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Forklift Truck Accident – Can I Claim Compensation?

By Lewis Cobain. Last Updated 7th September 2023. In this guide, we’ll discuss when you could be eligible to make a personal injury claim after a forklift crash. We will discuss the duty of care you are owed in the workplace and how a breach in this duty could lead to a forklift accident claim.

Furthermore, this guide will provide examples of the evidence that could be used to support your claim and the time limits you must adhere to when starting proceedings. We will also list some guideline compensation brackets for various injuries and how compensation may be calculated in personal injury claims.

If you have any questions about forklift accident claims after you’ve finished reading this guide, you can contact our advisors. They can offer you free advice and may connect you with one of our No Win No Fee solicitors.

Please don’t hesitate to get in touch via the following ways:

  • Call us for free on 0800 073 8804
  • Complete our online claim form for a callback
  • Chat with an advisor using our free 24/7 live chat service

Select a section:

  1. The Eligibility Criteria For Making A Forklift Accident Claim
  2. How To Avoid Forklift Accidents – Official Guidance
  3. Causes Of Forklift Accidents In Workplaces
  4. Forklift Truck Accident At Work Compensation Claims
  5. Forklift Accident Claims – How Much Could I Receive?
  6. How Long Do I Have To Make A Forklift Accident Claim?
  7. Can I Make A Forklift Accident Claim On A No Win No Fee Basis?

The Eligibility Criteria For Making A Forklift Accident Claim

If you suffered an injury while at work, you may wonder whether you meet the eligibility criteria to make a forklift accident claim. You might be entitled to compensation if you can prove that:

  • Your employer owed you a duty of care. 
  • They breached this. 
  • You suffered an injury as a result of this breach. 

A breach in the duty of care resulting in injuries is known as employer negligence. There is specific legislation that governs workplace health and safety and if your employer fails to adhere to this and you are injured as result, you could be eligible to seek compensation. 

It should be noted that not all forklift truck accidents qualify for compensation. For example, if you are involved in an accident but do not suffer a physical or mental injury, you would not have valid grounds to claim. 

To discuss whether you have a potential accident at work claim, get in touch with one of our advisors.

How To Avoid Forklift Accidents – Official Guidance

forklift accident claim

How to make a forklift accident claim

If you’ve suffered injuries due to a forklift accident, you may wonder if you are eligible for compensation. Before looking at compensation values and how to prove your claim, we are going to examine the laws and rules in place to help prevent fork lift truck accidents.

Firstly, the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 (HASAWA) outlines the duty of care all employers must give to their employees. This states that employers must take all reasonably practicable steps to ensure the health, safety and welfare at work of their employees, for example, by providing adequate training. Should they fail to adhere to the HASAWA and other relevant health and safety laws, and you are injured, they could be found liable.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) regulates workplace health and safety. They set additional rules for fork lift trucks. The HSE forklift truck regulations include an approved code of practice and guidance for rider-operated lift trucks.

They also include information on providing training on how to safely carry out fork lift operations.

The lift truck should also be maintained regularly to ensure that it is fit for purpose. This includes inspections and carrying out required servicing. In addition, the forklift truck should not be overloaded.

Pedestrians are also at risk from fork lift injuries. The code of practice suggests separating pedestrians from forklifts. In addition, forklift trucks may be fitted with warning alarms and flashing lights. Pedestrians may also be provided with high-visibility clothing.

Call our advisors if you have any questions about workplace accident claims.

What Are Near-Miss Accidents At Work? 

A near miss is an incident that didn’t result in injury but had the potential to be a workplace accident had the circumstances been different. A near-miss incident doesn’t need to be reported under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences (known as RIDDOR for short), but should be investigated to ensure the safety of the workforce in future.

Causes Of Forklift Accidents In Workplaces

Forklift truck accidents can lead to injuries in the workplace in a variety of circumstances, including those outlined below. As a result of these accidents, it could result in forklift truck accident claims being made.

  • Where there is a forklift crash or collision with a pedestrian staff member or member of the public.
  • Where the load has not been properly secured or lifted, resulting in objects falling onto people.
  • Forklift truck accidents resulting from imbalanced loads, resulting in the forklift toppling over and injuring someone.
  • An unseen pedestrian is crushed between the truck and a load or wall etc. This could happen if the driver’s view is obstructed, they are not operating the truck with due care and attention or if the pedestrian has not been trained appropriately.
  • There is a forklift crash with another object or vehicle.

Following proper operational and health & safety guidelines, there are a plethora of preventative measures that can be carried out. These work to increase overall employee safety around forklift trucks. Common and easy to enact measures include the wearing of high visibility jackets and hard hats.

Machinery should be regularly maintained, according to appropriate schedules and standards. There should be regular checks on all parts of the forklift equipment. Any faulty machinery should be identified and repaired before forklift truck accidents can occur.

Your employer should also have a comprehensive liability insurance policy to cover both the business and yourself in case you suffer an accident on their premises. Appropriate liability insurance is required under the law as per the Employers’ Liability (Compulsory Insurance) Act 1969.

It provides cover to all parties in the event of an accident where compensation, such as forklift accident claims, could be made. The insurance provides employees with a way to claim against their employer without worrying about the financial impact it could have on the company. As such, you shouldn’t worry too much about the impact of your claim on the business, your employer will be covered for such an eventuality, and you deserve the right amount of compensation to get you back on your feet.

To learn more about forklift truck accident claims, our team is here to help. Simply call them on the number at the top of this page.

Forklift Truck Accident At Work Compensation Claims

In this section, we are going to look at the evidence required to support an accident at work claim. As stated above, you are owed a duty of care while at work. Employer negligence occurs when this isn’t adhered to and an employee is injured as a result, such as in a forklift crash.

