By Daniel Picard. Last Updated 2nd August 2022. Welcome to our guide on how to claim compensation for a forklift truck accident. If you work in a warehouse or factory, you’ll probably be used to the speed at which things change. One minute there can be piles of stock waiting to be collected, the next it can be almost empty. The reason large amounts of stock can be moved so quickly is mainly down to forklift trucks. While they’re really important vehicles in warehousing, they can be the cause of accidents. Therefore, in this guide, we’re going to look at claiming compensation for forklift truck accidents. We’ll review what types of accident might happen, who could be to blame and when you could be entitled to forklift accident compensation.
Our team of advisors at Legal Helpline could help you begin a claim today. They offer free legal advice on the claims process. Also, they’ll assess your claim for free and on a no obligation basis. If they think your case might be won, they could introduce you to one of our panel of no win no fee solicitors.
To discuss your warehouse accident straight away, please call 0161 696 9685 today. If you’d prefer to find out more about forklift injury settlements before calling, please carry on reading this guide.
Jump To A Section
- A Guide On Claims For Forklift Truck Accidents
- What Are Forklift Truck Accidents?
- Statistics For Forklift Truck Accidents
- Forklift Truck Operators Duty Of Care
- Further Health And Safety When Operating Forklift Trucks
- Causes Of Forklift Truck Accidents
- Types Of Forklift Truck Accidents
- Forklift Truck Accidents – Example Compensation Payouts
- Special Damages Your Settlement May Include
- How Do I Make A Forklift Truck Accident Claim?
- Why Choose The Legal Helpline Team?
- No Win No Fee Claims For A Forklift Truck Accident
- Speak To Legal Helpline About Your Claim
- Helpful Resources
A Guide On Claims For Forklift Truck Accidents
When you ask a personal injury solicitor to claim compensation for you, there are several things you’ll need to prove. This includes:
- That you were involved in an accident
- Caused by somebody who owed you a duty of care and who was negligent
- That it caused you to suffer an injury
For instance, if you were hit by a forklift at work because the driver was speeding in the warehouse, you might be eligible to file a claim. However, if you were walking in a no-pedestrian area when you were hit, you probably wouldn’t be entitled to seek compensation.
Also, you’ll have to ensure your claim is made within the relevant personal injury claims time limit. Generally, this is 3-years from the date of the accident in which you suffered an injury.
As we work through this guide, we look at different types of accident, a forklift driver’s duty of care, and we review some statistics regarding forklift truck accidents in the workplace.
If you’re concerned about making a claim against your employer, you shouldn’t be. By law, an employer cannot treat you differently, sack you or discipline you for claiming compensation if you are injured in the workplace. Should this happen, you could be entitled to file an unfair dismissal claim against your employer. Also, employers are legally required to have liability insurance in place to cover any accident at work claims filed against them.
When you’ve completed this guide on how to claim compensation for a forklift truck accident, please get in contact with our specialist advisers. They can answer any questions that you might have. Also, they can assess your claim to see if you’re ready to proceed or whether more evidence is required first.
What Are Forklift Truck Accidents?
Forklift trucks are essential in modern warehousing. They enable large heavy loads to be moved quickly and efficiently around warehouses. Items can be stacked neatly and safely to free up more floor space. However, despite their usefulness, forklift trucks can be dangerous if not operated properly. That’s why any forklift driver must have been trained and passed the required certification before they’re allowed to operate a forklift truck.
Even with training though, accidents can still happen. In this guide, when we talk about claiming compensation for forklift truck accidents, we refer to accidents caused through negligence. This could be where the driver attempts to carry too much weight which causes a load to fall. It could also be where an operator causes a collision through careless driving. Later in this guide, we’ll look in more detail about the types of accident that could lead to a claim against a responsible party.
