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Forklift accidents results in $10.8 M settlement

California is experiencing a building boom, thanks to a thriving diversified economy that needs more homes and office space. That activity can come with a price, as more construction vehicles and other heavy machinery ends up near pedestrians and drivers.

Los Angeles County finds itself paying $10.8 million after a California state court awarded the sum to a man recovering from serious injuries after a forklift accident. A driver working for the county ran over the plaintiff’s legs on the grounds of a county-affiliated hospital.

The award is more than triple an earlier settlement offer from the plaintiff’s representatives. The county also rejected a potential range for settlements regardless of the jury decision.

Evidence was presented that the plaintiff, who was at the hospital on business, was struck from behind while in a crosswalk. He claimed the forklift driver who failed to yield to a pedestrian or sound a horn on his approach.

The defense argued the plaintiff had been distracted by his phone and did not hear a horn sounded by the driver. The jury did not see this contention as sufficient to keep from making the high award.

Victims of motor vehicle accidents have rights that protect their ability to seek damages if they are injured or lose property due to negligence, failure to yield or other faults by drivers. Liability may extend to fleet operators and property owners.

Legal representation is helpful with the injured are assessing their options. Consider assistance with settlements, court awards and other ways to make accident victims whole.

Source: Courtroom View Network, “Jury Orders LA County TO Pay $11M After Forklift Accident Strikes Pedestrian,” David Siegel, Aug. 28, 2017