Forklift truck accidents
If you have been injured in a forklift truck accident at work, you may be entitled to claim compensation for your injuries and related financial losses
How Much Could You Claim?

Forklift Accident Claims

Forklift trucks are used in many different industries throughout the UK and for a wide variety of purposes. Some of their most common uses include stacking shelves in warehouses, moving heavy loads throughout work premises, loading delivery lorries and accessing items stored at high levels.

Unfortunately, a large number of workers sustain painful injuries as a result of forklift accidents every year. These can range from bruising, lacerations and concussions to broken bones, crush injuries and spinal damage. The impact that these accidents can have on the injured person, as well as their family and friends, can be life-changing.

If you have suffered injuries following a forklift truck accident caused by your employer’s negligence, you may be eligible to make a forklift accident claim. Personal injury solicitors have vast experience helping people with such cases and work closely with clients to build the strongest case possible. The aim is to achieve the maximum compensation award for the injuries you have sustained and any financial losses you incurred due to the accident.

To find out if you have grounds to claim forklift injury compensation, call 0800 032 3660 today or arrange a call back for a free consultation with a legal adviser. If your case has merit, they will offer you a no win no fee service, so there will be no financial risk to you in taking legal action and claiming the compensation you deserve.

Who can be held liable for a forklift truck accident?

Several parties could potentially be liable in a forklift injury claim, depending on the specific circumstances of the accident. These may include:

  • The forklift operator, if they were recklessly using the forklift or were under the influence of drugs or alcohol;
  • The employer, if they failed to take all reasonable health and safety measures dictated by legislation to prevent an accident at work;
  • Manufacturers or distributors of the forklift or its parts;
  • Other employees or third parties, if they caused the accident through negligence or recklessness.

Employers have a legal obligation to conduct risk assessments in the workplace and implement measures to reduce the risk of accidents and injuries. This duty extends to the use of forklift trucks and other lifting and transportation equipment and includes taking the following actions:

  • Ensuring that the operators of forklifts are adequately trained and certified to operate the machinery;
  • Ensuring that the work environment is safe and adequate for the work;
  • Providing safe access for pedestrians where forklifts are in use;
  • Ensure that the workplace is appropriately designed and laid out to minimise risks associated with the use of forklift trucks;
  • Provide appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) for employees who operate or work near the machinery;
  • Identifying risks of accidents and taking steps to eliminate or reduce the risks;
  • Regularly inspect and maintain forklifts and other machinery to ensure it is in good working condition;
  • Implement policies and procedures to manage the use of the machinery, such as limiting the speed at which forklift trucks can be operated and ensuring clear signage and communication protocols.

If your employer has failed in their duty of care and you have suffered injuries in an accident that could have been prevented, you may be able to claim forklift accident compensation. If it can be established that your employer was negligent, they will be liable to pay you damages for the pain and losses that you have suffered.

Common types of forklift truck accidents

The British Safety Council reports that approximately 1,300 workers are hospitalised due to severe injuries resulting from forklift accidents each year in the UK. Most of these accidents could be prevented by adequate health and safety measures and if proper training is provided and observed. Some of the most common accidents leading to a forklift accident claim include the following:

Tipping over

If the forklift truck is overloaded, there is an increased chance of the vehicle overturning, which could crush or cause injury to anybody nearby, as well as the driver. Forklifts can also overturn when heavy loads are transported at dangerous heights, when driving too fast around corners or driving on slopes that are too steep.

Falling objects

Forklift operators and people working nearby can be at risk of serious injury from falling objects. Items could fall due to incorrectly balanced loads, being knocked from shelving or transporting loads over uneven surfaces.

Pedestrian accidents

Approximately two-thirds of injuries caused by forklift truck accidents affect workers other than drivers. Lack of safety systems, faulty signal alarms, and careless operators can all lead to forklift accidents involving pedestrians.

Collisions

Colliding into other vehicles, shelving, walls, and pedestrians can all cause severe injuries and even fatalities. These accidents can be due to a lack of training, driver error, poor safety procedures and faulty machinery.

