Visitor Question

Truck driver injured when a load of steel rolled off a forklift…

Submitted By: Brant (Littleton, CO, USA)

During the offloading of three bundles of tube steel in our work yard, a portion of the load fell off of the forklift hooks onto a truck driver’s foot.

The driver was attempting to give hand signals to direct the forklift driver, but they weren’t very clear.

The bundle at the front of the load slid off of the forks, onto the drivers foot.

Who is liable for this injury and whose insurance should pay, his employers workers’ compensation or our general liability? Thanks for any info you can give.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.

Answer

Dear Brant,

General Liability Insurance, also known as “Commercial General Business Liability Insurance” is insurance which pays for the medical bills, and related costs for third party (non-employees), including lost wages and pain and suffering, in the event they are injured on your property by you or your employees.

Commercial General Business Liability Insurance also covers the cost of legal representation and any settlement or court award up to the limits of your policy.

For a third party to recover compensation under Commercial General Liability insurance would require the injured third party to prove your company was negligent, and that negligence was the direct and proximate cause of his or her injuries.

Workers’ Compensation, also known as “Workers Comp,” is insurance which pays employees (workers) for their medical bills and related costs, including partial lost wages, for injuries sustained while on the job and acting in the regular course of their business employment. Workers’ compensation does not pay for pain and suffering.

Recovering compensation in a workers’ compensation claim does not require the worker to prove his or her employer was negligent. In return, the employee is bound by law not to sue his or her employer for injuries sustained while on the job.

In this case, presuming the truck driver was an employee, workers’ comp insurance will pay for the truck driver’s injuries and related costs as set out above. If though, the truck driver was an independent contractor, your general liability insurance will pay for the injuries and related costs as set out above.

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

Best of luck,

Published: August 27, 2014

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