Injured Without Filing an Incident Report...

by Sarah

My father is a semi driver. Two days ago he was in a plant having his truck loaded. A fork lift driver behind him had the forks raised high as my dad bent down under his trailer to check something. While my dad was in the bent over position the fork lift operator lowered the forks to a level my dad wouldn't clear when he stood up.

My dad, thinking it had not been moved, raised himself up full force into the forks with the top of his head. The fork lift operator witnessed all of this and did not request or even suggest filing a personal injury report. My father is now having head pain and blurred vision in the eye closest to the injury.

Does he have any options left to have any necessary medical expenses covered by the responsible party? Thank you.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Injured Without Filing an Incident Report...":

Sarah (Kentucky):

Certainly your father may have a claim against the owner of the plant. He can also pursue the forklift operator who caused his injury, but unless that forklift operator has substantial assets, or your father wants to pursue him personally, your father's best bet would be to pursue the plant management and ownership.

The next important issue will be the extent of your father’s injuries. If, as a result of the injury he had to seek emergency medical care, or sought medical care at or about the time of the injury he should have medical bills.

Medical bills are a part of the basis of a personal injury lawsuit. The two main issues which are necessary to successfully pursue a personal injury claim are assessment and acceptance of liability by the party who caused the injuries or who should be responsible for them, and the amount of the medical bills incurred at or about the time of the injury.

Your father should be sure his medical needs are met before going any further. Then, once his injuries are stabilized and he is treating he can make a claim against the ownership and management of the plant. He can do that by sending them a certified letter, return receipt requested. In that letter he should reference the incident, the time and the date it occurred and the injuries and medical costs he sustained.

The letter should go on to ask the ownership and management to contact your father in an effort to come to an amicable settlement. Hopefully they will. If not your father may have to consider legal action.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

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