only represent reported incidents, meaning the actual number may be much higher.

To reduce forklift accidents and workplace injuries, OSHA has established safety standards for forklift operators, employers, and property owners to follow, including proper training, maintenance of equipment, and regular inspections.

Many accidents still occur due to negligence or noncompliance with these regulations.

Forklift accident injuries can vary in severity, from minor bruises and sprains to permanent injuries.

Victims may require extensive medical treatment, rehabilitation, and time off work to recover.

Obtaining legal representation from experienced forklift accident lawyers can make all the difference in receiving the justice you deserve.

Common Causes of Forklift Accidents

Forklift accidents occur due to various factors and can affect not only the operator but also other workers, customers, and even bystanders.

Common causes of forklift accidents include:

  • Operator error
  • Lack of training
  • Mechanical failures
  • Improper loading
  • Workplace accidents

Operator Error

Forklift accidents often stem from operator error.

Even the best forklift driver can make mistakes due to fatigue, distractions, negligence, inadequate training, or insufficient experience.

A momentary lapse in attention or judgment can have catastrophic consequences, so it’s extremely important for operators to practice vigilance and adherence to safety protocols.

Examples of operator error include:

  • Speeding
  • Improper turning
  • Carrying loads beyond the rated capacity
  • Failing to use safety equipment

Lack of Training

Inadequate training of forklift operators is a prevalent issue that contributes to accidents.

OSHA mandates that a forklift operator must be over 18 years old and have formal training and certification before operating the machine.

Many employers may not provide adequate training or fail to keep up with refresher courses.

Untrained or inexperienced operators are more likely to cause accidents due to their lack of knowledge about operating the equipment safely.

They may also fail to recognize hazards, follow safety protocols, and correctly inspect the forklift.

Mechanical Failures

Mechanical failures or defects in forklifts can also lead to accidents, especially if the equipment is not adequately maintained.

Mechanical failures include malfunctioning brakes, steering issues, and engine problems.

While proper maintenance and regular inspections can prevent most mechanical failures, negligence or improper repairs may cause these issues to go unnoticed until an accident occurs.

In such cases, forklift manufacturers or maintenance companies may be liable for the accident.

Improper Loading

Improper loading practices, including overloading or unbalanced loads, can destabilize forklifts and cause them to tip forward or roll over.

If the loads are not correctly secured, loading and unloading items can expose forklift operators and employees to struck-by hazards.

Employers have a legal duty to ensure that workers follow proper loading protocols and guidelines set by OSHA.

These guidelines include using pallets, securing loads with straps or ropes, and avoiding carrying unstable or oversized loads.

Proper loading techniques and adherence to weight limits are crucial to ensuring safe operation.

Workplace Hazards

Hazardous working conditions can also cause forklift accidents.

Uneven surfaces, obstacles in the operating area, poor lighting, and inadequate space are common hazards that can cause accidents.

Employers and property owners are legally responsible for providing a safe work environment for their employees and customers.

Failure to do so may result in liability for accidents and injuries on their premises.

Common Forklift Accidents

Forklift accidents can take various forms, with some more severe than others.

Some common types of forklift accidents include:

  • Rollovers
  • Collisions
  • Struck-by accidents
  • Caught-in or between accidents
  • Falling objects
  • Pedestrian accidents


Tip-overs or rollovers occur when forklifts tip forward or fall onto their sides due to uneven surfaces, excessive speed, unbalanced loads, or improper loading.

These accidents are dangerous as they can cause crush injuries to the operator and others nearby.

They can also damage nearby property and inventory.


Forklift collisions with other vehicles, equipment, or structures are frequent in workplaces.

These collisions can result from blind spots, inadequate signaling, operator error, or other factors, highlighting the need for heightened awareness and caution.

Collisions can cause significant injuries, fatalities, and damage to property and machinery.

Struck-by Accidents

Struck-by accidents occur when a forklift collides with a person, object, structure, or another forklift truck.

These accidents are often the result of operator error, inadequate training, or unsafe working conditions.

Struck-by accidents can cause severe injuries or even fatalities to the operator and others in the vicinity.

Caught-in or Between Accidents

Caught-in or between accidents involve getting caught, crushed, or pinched between the forklift and another object.

These accidents occur when an operator gets too close to a wall, machinery, or vehicle while operating the forklift.

They can also happen when a worker performs maintenance or repairs on the forklift.

Falling Objects

Improperly loaded or operated forklifts can pose the risk of falling objects, endangering operators and bystanders.

Securely fastening loads and maintaining proper balance are essential to prevent objects from falling and causing injuries.

Falling objects can also damage property and inventory, resulting in financial losses for employers.

Pedestrian Accidents

Many forklift accidents involve pedestrians and not just operators.