Statistics For Forklift Truck Accidents
All businesses, in the UK have a legal duty to report certain workplace accidents to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). Therefore, we’ll use their statistics to show how many accidents take place each year. While their figures don’t explicitly link to forklift trucks, they include a category of ‘struck by a moving vehicle’.
In figures for 2018/2019 there were 30 workplace fatalities involving moving vehicles. Also, there were nearly 7000 non-fatal accidents reported to HSE which were caused by being struck by a moving object according to the latest statistics.
Forklift Truck Operators Duty Of Care
All employers have a duty of care for the safety of all employees, contractors, customers and visitors. This is the case whether forklift trucks are used or not. With regards to forklift truck operators, an employer should ensure that the driver is:
- Fully trained
- Given a forklift that is well maintained and safe to use
- Provided with any safety equipment that’s required
- Kept up to date with health and safety procedures
- Experienced in the task that they’re being asked to carry out
Additionally, extra steps should be taken to ensure that forklift trucks and pedestrians are kept apart as much as possible within a warehouse. This means that hazards and obstacles should be removed wherever possible. In areas where it’s impossible to separate vehicles and staff, speed limits and rights of way should be clearly defined.
To reduce the risks of accidents involving forklift trucks happening, surfaces should be well maintained, spillages cleared up and work areas de-cluttered to reduce the risk of an accident occurring. A safe route for forklifts should be designated. Where possible, this would mean there are no blind corners or sharp bends. Routes for forklifts should also be clearly marked on the ground.
If you believe your employer failed to meet their duty of care and this caused you to be injured in a forklift truck accident, please get in touch to discuss your options. Alternatively, read on to learn more on how to claim compensation for a forklift truck accident.
Further Health And Safety When Operating Forklift Trucks
The main piece of legislation that can be applied when looking at the operation of forklift trucks in the workplace, is the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. We’ve provided a link to the legislation at the end of the guide.
The act states that employers must maintain any equipment (such as forklift trucks), train staff in their use, and to regularly assess the workplace for any hazards and remove them where possible. Therefore, if an accident is caused because the employer has breached their duty of care, then a claim might be possible.
Causes Of Forklift Truck Accidents
Some of the most common causes of forklift truck accidents in the workplace are detailed below but it’s worth bearing in mind that if you don’t see the type of accident you were involved with listed, you could still be entitled to claim compensation from the responsible party. Here are some reasons why accidents can occur involving forklift trucks:
- Crashes and collisions involving a forklift and a pedestrian
- Stock falling from the forklift because it wasn’t secured properly
- Accidents where the forklift topples over because it’s load wasn’t balanced properly
- Collisions with multiple forklifts involved or other vehicles
- Accidents where a pedestrian is crushed against a wall because the forklift driver’s view was obstructed
It’s worth repeating at this point that not every forklift truck accident would automatically entitle you to claim compensation. If the driver was following all the correct procedures and you caused an accident because you walked into an area where pedestrians were banned, you probably wouldn’t be able to seek compensation. For a claim to be made, the accident must have been caused by the negligence of either the driver or your employer.
Types Of Forklift Truck Accidents
Here are some of the most common accidents that can occur involving forklifts:
- Falling items. This could happen when an item of stock falls from the forklift because it hasn’t been secure properly. Depending on the nature of the load and the height it fell from, anybody hit by the item could suffer serious injuries
- Shelving failure. It’s possible for racking to fail when items are placed on to it by a forklift truck. This could be caused by too heavy a load, poor driving or faulty racking. In any case, the racking, and stock, could fall onto workers nearby causing serious injury
- Toppling forklifts. If a forklift topples, it can be very dramatic and lead to serious injuries for the driver and employees in the vicinity. They can be caused by uneven loads or loads that are too heavy. They could also be caused by uneven surfaces, spillages or collisions
- Dangerous driving. In cases where a driver fails to operate the forklift safely, collisions could happen with racking, pedestrians or other vehicles. If the driver was speeding, failed to sound their horn at a blind corner or driving in areas where they’re not permitted, then you might be eligible to claim if their negligence caused you to become injured
- Slips and falls. The final type of accident could be caused by falling or slipping out of a forklift. This might happen if the vehicle isn’t maintained properly or if the operator doesn’t use supporting handrails to support them
Forklift Truck Accidents – Example Compensation Payouts
The portion of a settlement for forklift truck accidents that is calculated to compensate for pain and suffering is called a general damages payment. To aid legal professionals in the calculation of this portion of a payout for forklift accidents, there are a few different resources to which they can turn. One of these is a publication containing figures based on past court cases regarding various personal injury claims. The publication is called the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG), and was last updated in 2022.
