Make A Claim For A Forklift Truck Accident


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Advice On Making A Forklift Accident Claim

By Lewis Cobain. Last Updated 5th April 2024. 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
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  • Chat with an advisor using our free 24/7 live chat service

Select a section:

  1. The Eligibility Criteria For Making A Forklift Truck Accident Claim
  2. How Long Do I Have To Make A Forklift Accident Claim?
  3. Causes Of Forklift Truck Accidents In Workplaces
  4. What Evidence Do I Need For A Forklift Accident Claim?
  5. Compensation Payouts And Settlement Amounts In Forklift Truck Accident Claims
  6. About The Forklift Accident Claims Process
  7. Can I Make A Forklift Accident Claim On A No Win No Fee Basis?

The Eligibility Criteria For Making A Forklift Truck 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.

Could My Employer Sack Me If I Make A Forklift Accident Claim?

By law, you’re protected from being dismissed or sacked if you make a compensation claim after suffering an injury at work.

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.

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 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.

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

If you are making a personal injury claim following an accident at work as well as satisfying the eligibility criteria that we discussed earlier in this guide you also need to ensure that you are within the correct time limit to do so. Generally, when making forklift accident claims, there is a three-year time period in which to initiate legal proceedings within the court. However, there are exceptions to this rule for:

  • Minors—If a minor is injured, unfortunately, they cannot bring a legal claim themselves until they reach the age of 18. However, a responsible adult such as their parent can apply to the courts to be a litigation friend and could make a claim on their behalf while they are still a minor. If no claim is made on behalf of the child, then when they turn 18, they can make their own personal injury claim, but the time limit starts from this date.
  • Those who lack mental capacity – If someone lacks the mental capacity to make a claim for themselves, a litigation friend could make a claim on their behalf. While the claimant lacks mental capacity, the time limit is suspended indefinitely. Should the claimant recover enough mental capacity to make a personal injury claim and one has not been made on their behalf, they will then have 3 years to initiate proceedings.

Call our advisors now to learn more about the time limits for forklift accident claims. They will assess your potential case for free and provide you with the advice you need.

Causes Of Forklift Truck 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 that result 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.
  • Where the forklift operator has not been properly trained or lacks the required qualifications.

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.

How Common Are Forklift Accidents In Workplaces?

To appreciate how significant an issue forklift accidents are, it can help to look at the latest figures published by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

Found in the RIDKIND data sheet, the figures from 2022/23 are revealing. The HSE classifies forklift accidents as injuries caused by being “struck by a moving vehicle”, so it does not provide a specific breakdown. However, we can gain a solid picture. The HSE found that:

  • 1,396 people suffered injuries after being struck by a vehicle at work
  • Of this number, 934 people required longer than 7 days off to recover, which suggests that the injuries sustained in these accidents are more severe
  • Tragically, 20 people were killed by moving vehicles at work

What Should My Employer Do To Prevent Forklift Truck Accidents At Work?

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 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 forklift 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 forklift 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.

What Evidence Do I Need For A Forklift Accident Claim?

To make a valid personal injury claim, you must prove that your injuries were due to employer negligence. This is achieved with evidence.

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

  • 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.

Compensation Payouts And Settlement Amounts In Forklift Truck Accident Claims

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 16th 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£96,160 to £130,930
Arm InjuriesLess Severe£19,200 to £39,170
Knee injury Severe£69,730 to £96,210
Knee injury ModerateUp to £13,740
Leg InjuriesVery Serious£54,830 to £87,890
Leg InjuriesModerate£27,760 to £39,200
Back InjuryModerate£27,760 to £38,780
Back InjuryMinorUp to £2,450
Severe Fractures to Fingers (Hand Injuries)Up to £36,740
Shoulder InjuriesModerate£7,890 to £12,770

Can I Claim For Financial Losses?

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 forklift truck accidents, get in touch with our advisors today.

no win no fee solicitor talking to a client about a forklift accident claim

About The Forklift Accident Claims Process

Let’s take a look at the claims process.

One of the first steps to take is to compile your evidence and present the case to your employer (though it would be their insurance company handling the claim). This stage involves setting out what happened and making allegations as to where they’ve breached the law.

The defendant then has a period of time to investigate the claim. They may ask for more information and will likely speak with members of staff within the company.

Around this time, your solicitor may ask you to be examined by a medical expert. They’ll assess your injuries and provide their opinion as to the cause and the impact they’ve had on your life.

This medical evidence can then be used to value your claim. Your solicitor will likely make an offer of settlement when they present the report to the defendant.

It’s then a matter of trying to negotiate a fair result. In very rare cases (around 5%), no resolution may be reached, meaning the case might end up in court.

If you have any questions about the process of making a forklift truck accident claim, please get in touch.

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 to help 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 solicitor’s 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 in the following details:

  • Telephone: 0800 073 8804
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For more advice and support on making a forklift accident claim, contact the Legal Expert team today using the contact details in this guide.

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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.