By Lewis Winehouse. Last Updated 6th January 2023. 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?
- Forklift Accident Claims – Assistance From A No Win No Fee Solicitor
- Speak To Legal Helpline About Your Claim
- Helpful Resources
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.
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.
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.
Forklift Truck Accidents – Claim Time Exceptions
The time limit may not always necessarily start from the date of the accident. If you had only discovered your injuries, or the extent of your injuries at a later date, then you could be able to use the date of your medical diagnosis as the beginning of your 3 years to make a claim. This is in line with the information found in the Limitation Act 1980.
Exceptions also exist for those who are unable to represent themselves in legal proceedings. In some cases, accidents that involve heavy machinery, such as forklift truck accidents, could cause serious injuries to people that could limit or reduce their mental or physical capacity. A claim could still be made, but the time limit would be suspended until the point they recover, if this occurs.
If you are a family member or a close friend of a person who was injured in such a way, then you could be able to act on their behalf and start a claim acting as a litigation friend.
A similar exception is also in place for people who were under the age of 18 at the time of being injured in a forklift accident. Their claims will not be subject to a time limit, until the date they turn 18. They will then have 3 years to start a claim. A litigation friend can also claim on their behalf until they turn 18 at which point they will be required to represent themselves.
Please reach out to an adviser for any more information about claiming for forklift truck or fork lift truck accidents.
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
As we have already stated throughout this guide, when making a claim for a forklift accident, you must prove that you were injured due to your employer breaching their duty of care. Some examples of how you could be injured in a forklift accident include:
- Your employer informs you that, as part of your work duties, you must use a forklift but they fail to give you the proper training. This could lead to an accident where you become injured.
- Being crushed against a wall by a forklift, due to improper training, a malfunction or the driver’s view being obstructed.
- A forklift rolls over due to stock not being loaded and balanced properly; this could result in you being crushed or suffering a break or fracture, such as a fractured forearm.
- Stock falling off of the forklift due to it not being properly secured and tied down. This stock could fall on you and injure you.
It is important to remember that not every forklift truck accident could lead to a claim. If all the reasonable steps and correct procedures were followed, but an accident still occurred, you might not be eligible for compensation.
Contact our advisors today for more information about forklift accident claims.
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
|Injuries which don't require the arm to be amputated but leave the person little better off than if it had been, e.g. a serious brachial plexus injury.
|£96,160 to £130,930
|A simple fracture of the forearm.
|£6,610 to £19,200
|Injuries where the ankle is fixed with pins, plates and screws and requires a long amount of time in a plaster cast.
|£31,310 to £50,060
|Injuries can include multiple fractures, complicated fractures and severe crush injuries to a single leg.
|£27,760 to £39,200
|Less Serious (ii)
|A simple fracture of the femur where there's no damage to articular surfaces.
|£9,110 to £14,080
|Injuries which result in muscle and ligament disturbance, causing backaches.
|£12,510 to £27,760
|Soft tissue or wrenching-type injuries that result in permanent pain with limited movement in the neck.
|£13,740 to £24,990
|A frozen shoulder that causes discomfort with limited movement with symptoms lasting for about 2 years.
|£7,890 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.
|£2,210 to £12,770
|This compensation category covers simple Colles' fractures of the wrist.
|In the region of £7,430
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
To discuss your claim, and how we can help, today, please get in touch using the number listed at the end of this guide.
If you seek to work with a solicitor ahead of beginning the forklift accident claims process, you may be concerned about the costs of hiring one upfront. A No Win No Fee arrangement is a contract between you and your solicitor, in which it is agreed that you do not need to pay their fees if your personal injury claim is unsuccessful.
Furthermore, there are usually no upfront fees involved when claiming compensation for forklift truck accidents under this agreement.
A success fee is deducted from your injury compensation by your solicitor if your claim is successful. However, the Conditional Fee Agreements Order 2013 puts a legal limit on the percentage No Win No Fee solicitors take.
Get in touch if you would like to work with a solicitor from our panel under this arrangement. Our advisors can offer free legal advice on fork lift truck accidents.
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