We have included some example figures from the JCG in the table below.
|Type of Injury||Severity||Compensation Range||Further Information|
|Head Injury||Minor||£2,210 to £12,770||Head injuries where any brain damage will be minimal. The severity of the injury, recovery time, any continuing symptoms and the presence of headaches will all be considered when calculating compensation.|
|Neck||Moderate||£7,890 to £13,740||Soft tissue injuries to the neck where recovery time is protracted, where permanent symptoms exist and where there's an increased risk of more trauma.|
|Neck||Minor||£2,450 to £4,350||Soft tissue damage to the neck where injuries take around a year to fully recover from without surgery.|
|Back||Moderate||£12,510 to £27,760||Injuries which result in muscle and ligament disturbance, causing backaches and prolapsed discs are included in this category.|
|Shoulder||Moderate||£7,890 to £12,770||Soft tissue injuries which aren't permanent but take more than two years to recover. Category also includes frozen shoulder injuries.|
|Arm||Severe||£96,160 to £130,930||Injuries which don't require the arm to be amputated but where the outcome is almost the same.|
|Arm||Fracture||£6,610 to £19,200||A simple fracture of the forearm.|
|Wrist||Fracture||In the region of £7,430||This compensation category covers simple Colles' fractures of the wrist.|
|Leg||Moderate||£27,760 to £39,200||Injuries can include multiple fracture, complicated fractures and severe crush injuries.|
|Leg||Fracture||£9,110 to £14,080||A simple fracture of the femur where there's no damage to articular surfaces.|
|Ankle||Severe||£31,310 to £50,060||Injuries where the ankle is fixed with pins, plates and screws and requires a long amount of time in a plastercast.|
However, we recommend you get in touch with us directly in order to get a more accurate valuation of your claim as the figures shown are not guaranteed. Your own circumstances will affect how much your claim could be worth. For example, a forklift truck accident in a warehouse could cause permanent issues for some people, where others may recover quickly.
Get in touch with our advisors today if you have any questions. We are available to help on a 24/7 basis.
Special Damages Your Settlement May Include
As part of your compensation claim, your solicitor would include any financial losses you’ve sustained as a result of your injuries. These are known as special damages. Some examples of what you could claim for include:
- Medical Costs
While the treatment you receive for your injuries will usually be free on the NHS, you might incur other costs. These could include prescriptions or over the counter medicine costs. Therefore, you could claim these back
- Care Costs
In some cases, you might need a carer to support you while you recover. If that happens, you could include the cost of a professional carer in your claim. Also, you might be able to claim back the time of a friend or family member who cared for you
- Travelling Expenses
When you have to travel to and from medical appointments, you’ll incur fuel costs and possibly car parking costs. Therefore, you could include these in your claim. Furthermore, if your injuries prevent you from driving for a while, you could ask for the cost of any alternative travel arrangements
- Lost Earnings
If your employer doesn’t pay full sick pay and you lose income because you need time off to recover (or for medical appointments), you could ask for the lost earning back. Where you’re likely to suffer in the long-term, you may also be able to claim for future loss of earnings too
- Damaged Property
Finally, if any item of personal property is damaged in the accident, you could ask for the cost to repair or replace it to be included in your claim
To assist your solicitor, try to retain any receipts or bank statements that could substantiate your special damages claim. Also, ask your solicitor before committing to large expenses to check whether it could be included in your claim.
