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Forklift Truck Accident – How Much Compensation Can I Claim?

By Daniel Lennon. Last Updated 15th September 2021. Welcome to our guide to forklift truck accident claims. Below, we will address how forklift accidents are caused, what impact they can have, and most importantly, how a personal injury solicitor could be of assistance.

Fork trucks are used to lift and move heavy pallets, crates, or objects which are either too dangerous or heavy to be lifted by people or smaller mechanical tools. There are risks in operating forklifts, and as such employees need to be properly trained in their usage. Inadequate training can lead to serious injuries.

As with any heavy machinery in the workplace, forklift trucks should be operated with a high degree of care. Workplace forklift truck accidents can happen both to the driver and staff and other people in the surrounding operational area. Therefore, anyone working in this operation area for forklift trucks should take extra care and be trained to avoid falling victim to potential nasty accidents. If you have been injured by a forklift truck due to an accident or negligence, you could be entitled to making a No Win No Fee compensation claim.

Whilst we have endeavoured to make this a comprehensive guide on fork truck accidents, if you still have any questions after reading it, we offer free consultation and advice sessions. Contact our expert team if you have any questions. You can reach them:

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Guide To Forklift Truck Accidents At Work Claims

Forklift trucks are a kind of workplace transport used to lift and move heavy pallets, crates, or objects which are either too dangerous or heavy to be lifted by people or smaller mechanical tools. There are risks in operating forklifts, and as such employees need to be properly trained in their usage.

As with any heavy machinery in the workplace, forklift trucks should be operated with a high degree of care. Workplace forklift truck accidents can happen both to the driver and staff and other people in the surrounding operational area. Therefore, anyone working in this operation area for forklift trucks should take extra care and be trained to avoid falling victim to potential nasty accidents. If you have been injured by a forklift truck due to an accident or negligence, you could be entitled to making a No Win No Fee compensation claim.

Whilst we have endeavoured to make this a comprehensive guide, if you still have any questions after reading it, we offer free consultation and advice sessions. Contact our expert team if you have any questions relating to forklift truck accident claims or relevant legislation.

Health & safety and forklift accidents

forklift truck accident claims

forklift truck accident claims

The Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 states that it is the responsibility of an employer to ensure that all machinery (such as forklift trucks) used by staff and in the workplace is appropriately maintained and that all necessary measures have been taken to ensure employees operating the (forklift truck) machinery are protected to a reasonable degree from the risk of accidents.

Despite this, the overall number of accidents caused by or related to dangerous machinery (such as forklift trucks) at work has risen, which could lead to a rise in forklift accident claims. Workplace for truck accidents can be caused by employer negligence, inadequate training, improper use of the machinery or protective equipment, failure to use the correct protective equipment and steps or simply by mechanical fault/ failure.

If you have sustained an injury at work due to a forklift accident and are looking for information on making a personal injury claim, this guide has everything you need to have a clear insight into how to register your injury, the compensation you could be entitled to and the steps you will need to take. After you’ve finished reading, contact us today to start your claim.

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 to RIDDOR, but should be investigated to ensure the safety of the workforce in future.

Causes of fork truck accidents at work

Forklift truck accidents can lead to injuries in the workplace in a variety of circumstances, including those outlined below. But did you know that many of these could result in forklift truck accident claims?

  • 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.
  • FLT 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 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. It provides cover to all parties in the event of an accident where compensation, such as forklift accident claims, could be made. The insurance means that if you make a claim against your employer, the insurance policy will cover your compensation payment. 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.

Common types of forklift truck accidents at work

These are the most common type of forklift truck accidents in the workplace. The first thing to remember is that around two-thirds of all forklift truck accidents involve someone other than the injured driver. Anyone working or otherwise in the vicinity of a forklift truck could be placed in danger if they or the driver are not paying due care and attention.

Many different industries can be inflicted due to both improper and even proper use of forklift trucks. FLT accidents can even happen when the truck is being used safely and in line with user guidelines. Common accidents include;

  • Toppling over: uneven surfaces, uneven loads and loads which are too heavy can cause forklifts to topple over. This type of accident can injure the driver and anyone around the vehicle. Obstacles such as potholes, drains, and slopes can cause truck accidents, and proper risk assessments need to be carried out.
  • Falling objects: a loose load can fall from the truck and injure passers-by. This could cause serious injury to the victim and possibly even death. Loads must always be secured and stable before being moved.
  • Racking failure: if you look online, you will probably see lots of videos of racking failing when an object is placed on it. This can be due to poor driving and loading items in the wrong place or non-existent or poor maintenance. Another common incident is pushing the load too far onto racking, allowing it to fall off the other side.
  • Collisions: forklifts can collide with other objects such as racking, desks and walls, and other forklifts, pedestrians and other vehicles, especially if traffic routes around the workplace aren’t planned.
  • Slips, trips and falls: these types of accidents can often fall under their own type of accident at work claim. Just getting out of a vehicle such as a forklift can sometimes result in injuries such as slips, trips or falls. Employees should be instructed on the correct ways to get into and out of forklift trucks.
  • Speed and dangerous driving: dangerous driving, such as speeding, remains a common cause of accidents for forklifts and forklift truck drivers as well as those around your workspace. Driving without due care and attention or speeding leading to injuries.