Driver ejection

These accidents usually happen in a stand-up forklift truck where the driver does not have armrests or seatbelts for protection. These kinds of forklift trucks must be equipped with safety features such as an operator compartment door so that they are safe when the vehicle is in motion.

These and other types of accidents can cause a broad spectrum of potentially life-changing injuries to operators and other workers around them. If you or a loved one suffered an injury due to a lack of proper safety measures in the workplace, you might be eligible to start a forklift truck accident claim.

Can I make a claim following a forklift truck accident?

If you have been involved in a forklift truck accident that was not your fault within the last three years, and you sustained an injury as a result, you should be entitled to claim forklift injury compensation.

If you believe you may have valid grounds to start a claim, you should call 0800 032 3660 today for a free consultation with a legal adviser. They can let you know in as little as 10 minutes whether your case has merit by verifying whether:

  • Another person or entity was responsible for your forklift accident
  • The other party owed you a legal duty of care
  • You sustained an injury or injuries as a result
  • Your accident happened within the last three years

If you have a valid forklift injury claim, an experienced solicitor will work closely with you to try and achieve the maximum possible compensation on your behalf. To build a strong case and seek out the highest settlement possible, they will help you gather evidence to show who was responsible for the incident and the severity of the injuries you suffered.

Keep in mind that you may still be able to claim compensation even if you were partially at fault for your accident. This is known as contributory negligence and means that the compensation award you receive may be reduced to reflect your level of responsibility for your injuries.

What type of injuries can I claim compensation for following a forklift accident?

You may be able to claim compensation for a wide range of injuries that resulted from a forklift truck accident. Some of the most common injuries that people claim forklift accident compensation for include:

Fractures

These injuries can range from minor fractures to severe and life-altering ones and may affect the arms, legs, ribs, spine, pelvis, and skull. Common symptoms of fractures include pain, swelling, deformity and limited range of motion. The impact of a fracture will depend on the force of the impact and the affected body part and may lead to permanent mobility issues.

Head injuries, including traumatic brain injuries

A forklift accident can cause a head injury if an object falls from the forklift and hits the head of the operator or a nearby worker. Additionally, if the vehicle tips over, the operator can hit their head on the ground or the forklift itself. In some cases, collisions can also cause the operator or a bystander to sustain a head injury.

Head injuries can range from mild concussions to severe traumatic brain injuries. These can cause severe symptoms such as a loss of coordination, slurred speech, and paralysis. If you or a loved one suffered a head injury due to someone else’s negligence, you might be able to start a forklift truck accident claim.

Spinal cord injuries and paralysis

The impact of a forklift accident can cause damage to the spinal cord, which is a crucial part of the central nervous system that controls various bodily functions. Spinal cord trauma can result in partial or complete paralysis, depending on the severity and location of the injury.

Some common symptoms of spinal cord injuries include loss of sensation or movement, difficulty breathing, and bladder or bowel dysfunction. These injuries can significantly impact your quality of life and may need ongoing medical treatment and care.

Soft tissue injuries

Soft tissue injuries are common following a forklift accident. They can include sprains, strains, and tears to muscles, tendons, and ligaments. These injuries can occur due to sudden impact or twisting of the body, as well as repetitive strain injuries caused by overuse. The most commonly affected areas are the back, neck, shoulders, and knees.

Symptoms can include pain, swelling, stiffness, and reduced range of motion. Soft tissue injuries can have a significant impact on your ability to work and carry out everyday activities and may require extensive rehabilitation and physical therapy.

Cuts and lacerations

A forklift accident can cause cuts and lacerations, especially when workers are not adequately protected with appropriate personal protective equipment such as gloves and safety clothing. Cuts and lacerations can be caused by sharp objects that workers may come into contact with during an accident, or from being struck by falling objects.

These injuries can range from minor cuts and scrapes to more serious lacerations that may need stitches or surgery. In some cases, cuts and lacerations can result in permanent scarring or disfigurement.

Burns

Forklift accidents can also cause burns, particularly if the forklift comes into contact with hazardous chemicals or substances. These can range from minor to severe burns that can cause permanent damage to the skin and surrounding tissues. Besides physical pain and scarring, burns can also result in emotional trauma and require extensive medical treatment and rehabilitation.