Non-forklift workers on foot may not be aware of the forklift’s presence, increasing the risk of collisions or being struck by the machine or its load.

Customers, clients, or visitors in retail, warehouse, or construction site settings may also be at risk of forklift accidents because they are often unaware of forklift dangers.

Employers must alert pedestrians of the forklift’s presence and take necessary measures to prevent accidents.

Proper barriers, warning signs, and traffic control measures are crucial to prevent pedestrian accidents. Forklift operators must always stay vigilant and aware of their surroundings.

Types of Injuries Resulting From Forklift Accidents

Forklift accidents can result in a wide range of injuries, ranging from minor bruises and cuts to severe, life-altering conditions.

Some of the most common forklift injuries include:

  • Bruises, cuts, and lacerations
  • Soft tissue injuries
  • Fractures and broken bones
  • Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Crush injuries
  • Internal injuries
  • Amputations
  • Paralysis
  • Amputations
  • Paralysis
  • Fatalities

Bruises, Cuts, and Lacerations

Superficial injuries are common in forklift accidents due to impacts or contact with objects or machinery.

Although these injuries may seem minor, they can still cause pain and discomfort and interfere with work.

Proper personal protective equipment can help reduce the risk of these injuries.

Soft Tissue Injuries

Soft tissue injuries, such as strains or sprains, can occur due to sudden movements or impacts during accidents.

These injuries can cause pain, swelling, and reduced mobility.

They may require medical attention and can potentially lead to long-term complications if not properly treated.

Fractures and Broken Bones

The impact of a forklift accident can cause fractures or broken bones, which can be severe and require extensive medical treatment.

These injuries can affect a person’s ability to work and may lead to long-term disabilities.

Surgery and rehabilitation may be necessary to recover fully.

Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI)

Severe head trauma can occur in forklift accidents due to impacts or objects falling from heights.

TBIs can cause a range of physical, cognitive, and emotional symptoms that can have long-term effects on a person’s life and ability to work.

Proper training, safety protocols, and protective gear are essential in preventing TBI in forklift accidents.

Spinal Cord Injuries

Forklift accidents can also result in spinal cord injuries.

Damage to the spinal cord can result in paralysis or loss of motor function, significantly impacting the victim’s quality of life.

These injuries are often life-changing and require extensive medical treatment, rehabilitation, and assistive devices for daily living.

Crush Injuries

Being trapped or caught between a forklift and another object can lead to severe crush injuries that can damage muscles, nerves, and internal organs.

These injuries can be life-threatening and require immediate medical attention.

Crush injuries can also result in long-term disabilities and impact a person’s ability to work.

Internal Injuries

Blunt force trauma from forklift accidents can cause internal injuries.

The impact can damage organs, cause internal bleeding, or lead to other complications.

These injuries may not be immediately apparent and require prompt medical attention to prevent further harm.


Severe accidents may necessitate amputation of limbs or digits, which can have life-altering consequences for the victim.

Amputations can result in permanent disabilities and require extensive rehabilitation and medical care.

These injuries can also lead to psychological trauma and impact a person’s overall well-being.


Spinal cord injuries or severe trauma can result in partial or complete paralysis, requiring extensive medical care and rehabilitation.

Paralysis can significantly impact a person’s ability to work and lead to high medical expenses and long-term care needs.

The emotional toll of paralysis can also be significant for the victim and their loved ones.


In the most severe cases, forklift accidents can result in fatalities.

Employers must prioritize safety and ensure proper training and protocols are in place to prevent accidents.

Fatalities not only affect families and loved ones but also result in financial losses and potential legal consequences for employers.

Long-Term Impact on Victims and Their Families

The aftermath of a forklift accident extends far beyond the immediate physical injuries, impacting victims and their families on multiple levels.

Long-term consequences may include:

  • Medical Expenses: Medical bills, including the costs of surgeries, rehabilitation, and ongoing care, can quickly accumulate. The financial burden can be overwhelming for victims and their families.
  • Lost Wages: Serious injuries often require extended time away from work, resulting in lost wages and financial instability for victims and their families. In some cases, victims may lose their ability to work altogether, impacting their long-term earning potential.
  • Emotional Distress: The emotional toll of a forklift accident can be profound, leading to anxiety, depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) for both victims and their families. These psychological effects can have a significant impact on daily life and may require therapy or other forms of support.

Legal Rights and Recourse

Victims and their families may be entitled to compensation for their injuries and losses in the aftermath of a forklift accident.

Injured workers may be eligible for a workers’ compensation claim, while non-workers who suffered a forklift injury may have legal recourse against the responsible parties.

It’s essential to consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer to understand your rights and pursue appropriate legal action.

How a Forklift Accident Lawyer Can Help

Suffering from a forklift injury can be physically, emotionally, and financially draining.

