Francisco Torres Rohnert Park: 19-Year-Old Construction Worker From Olivehurst Identified As Francisco Torres Died In Forklift Accident At Future Apartment Complex On Carlson Avenue
ROHNERT PARK, CALIFORNIA (February 28, 2019) – A 19-year-old man identified as Francisco Torres died in a forklift accident at a construction site on Carlson Avenue.
The Rohnert Park Department of Public Safety is saying that the industrial accident took place just before 10:00 a.m. According to reports, Francisco Torres was helping the operator of a telescoping forklift that was backing up with a load of roof trusses.
The driver of the forklift lost sight of the victim and backed over him. Upon realizing what happened, the driver of the forklift and other employees began giving aid to the victim.
Paramedics rushed to the construction site in order to help the injured worker. Francisco Torres was taken to the Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital with critical injuries.
Despite life-saving measures he later succumbed to his injuries. Cal/OSHA and Rohnert Park officials are continuing to investigate what happened.
Liability In Forklift Accidents
Forklifts can be extremely dangerous even when they are operated correctly. Cal/OSHA has a number of guidelines to help keep worker’s safe when forklifts are being used. For example, forklift safety instructors should be:
- Able to communicate effectively.
- Knowledgeable of all forklift safety regulations.
- Knowledgeable of various forklift designs and how to operate them.
- Knowledgeable of common workplace hazards.
- Knowledgeable of all relative safety operational procedures.
- Able to objectively evaluate the performance of a forklift operator.
Forklift operators must be aware of their surroundings at all times. A skilled driver should never back up or move forward without a clear view of what’s behind or ahead of them. According to Cal/OSHA, “Forklift operators should never move a loaded forklift if he or she cannot see in the direction of travel. Travel with the load trailing, if the load blocks the operator’s front view.” When a worker is injured or killed on the job, they or their family will typically have the ability to collect benefits.
According to the California Department of Industrial Relations Workers Compensation Guidebook, death benefits cam be given to the spouse, children or other dependents of an injured worker if they die while on the job. Depending on the facts of any particular accident, the family of a deceased worker may be able to pursue a third party liability claim under California’s Code of Civil Procedure 377.60. California law bars workers from bringing a suit against their company directly, with limited exceptions. But when an entity separate from a worker’s employer causes an accident they may be open to a third party liability claim.
Construction sites are typically made up of a blend of worker’s from different companies. If a forklift operator worked for a different company from the injured worker that could form the basis of a third party liability claim. Moreover, the manufacturer of a forklift could be held liable for an accident through a product liability claim in the event the forklift malfunctioned. A wrongful death attorney can evaluate the specific facts of your case and let you know what your rights are.
Investigating A Forklift Accident
We at West Coast Trial Lawyers extend our deepest condolences to the family of Francisco Torres. It is our sincere hope that any witnesses to the accident will come forward and speak with investigators. Companies need to be doing everything in their power to train their employees how to be safe while operating forklifts. There needs to be safety procedures put in place to prevent similar accidents in the future. No family should ever be forced to bury their teenage son because a company may have been cutting corners on safety.
Have you or someone that you love been involved in a forklift accident? You may have legal recourse. Our team of highly experienced personal injury attorneys are here to answer any questions that you may have about your rights. We’ve successfully resolved thousands of accident claims and can get to the bottom of what happened in your case. We understand that there is nothing worse after an accident than not knowing what happened. Whether you need a free investigation into your case or just have questions about your rights we are here for you. You’re always welcome to reach out to us at (888) 888-9285.
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