If you’ve suffered harm in any of the ways described above and want to learn more about forklift truck accident claims, our team is on hand to help. Simply call them anytime you like and they’ll answer all of your queries.

Recording and reporting of accidents at work

RIDDOR, or the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations, requires employers and those who control or manage premises to report and keep relevant records of the incidents listed below. These must be reported to the relevant enforcement authority. Records must be kept for;

  • Work-related and deaths in the workplace.
  • Work-related accidents (such as forklift accidents) cause certain injuries and those that result in the worker being incapacitated for more than seven consecutive days.
  • Near miss accidents and other ‘dangerous occurrences’ from a specified list.
  • Injuries to public members (resulting in the person being taken directly from the site to hospital) caused by an accident at work.

Remember, not all incidents, accidents or injuries need to be reported to an external body. However, employers must record each and every incident that occurs in the company accident book. You can find more information on the types of accident and reporting procedures at the RIDDOR site.

Reports to enforcement authorities (except for injuries resulting in more than seven days off) have to be made straight away and by the quickest means possible. They must then be followed up within ten days of the occurrence with a written notification. Reporting for over seven-day injuries need to be sent to the relevant authority within fifteen days.

Records need to be kept of all ‘over-three-day injuries’, i.e. where a person who is injured at work is then incapacitated (unable to work) for three or more consecutive days. Whilst records should be kept of these injuries, and they may not need to be reported. A person is defined as being incapacitated if they cannot carry out their usual day-to-day work tasks. Your counting period for an over three or over ten-day injury periods does not include the day of the accident. It does include weekends and days off/ rest days.

Your employer needs to records all workplace incidents. This is so bodies such as the HSE (Health and Safety Executive) and Environmental Health representatives can carry out a thorough risk assessment of the workplace. These bodies are also there so that if something does go wrong and an accident occurs, they can investigate what happened and what went wrong. As such, they help to make your workplace safer and reduce the risk of forklift truck accident claims needing to be made.

Making a forklift truck accident at work compensation claim

Starting a compensation claim for a forklift truck accident at work can be easy to do if you choose the right solicitor and law firm to represent you. It would be best if you chose a reputable firm that has expertise in the personal injury sector.

To win a claim for personal injury or accident at work compensation, you need to be able to prove the accident was the result of negligence on the part of the employer or someone other than yourself. You also need to be able to demonstrate that the accident resulted in you suffering a personal injury of some kind.

As a claimant, you may have been the driver or other worker. You could also have been visiting a warehouse or other space where forklift trucks are in operation. The overall principle is that you will have suffered an injury that is not your fault. Employers and managers have a duty of care to ensure that anyone can move about their premises in a safe way. This duty is to both employees and visitors alike. This includes measures such as keeping forklift truck operating areas separate from other parts of the workspace. If an employer does not do this, they can be held to account by the pursuit of forklift truck accident claims.

Our team of personal injury solicitors have many years of experience dealing with some of the most complicated accident at work cases. They can help gather evidence, obtain the correct medical reports, and ensure that all paperwork is correctly collected and filled out. We will ensure that our team does everything to ensure that you can dedicate yourself to rest, relaxation and recuperation.

Accidents at work can be severe, and we endeavour to provide you with a promise to take care of you and your case. We ensure you receive a hassle-free service and are cared for every step of the way. We cover your and provide our services to you on a No Win No Fee basis. We can start by offering, confidential, free legal advice and consultations. We will assess your case before we both decide whether to proceed and before you sign up for any legal contracts. We ensure you will know the merits of your case and likely outcomes before you go ahead. Deciding which solicitor to go with is hard work, after this, you can sit back.

How much compensation could you receive for forklift truck accident claims?

The first thing to do when you have reported your injury correctly is to seek the specialist advice and help that can come from discussing your accident with a solicitor.

As no two accidents or injuries are the same, and estimating damages at an early stage can be difficult. What could look like similar incidents or injuries on paper can be very different in real life. Even the effects of two identical injuries on two different people can be entirely different. Forklift truck accident claims could also be affected by the medical notes and long term prognosis from the attending physician. Until all the evidence has been collected, we can’t really estimate how much you could be awarded.

