Loading dock accidents are not uncommon in Illinois and can result in serious or life-changing injuries. Loading dock injuries commonly occur when there is separation between the trailer or truck being loaded and the loaded dock. Forklift operators are often victims of such accidents when their forklifts fall into the gaps or are driver out of open trailers. In such cases, operators are subject to severe or fatal injuries. Loading docks are high risk areas for a multitude of injuries and t hese injuries can be caused by many things such as improper lifting technique or an accident with the industrial machinery while loading.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is a national organization that governs off-highway loading and unloading activities, such as warehouses, plants, grain handling facilities, retail locations, shipyards, etc. OSHA has(authority over forklift operations and employees who perform loading and unloading operations. For example, OSHA regulations require the use of wheel chocks or other vehicle-restraining device when loading and unloading trucks and trailers. Wheel chocks are wedge-shaped blocks placed in front of the rear wheel of a vehicle to prevent the vehicle from moving away from the docks while the trailer is being loaded or unloaded.
You may have several options to seek compensation if you were injured in a loading dock accident. You may have a Workers’ Compensation claim as well as the potential of a third-party lawsuit if someone other than your employer contributed to the loading dock accident. While Workers’ Compensation law normally prevents you from being able to sue your employer for worksite injury, it does not prevent you from seeking compensation from a liable third-party such as the manufacturer of a defective piece of equipment or a subcontractor. Workers Compensation alone is not always sufficient for serious or long-term injuries. That is why it is important to contact an experienced workplace injury attorney who can investigate all the parties and causes that led to your accident and help you seek maximum compensation for your injuries.
If your injury was caused by a trucks defective equipment, or the injury was caused by a forklift, dock plate, load truck, or other piece of machinery, you may be eligible for a third-party product liability claim. For example, if the accident was caused by a hazardous job site or environment, this may be the basis for a premises liability claim, in addition to a workers compensation claim. It’s best to speak with an experienced Chicago worksite injury lawyer who can help you understand all of your options and how best to proceed with your personal injury claim.
If you or a loved one is the victim of a loading dock accident, then call one of our experienced workplace injury lawyers immediately for a free consultation. Our attorneys have the resources, knowledge and experience to help you successfully pursue the compensation you or your loved one deserves. Call our office today at (312) 422-0500 to speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer.