Louisiana Forklift & Crane Accident Lawyer
The Port of New Orleans, one of the busiest ports in the world, relies heavily on huge cargo cranes. Many of the busy construction sites in The Big Easy rely on them as well. Additionally, huge retail warehouses are popping up almost everywhere in the Bayou State. At these sites, and other worksites, fully-loaded forklifts usually roam up and down the floor. When a huge crane collapses, dozens or hundreds of workers often suffer serious or catastrophic injuries. Forklifts often cause the dreaded “caught between” injuries, when a man or woman is caught between the forklift and a retaining wall or other fixed object.
The experienced Louisiana forklift & crane accident lawyer at Lunsford, Baskin & Priebe routinely handles these matters throughout Louisiana and Mississippi. Over the years, we have developed proven methods that get results for our clients. Perhaps just as importantly, we know what doesn’t work. We’re confident these methods will produce results that exceed your expectations. In a workers’ compensation claim, these results usually include lost wage replacement and medical bill payment.
Starting a Workers’ Compensation Claim
Crane collapses and forklift accidents often cause trauma injuries and occupational diseases. We mentioned trauma injuries above. Repetitive stress disorders are the most common occupational diseases in this area. Most crane and forklift operators spend lots of time bending, stretching, and kneeling. These joints can only take so much wear and tear, especially if they make the same motions over and over with little break time.
In both cases, job injury victims must immediately report their injuries to their supervisors. Most insurance policies give workers about five or ten days to file these reports.
Generally, trauma injury victims must file written reports that use certain forms. Usually, an email or text is not a written report. An Instagram or other post isn’t written notice either. Additionally, unless the report conforms exactly to the required form, an insurance adjuster may later invalidate it, even if it contained all necessary information.
Later, when a claim goes to mediation, insurance companies cannot use meaningless technicalities as an excuse to reduce or deny benefits. That’s not a good faith negotiating stance. More on that below.
Occupational disease reports are different. Most victims don’t immediately see doctors when their joints are stiff or sore. As a result, by the time doctors diagnose their injuries, the initial claim window has closed.
These victims still have legal options. A Louisiana forklift & crane accident lawyer uses a variation of the delayed discovery rule to basically keep the filing window open.
Ending a Workers’ Compensation Claim
Most job injury claims, and most injury claims in general, settle out of court. Sometimes, the two sides reach an agreement on their own. Most other times, a professional mediator supervises this process.
During informal negotiations, insurance companies often make low-ball and take-it-or-leave-it offers. These offers don’t lead to meaningful settlement negotiations. There’s simply nowhere to go.
Mediation is different. A third-party mediator ensures that both sides negotiate in good faith. They must be willing to make some compromises to settle the matter. Perhaps more importantly, they must sincerely want to settle the matter. They cannot just go through the motions. Largely because of the good faith negotiation requirement, mediation is about 90 percent successful.
Contact a Dedicated Orleans Parish Attorney
Injury victims are entitled to substantial compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced Louisiana forklift & crane accident lawyer, contact Lunsford, Baskin & Priebe, LLC. Attorneys can connect victims with doctors, even if they have no money or insurance.