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Retail Forklift Accidents Can Cause Serious Injuries

August 14, 2019 | Category: Brain Injuries, Paralysis, Wrongful Death | Share

Customers do not expect to encounter dangerous conditions when they visit retail establishments. However, when retail stores use forklifts to stock and move inventory, accidents happen.

Retail Forklift Accidents Can Cause Serious Injuries - Spivey LawBig box stores such as Lowe’s, Home Depot, and Walmart often use forklifts during the hours when customers are present in public spaces. Customers may be struck by moving forklifts, merchandise may fall from forklifts or merchandise on shelves may be knocked off by a forklift.

Here are some of the reasons most forklift accidents happen:

  • Careless operation, such as speeding, forklifts failing to yield to pedestrians, and forklifts entering blind turns.
  • Forklift operators may not be certified and/or have proper training.
  • Forklifts may have unsecure, unbalanced loads.
  • Forklift drivers may carry a passenger.
  • Maintenance schedules for forklifts may not be sufficient or followed.
  • The forklift maintenance crew may be incompetent and/or untrained.
  • When changing forklift parts, the parts used may be defective.
  • A forklift may roll over, causing its cargo to fall or shift, or drivers may lose control.

Every year, forklifts account for around 85 deaths and result in 34,900 serious injuries. Non-serious injuries related to forklift accidents reach 61,800 each year. The most common incident of a forklift accident is the forklift overturning.

Why are forklifts dangerous?

McCue, a provider of products that safeguard businesses against damage caused by forklift accidents, says forklifts are dangerous for the following reasons:

  • They can weigh up to 9,000 pounds, which is three times heavier than many cars.
  • They can travel up to 18 mph.
  • Unlike a car, forklifts only have brakes in the front, making them harder to stop.
  • Forklifts are heavier in the rear to compensate for the heavy loads being carried in the front. This uneven weight distribution can make a forklift difficult to handle.
  • A forklift is turned by the rear wheels, causing the rear end to swing outward. This increases the chance of tipping over during tight turns.
  • Loads are carried in the front of a forklift, which can obstruct the view of the driver.
  • Forklifts are often used to raise hefty loads to considerable heights, a combination that is always dangerous.

Big box stores are liable for customer injuries on their premises under Florida’s premises liability laws. These laws require businesses to give customers a reasonable expectation of protection. Any action by the stores that leads to someone being injured while he/she is shopping is a breach of the law.

Cape Coral Personal Injury Lawyer Randall Spivey of Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A. said, “When accidents occur while shopping, retail establishments may be found liable for damages. If you or a loved one is injured, after seeking medical attention, please contact our law firm. We are available to assist you.”



Cape Coral Personal Injury Lawyer Randall L. Spivey is a Board Certified Trial Attorney – the highest recognition for competence bestowed by the Florida Bar and a distinction earned by just one (1%) percent of Florida attorneys.  He has handled over 2,000 personal injury and wrongful death cases throughout Florida.  For a free and confidential consultation to discuss your legal rights, contact the Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A., in Lee County at 239.337.7483 or toll free at 1.888.477.4839,or by email to  Visit for more information.  You can contact Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, Charlotte County at 941.764.7748 and in Collier County 239.793.7748.


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