Below is a table of compensation amounts compiled from historical cases. These figures have been taken from a legal publication called the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG). The JCG is used by those in the legal profession to calculate how much you could be awarded for the injuries caused by your accident. The sum is known as general damages.

Injury TypeSeverity Amount
Shoulder InjuriesSevere£18,020 to £45,070
Shoulder InjuriesModerate£7,410 to £11,980
Shoulder InjuriesMinor£4,080 to £7,410
Back InjurySevere£85,470 to £151,070
Back InjuryModerate£26,050 to £36,390
Back InjuryMinorUp to £2,300
Arm InjuriesSevere£90,250 to £122,860
Arm InjuriesModerate Up to £11,820
Hand InjuriesSerious£52,310 to £79,360
Hand InjuriesSevereUp to £34,480
Hand InjuriesModerate £5,260 to £12,460
Leg InjuriesVery Serious£51,460 to £85,600
Leg InjuriesModerate £26,050 to £36,790
Knee injury Severe£65,440 to £90,290
Knee injury ModerateUp to £12,900

Compensation awards can vary from one forklift truck accident compensation claim to another, purely because of the range of injuries that can be sustained. To get a more precise estimate, it’s important to know what happened in your case. If you call our advisers and discuss it with them, they’ll be able to tell you much more.

What you need to start your forklift truck accident claim

You may feel confident that the injuries you sustained while driving a forklift truck or having been otherwise injured by one are sufficient to make a claim. If this is the case, you may want to know what kind of information is necessary when processing forklift truck accident claims. You will need to have:

  • Basic personal information such as your name, proof of address, date of birth, etc.
  • Information about the accident itself. The circumstances which lead to or caused the accident as other information on your workplace, such as practices.
  • Details about where and when the incident occurred.
  • Information on the injury. What type of injury did you sustain and how serious was it. Do you already have medical notes from any examinations?
  • The name and contact details of the company you work for or your employer.
  • Medical information. Notes from any EMT’s, local hospitals or GP’s.
  • Proof of earnings, (If you had to take time off from work then you may be able to claim for a loss of earnings) incident details – time and location.

How long do I have to make a no win no fee claim for a forklift truck accident at work?

There are time limits for bringing your forklift accident compensation case for personal injury at work. The typical time limit for personal injury claims, including forklift truck accident claims, is within three years. Often if you have not made a claim within this time and if you have not brought any initial proceedings, your claim with almost always be invalid. There are some exceptions to this.

1. If you (the claimant) is or has suffered from any mental health conditions or brain injuries, then you have an additional three years from when you have made a full clinical recovery to start initial proceedings. If you were suffering from a mental health condition at the time of your accident, then the three-year time limit won’t start until you are completely back to health and have been declared capable of rational decision making.

2. The consequences of personal injury won’t always surface or be obvious straight away. There have been cases of people not being aware that they have even suffered an illness or injury until sometime much later. There are thus exceptions for these cases. The time limit won’t start until you have become aware of the illness or injury.

3. If you as the claimant is likely to suffer mental illness for the rest of your life, there is no time limit on when a claim can be made. You have the right to bring a claim at any point in the future.

Forklift Truck Accident Statistics

Within this section of this forklift truck accident claims guide, we have taken the time to include statistics provided by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). As outlined by the HSE, around 693,000 workers sustained a non-fatal injury in 2020/21. It was also reported by the HSE that:

  • Looking at the fatality statistics, 25 people tragically lost their lives after they were struck by a vehicle. 17 were killed by a moving object, 14 by being trapped by something collapsing, and another 14 after coming into contact with moving machinery. Fork trucks could be the main factor in any of these types of accidents.
  • 142 workers died in total.

As the graph below shows, data from HSE indicates that the industry which carries the most risk of being injured after being struck by a moving vehicle is manufacturing. The industry that carries the least risk is mining and quarrying; however, wherever moving vehicles are present in the workplace, there is a risk of injury arising from an accident.

Struck by moving vehicle statistics graph

Struck by moving vehicle statistics graph

Here are some of the most common causes of a workplace accident:

  • Slips, trip and falls on the same eleven = 29%.
  • Handling lifting and/or carrying = 19%
  • Struck by a moving object = 11%
  • Acts of violence = 9%
  • Falls from a height = 8%

If you’ve been injured at work and want to learn more about forklift truck accident claims, give our team a call.

A brief guide to making a No Win No Fee claim

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 if you are not awarded anything, you won’t have to pay anything.