Loss of limbs

Forklift accidents can cause traumatic amputation of limbs or crushing injuries that require surgical amputation. In some cases, severe fractures or soft tissue injuries may also lead to the need for amputation. The loss of a limb can have a significant impact on your physical and emotional well-being, as well as the ability to work and carry out daily activities. As a result, if you have lost a limb in a forklift accident that was due to someone else’s negligence, you have the legal right to start a forklift injury claim.

Psychological injuries, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

Witnessing or experiencing a traumatic event such as a forklift accident can have a lasting impact on your mental health and well-being. Symptoms of psychological injuries may include nightmares, flashbacks, avoidance of situations related to the accident, mood swings, and difficulty sleeping or concentrating. Compensation for psychological injuries can also be included in a forklift truck accident claim.

It is important to note that the severity of your injury will impact the amount of compensation you may be entitled to. The experienced solicitors we work with can help you assess the value of your forklift accident claim and ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve.

What evidence will I need to make a forklift accident claim?

To make a forklift accident claim, you and your injury solicitor will need to gather as much evidence as possible to support your case. Here are some types of evidence that may be helpful:

Medical records

You should obtain medical records that detail your injuries, diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis. These records will demonstrate the severity and extent of your pain and suffering.

Accident report

If the forklift accident occurred at work, you should file an accident report with your employer. This will detail what happened, when it happened, who was involved, and what injuries were sustained. You are entitled to ask for a signed copy of the report.

Witness statements

If there were any witnesses to your accident, it is a good idea to make a note of their contact details so your solicitor can obtain statements from them. Witness statements can provide additional information about the incident and help support your claim.

Photographs or videos

If possible, take photographs or videos of the scene of the accident, the forklift involved, and any injuries you sustained. This visual evidence can help identify the cause of the accident and highlight the extent of the damage and the severity of the injuries.

Expert opinion

In some cases, obtaining an expert opinion to support your claim may be helpful. For example, an engineer may be able to provide insight into whether the forklift was maintained properly or whether there was a mechanical issue that contributed to the accident.

Training records

Training records showing the instructions you received to perform your job duties could serve as essential evidence in your claim. Employers must ensure that training certificates are stored and accessible when needed.

Financial evidence

You should keep all the receipts, pay slips, bank statements and other documents related to the financial losses and expenses you incurred. Your injury lawyer will use these when calculating how much compensation you are entitled to when making your forklift injury claim.

No win no fee service

The solicitors we work in partnership with will offer you their expert advice and experience on a no win no fee basis. This means you do not need to make any financial outlay before winning your case. Your solicitors will only receive a success fee if they win your forklift accident compensation claim. If they fail to win your claim, you will not pay them a penny.

A no win no fee service means that you can concentrate on recovering from your injuries without the worry and financial burden of having to fund your claim. We firmly believe that you should not have to put up with further financial expenses in your pursuit of gaining the compensation you rightly deserve.

As part of your agreement, your solicitor may take out After the Event (ATE) insurance to cover the legal cost of pursuing a claim. The ATE policy will cover all of the legal fees and disbursements in the event of a loss, including:

  • Medical reports
  • The cost of printing and copying
  • Travel expenses related to the claim
  • Expert witness fees
  • Court and counsel fees
  • Barrister fees if the claim goes to court

No win no fee agreements level the playing field by providing access to justice for people who may not otherwise be able to afford legal representation. If your solicitor is working on a conditional fee agreement, they will only get paid if you win your case, which can provide them with an added motivation to work hard on your behalf and ensure you get the best possible outcome.

How much compensation will I be awarded for my injuries?