How Do I Make A Forklift Truck Accident Claim?
Any personal injury claim requires evidence. You’ll need to prove what happened, who could be to blame and what injuries you suffered. Therefore, if you’re involved in forklift truck accident in a warehouse, here are some steps you could take:
- Take photographs before the accident scene is cleared
- Report the accident and ask for a copy of the report. All businesses need to keep a record in an accident report book
- Ask witnesses for their details
- See if there was CCTV covering the area and ask for a copy
- Ask for any medical records from your GP or A&E as these are the best way to prove your injuries
- Photograph any visible injuries
If you’re wondering how to claim compensation for a forklift truck accident, taking these steps would improve your chances against the responsible party. Even if you don’t manage to complete all of the steps, we could still help by discussing what options you may have to pursue a forklift truck injury claim.
Why Choose The Legal Helpline Team?
We really hope you are considering using Legal Helpline to begin your claim. Here are some reasons why we believe you should let us help you:
- Our advisers are friendly and professional and always offer free legal advice on claiming
- We have a 24-hour a day claims line
- The solicitors on our panel will keep you updated as your case progresses
- Any claim taken on will be on a No Win No Fee basis
- Our panel of solicitors will work hard on your behalf and try to ensure you receive the maximum amount of compensation for your injuries
No Win No Fee Claims For A Forklift Truck Accident
If thinking about how to claim compensation for a forklift truck accident, you might be concerned about the costs involved. You needn’t worry though as our panel of solicitors work on a No Win No Fee basis when they take a claim on. This means your financial risk is reduced and you’ll find the whole process less stressful.
As the solicitor won’t be paid if they lose the claim, they must check there are grounds to seek compensation before agreeing to take it on. If they decide to help you, they’ll provide you with a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) to sign. The CFA is a contract between you and your solicitor.
Within the CFA, you’ll find lots of information. Two key points you’ll notice are:
- A statement explaining that the solicitor’s fees don’t need to be paid if they lose the case
- The level of success fee payable when the claim is won
A success fee, which is a percentage of your compensation, is used to cover the fees for solicitor’s work. It’s deducted automatically from your compensation before you’re paid.
Speak To Legal Helpline About Your Claim
You’ve now reached the end of this guide about claiming for injuries sustained in forklift truck accidents. Hopefully you’re now ready to begin your claim using Legal Helpline. If so, here’s how you can get in touch with us:
- Telephone: Call on specialists for free claims advice on 0161 696 9685
- Online: You can chat online with a member of our team whenever it suits you
- Call back: If you’d like us to give you a call when it’s convenient, please complete our claims form
When you make contact with us, we’ll begin by offering a no obligation assessment of your claim. We’ll discuss what happened, how you were injured and what evidence you have. Then, we’ll provide free advice about your options. If you’re in a position to go ahead and claim, we could introduce you to one of our panel of personal injury solicitors. Should they take your claim forward, it will be on a No Win No Fee basis.
Our claim line is open all day, every day so you can claim when it’s most convenient to you. Our advisers won’t rush you or pressure you into making a claim. Therefore, you’ve nothing to lose by calling Legal Helpline today.
Forklift Truck Accident FAQs
Here are some common questions about how to claim compensation for a forklift truck accident.
Thanks for reading our guide about claiming for forklift truck accidents in the UK. In case you require any further information, here are some more of our guides as well some further information from some independent sources.
Forklift Truck Safety – Advice from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to try and prevent a forklift accident at work.
The Health And Safety At Work Act 1974 – Information on the legislation that could be used to make personal injury claims for forklift truck accidents.
ROSPA – The UK charity who aim to reduce accidents and provide training to workplaces to improve safety.
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Thanks for reading our guide on how to claim compensation for a forklift truck accident.
Article by BH