No Win No Fee agreements are also known as conditional fee agreements. They are an arrangement you make with your solicitor helping you claim compensation without worrying about paying legal fees upfront. If and when your claim is not successful, the agreement will state you won’t have to pay anything back to your solicitor.

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. If you lose your case, you don’t have to pay out of pocket upfront. There are also no hidden charges in these agreements, meaning you know exactly what you are signing up to. Making a No Win No Fee agreement is subject to the solicitor taking on your case, and there are some exceptions or cases in which a solicitor won’t be able to go ahead with this type of agreement.

We have developed a No Win No Fee service to help anyone who needs help to get their claim heard, with access to appropriate legal representation. 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 be right for your forklift truck accident claims.

What evidence will I require to back up my claim?

Simply saying that you believe you are owed compensation is not enough in order for your claim to be successful. As part of the process of your claim, you will need to gather evidence to prove that your injury took place and that it happened as you described. Without quality proof to present during your claim, it becomes very unlikely that you will be awarded any compensation.

In this section, we’ll include some good examples of what you can acquire as evidence. You’ll find these below:

  • Written witness statements – if there were others present when you were injured, they have seen how it happened themselves. Having them give an official statement to corroborate your version of events could help your case a great deal.
  • Photographs – visual records of your initial injury and possibly even the hazard that caused it are also a good idea. By the time your injury has healed, there may be no visible sign of it ever taking place. By documenting the severity of your injury with photographs, you will have proof that it actually took place.
  • CCTV footage – your injury could have been captured by a CCTV camera nearby. If you appear in the footage, then you have a legal right to make a request for a copy. This often needs to be done with some expediency, as footage is sometimes deleted every 30 days.
  • Medical Records – these will exist from your hospital treatment, but also your independent medical assessment that will need to be carried out during the process of your claim. We can organise this at a location convenient for you.

There are other forms of evidence you can obtain that will also help your chances of success. Get in touch with our advisors today and you’ll be able to find out what else you can present as evidence whilst making your claim for compensation.

Start your forklift accident claim today

If you have had a personal injury or accident at work that was not your fault or resulted from someone else’s negligence, get in contact with our team of specialist workplace accident or personal injury claims solicitors today.

Our team will check through your case and let you know whether or not you have a good case for forklift truck accident claims. Even if you think that the accident which leads to your injury was not the direct result of someone else’s actions or negligence, you may still have a case to make against your employer.

We will contact one of our solicitors to provide you with expert legal advice for free. We’ll get all the facts together and take a look over it before deciding on whether or not to proceed. We can discuss with you whether you have a good chance of making a successful claim accident at work compensation.

Using our No Win No Fee agreement, you won’t need to pay so much as a penny in upfront fees. Please pick up the phone and talk to our expert team today.

Helpful Links

Thank you for reading our guide to forklift truck accident claims. We hope you’ve found it useful. In this final section added in some extra links you may find useful, as well as answers to some frequently asked questions.

Accident At Work Compensation Amounts

If you have suffered from an accident at work, find out how much compensation you could claim for forklift truck accident claims.

Click here to read about rights at work

A guide on your rights in the workplace.

Or head here to discover more about car accident claims

A guide on car accident claims.

HSE on Lift Trucks

Information on the safety of lift trucks from the HSE website.

Forklift Truck Accident Claims FAQ

Are forklifts dangerous?

Much like any other form of transportation or heavy machinery, forklifts can also contribute to an accident.

What causes a forklift accident?

There are numerous factors that could cause a forklift accident, such as machinery malfunctions, speeding, or a lack of training.

What injuries could be caused by a forklift accident?

A forklift accident could result in workers being crushed, falls or being pinned.

Personal injury claims typically must be made within 3 years of the accident or from the point you realised you suffered as a result of it. However, exceptions apply.

What are my rights if I am injured at work?

As your employer owes you a duty of care to help ensure your safety at work, if they fail to do so and you’re injured as a result, you could be able to make a claim against them.

Can I sue my employer for stress and anxiety?

As part of a personal injury claim, you can claim for psychological harm as well as physical harm. This is all part of general damages, whereas special damages covers financial losses.

How do you prove emotional distress damages?

Whether you’re looking to prove physical or psychological harm, a medical evaluation with an independent expert will help evidence your claim. They’ll file a report on any bodily or mental harm you suffered, as well as how your quality of life has changed, and provide a future prognosis.

How much can I sue for pain and suffering?

As all personal injury claims are individually valued according to the extent of each claimant’s suffering. Therefore, it’s impossible to say how much you could be entitled to without giving more detail about your case. For a free consultation, please get in touch today.

Thank you for taking the time to read our guide on forklift truck accident claims.

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