How much compensation you receive will depend upon your circumstances and the specifics of your case. During your initial consultation with your solicitor, they will evaluate your forklift accident and provide you with an estimate of the potential settlement you could receive. Your forklift accident claim will take into account the following elements:

General damages – this is an award of compensation for the injury or injuries you have suffered and the impact that these have had on your life. This takes into account the type and severity of the injury, with industry guidelines provided by the Judicial Studies Board. General damages take into account:

  • Physical pain and suffering
  • Mental and psychological distress
  • Loss of consortium or companionship
  • Loss of prospects and enjoyment of life
  • Scarring and disfigurement
  • Loss of amenities, such as the ability to pursue a hobby

Special damages – as well as for the actual injury sustained, compensation can also be awarded for any financial losses you have suffered as a result of your accident. The biggest consideration here is usually loss of earnings in cases where you may have had to take time off work, but special damages can also include the cost of:

  • Medical treatment, such as hospital bills, doctor fees, medication costs, and rehabilitation fees
  • Travel expenses, such as transportation costs to and from medical appointments
  • The cost of hiring someone to provide care or assistance while you recover from your injuries
  • Adaptations to your home or vehicle to accommodate your injuries
  • Other out-of-pocket expenses, such as the cost of buying equipment or aids to help with your recovery

Below are some examples of forklift accident compensation payouts you could receive for some common injuries:

  • Up to £160,980 for back injuries, depending on the severity
  • Up to £300,00 for arm injuries, with the upper bracket awarded for the amputation of both arms
  • Between £26,190 and £96,210 for severe knee injuries leading to some degree of disability
  • Up to £27,760 for leg fractures or soft tissue damage
  • £3,950 to £100,670 for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) caused by a forklift accident
  • Up to £48,030 for shoulder injuries ranging from soft tissue damage to paralysis
  • £61,910 to £78,400 for severe injuries to the hips or pelvis

To find out more about how much you could receive in a forklift accident claim, you can refer to our compensation calculator. Alternatively, you can arrange a free case assessment by calling 0800 032 3660 or filling in our online claim form to receive a call back.

Is there a time limit to make a forklift accident claim?

In the UK, the time limit to start a forklift injury claim is usually three years from the date of the accident. However, some exceptions may shorten or lengthen this time limit. For example:

  • If you were under 18 years old at the time of the accident, the three-year time limit starts from the date of your 18th birthday, giving you until you turn 21 to make a claim.
  • Some injuries may not become immediately apparent or could develop over time due to poor work practices. In this case, you will have three years from the date you became aware of your injury, known as the date of knowledge, to make your claim.
  • If the injured person lacks the mental capacity to handle their case, a litigation friend could claim on their behalf at any point. The three-year time limit only begins if they regain their mental capacity.
  • With fatal accident claims, a family member could claim forklift injury compensation within three years from the death of their loved one.

Sometimes, the time limit for making a forklift accident claim may be shorter than three years. For example, if the accident occurred outside of the UK, different time limits may apply, so it is vital to seek legal advice to determine the applicable time limit.

Regardless of the specifics of your case, speaking with a legal adviser can quickly determine whether you have a valid forklift accident claim and ensure that you meet the deadline for starting legal proceedings. Failing to claim within the applicable time limit can result in your claim being time-barred, which means you would lose your right to claim compensation for your injuries.

Can my employer sack me for making a forklift injury claim?

Employers have a legal duty to protect the health and safety of workers and take all reasonable measures to prevent workplace accidents. The primary legislation that sets out an employer’s legal duty of care in the UK is the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.

This Act places a duty on employers to ensure, as far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety, and welfare of all their employees in the workplace. This includes providing a safe working environment, safe systems of work, and suitable training, information, and supervision to ensure the safety of their employees.

Employers must also carry out risk assessments to identify potential hazards and take appropriate measures to eliminate or control those hazards. Failure to comply with these duties can result in a forklift truck accident claim.

It is illegal for your employer to sack you or make your working life uncomfortable because you made a claim following a forklift accident. If you were dismissed on these grounds, it would most likely amount to an unfair dismissal, which would make your employer liable for further claims in an Employment Tribunal.

In most cases, an employer that has been subjected to a work accident claim will take action to improve the safety of the workplace and safeguard their employees from similar accidents in the future. Furthermore, they will not be left out of pocket if you seek compensation from them, as all employers must have compulsory insurance against personal injury to employees.

To start a forklift accident claim, or learn more about the claims process, call 0800 032 3660 today for a free consultation with a legal adviser. Alternatively, use the contact form below if you would prefer to have a legal adviser give you a call.