To have a valid personal injury claim, you must prove that your injuries were due to employer negligence.

Examples of evidence that could be useful in a claim for a workplace injury includes:

  • Accident logbook. It is a legal requirement for all workplaces employing ten or more people to have one. It should include your details, the time and date and the nature of the incident.
  • Medical records. In addition to your medical records, as part of the claiming process, you might be invited to attend an independent medical assessment. This can help establish the severity of your injuries and what impact they may have on your life.
  • Accident footage. For example, you can request CCTV footage of yourself.
  • Witness contact details. Anyone who saw what happened can give a statement at a later date if you note their contact information.
  • Injury photographs. If your injuries are visible, such as bruising and lacerations, you could photograph these.

Call our advisors to discuss forklift accident claims. They can give free advice on what evidence could be submitted as well as other steps that might be involved when claiming for forklift accidents. Additionally, they can assess the eligibility of your claim. If it seems eligible, you could be connected to one of our No Win No Fee solicitors.

Forklift Accident Claims – How Much Could I Receive?

Forklift accident claims are assessed on a case by case basis. Each settlement can be made up of two heads of claim. The figure that’s calculated and awarded to you in line with your level of pain suffering is known as a general damages payment. A forklift accident can result in many different injuries. To assist legal professionals with the calculations they need to make, they will often turn to helpful resources.

One of these is a publication known as the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG). We’ve included some example entries from the 2022 edition of the JCG in the table below. The figures have been based on cases that have gone to court in the past.

Injury TypeNotesAmount
Arm InjuriesSevere - The arm didn't need to be amputated but the injury is still very serious and leaves the person little better off than if the arm had been amputated.£96,160 to £130,930
Arm InjuriesLess Severe - Whilst the person will have suffered with significant disabilities, a significant degree of recovery will have or is expected to take place.£19,200 to £39,170
Knee injury Severe (i) - Gross ligament damage, disrupted knee joint or the development of osteoarthritis that causes considerable pain.£69,730 to £96,210
Knee injury Moderate (ii) - Laceration, bruising or twisting injuries that accelerate an existing condition and result in continuous discomfort and aching.Up to £13,740
Leg Injuries(b)(ii) Very Serious - The person will require mobility aids for the rest of their life due to permanent mobility issues.£54,830 to £87,890
Leg Injuries(b)(iv) Moderate - Multiple/complicated fractures or crush injuries to a single leg. £27,760 to £39,200
Back InjuryModerate (i) - A compression or crush fracture of the lumbar vertebrae that causes constant discomfort and pain with a risk of osteoarthritis.£27,760 to £38,780
Back InjuryMinor (iv) - A sprain, strain, disc prolapse or soft tissue injury that fully recovers within 3 months.Up to £2,450
Severe Fractures to Fingers (Hand Injuries)This may require partial amputations that will then lead to a deformity, impaired grip and disturbed sensation.Up to £36,740
Shoulder InjuriesModerate - A frozen shoulder that causes discomfort with limited shoulder movement. Symptoms should persist for around 2 years.£7,890 to £12,770

You may also be able to receive special damages. This is when you can be reimbursed for the financial loss that your injury has caused you. It’s important to maintain detailed financial records of these losses so that you can prove how much you lost.

Examples of special damages payments can include:

  • Travel costs
  • Medical expenses
  • Care costs for additional care at home
  • Adaptations to your home
  • Loss of earnings

For more examples of how much you could receive in special damages associated with fork lift truck accidents, get in touch with our advisors today.

How Long Do I Have To Make A Forklift Accident Claim?

If you have been harmed in an accident at work due to negligence, you could potentially make a claim. However, when making a personal injury claim, there is a time limit that you must adhere to. The time limit on personal injury claims in generally 3 years from the date you were injured. However, there are certain exceptions to this time limit, such as:

  • Minors – If your child was injured, they would have 3 years to start a claim once they turn 18. Before this point, a litigation friend could make a claim on their behalf. A litigation friend is someone appointed by the court and could be a parent, solicitor, sibling etc.
  • Those who lack the mental capacity – If someone lacks the mental capacity to make a claim for themselves, a litigation friend could make a claim on their behalf. Alternatively, they will have 3 years to start a claim if they regain this mental capacity.

Do not hesitate to contact our team of advisors today to see whether you still have enough time to begin your claim.

Can I Make A Forklift Accident Claim On A No Win No Fee Basis?

You will probably have seen many adverts on TV and in the papers for No Win No Fee services helping you make a claim without having to pay for services upfront. It also means that you won’t have to pay any ongoing costs that could incur while your claim proceeds. These fees could include medical costs or court costs should your claim reach this stage.

No Win No Fee services include Conditional Fee Agreements. They are an arrangement you make with your solicitor helping you claim compensation without worrying about paying any fees upfront. The agreement will state you won’t have to pay solicitor fees if your claim is not successful.

Only paying for the legal services in the event of a win removes the risk of making a personal injury or accident at work claim with a solicitor who charges by the hour.

As part of the No Win No Fee agreement, you will be required to pay a success fee if your claim succeeds. The fee is legally capped and is taken as a percentage of your total compensation amount. However, your solicitor will make you aware of these fees prior to you agreeing to their services.

We have developed a No Win No Fee service to help anyone who wishes to access legal representation whilst avoiding the costs often associated with a solicitors services.

It doesn’t matter whether or not you have the funds to cover the legal costs, and you should not be put off making a claim just because of your financial situation. Our No Win No Fee service could help with forklift truck accident claims.

Please get in touch to discuss your forklift truck accident on the following details:

  • Telephone: 0800 073 8804
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    • Patrick Mallon

      Patrick is a Grade A solicitor having qualified in 2005. He's an an expert in accident at work and public liability claims and is currently our head of the EL/PL department. Get in touch today for free to see how we can help you.