Personal injury lawyers can provide essential support and guidance during this challenging time.

They can help victims navigate every step of the legal process.

Investigating the Accident

A forklift accident lawyer will conduct a thorough investigation to determine the cause of the forklift accident and identify all parties responsible for the victim’s injuries.

They may work with experts, such as engineers or safety specialists, to establish liability.

This investigation is crucial in building a strong case and pursuing the maximum compensation for the victim.

Gathering Evidence

Collecting evidence, such as accident reports, medical records, and witness statements, is essential to building a strong case.

Forklift accident lawyers have the expertise and resources to gather and analyze evidence effectively, strengthening the victim’s position in negotiations or litigation.

They may also work with medical professionals to accurately assess the full extent of the victim’s injuries and required treatment, which can impact the compensation received.

They can also convince these medical experts to provide testimony if the case goes to trial.

Determining Liability

Identifying the responsible parties in a forklift accident is a complex process that requires legal expertise.

A forklift accident lawyer can help determine liability by examining the facts of the case, relevant laws and regulations, and any contractual agreements between the parties involved.

They may also identify third parties who may have contributed to the accident, such as manufacturers or maintenance companies.

Negotiating With Insurance Companies

Dealing with insurance companies can be daunting, especially when facing mounting medical bills and financial hardship.

Forklift accident lawyers can handle negotiations on behalf of the victim, advocating for fair compensation and ensuring their rights are protected throughout the process.

They can advise on the best course of action if the insurance company denies a claim.

Pursuing Litigation

In cases where negotiations fail to yield a satisfactory outcome, litigation may be necessary to secure compensation.

Forklift accident lawyers have the litigation experience and courtroom expertise to present a compelling case before a judge and jury, seeking maximum damages on behalf of the victim.

They can also handle all legal processes, allowing the victim to focus on their recovery.

TorHoerman Law: Home of the Top Forklift Accident Lawyers

At TorHoerman Law, we understand the challenges and complexities of forklift accident cases.

Our team of dedicated forklift accident attorneys brings a wealth of experience and expertise to every case, advocating tirelessly for the rights of injured workers and customers.

Forklift accidents pose significant risks to workers and bystanders, often resulting in devastating injuries or fatalities.

Seeking legal representation from experienced forklift accident lawyers is essential to navigate the complexities of the legal process and secure just compensation for victims and their families.

At TorHoerman Law, we are committed to advocating for the rights of those injured in forklift accidents and ensuring they receive the justice and compensation they deserve.

Our experience in forklift lawsuits and dedication to our clients’ well-being set us apart from other law firms.

When you choose us, you’ll have the best attorneys in the field ready to fight for your rights.

Contact us for a free consultation.

You can also use the chatbot on this page to find out if you qualify for a forklift lawsuit instantly.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What are the most common causes of forklift accidents?

    Common causes of forklift accidents include operator error, lack of proper training, excessive speed, and environmental factors like uneven or slippery surfaces.

    Forklift accidents often occur due to improper maneuvering, the instability of the load, or collisions with pedestrians or other workers, especially when warning signs or floor tape to delineate pedestrian areas are absent.

  • What types of injuries are typically sustained in forklift accidents?

    Forklift accidents can lead to severe injuries, including broken bones, head trauma, spinal cord injuries, and even death in the most tragic cases.

    Injuries often occur from the forklift tipping over, collisions, or workers being struck by the forklift, particularly when the forklift operates near pedestrians without proper safety measures.

  • How can a lawyer help me if I'm injured in a forklift accident?

    A forklift accident lawyer specializes in workplace and personal injury law, helping victims navigate the complexities of filing a workers’ compensation claim or a personal injury lawsuit.

    They work to ensure victims receive maximum compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and other damages like pain and suffering.

    These lawyers also help establish negligence on the part of the forklift operator, manufacturer, or property owners.

  • What should I do immediately following a forklift accident?

    Victims of forklift accidents can seek compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and in cases of permanent injuries or wrongful death, additional damages for long-term care or loss of life.

    Forklift accident lawyers work to hold responsible parties accountable, such as the forklift manufacturer, the operator, or the construction site general contractor, to ensure fair compensation is awarded.

  • Are there specific regulations that apply to forklift operation to prevent accidents?

    Immediately after a forklift accident, it is crucial to seek medical attention to document and treat any injuries.

    Reporting the accident to the appropriate workplace authorities is also vital to ensure an official record is made.

    Gathering evidence, such as taking photos of the accident scene and collecting witness statements, can support any subsequent workers’ compensation claim or personal injury lawsuit.

    Consulting with a forklift accident lawyer can help protect legal rights and advise on the best steps for seeking compensation.

Written By:
Tor Hoerman

Tor Hoerman

Owner & Attorney - TorHoerman Law

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