Forklift trucks are a common and vital feature on many a construction site, warehouse and factory environment. Any workplace where heavy or large loads need to be moved from one place to another probably has at least one forklift truck on site.
However, the fact is – forklifts are one of the most dangerous vehicles in the workplace. They are powered vehicles and they are heavy, with protruding forks. Where an accident occurs, crushing injuries are sadly not uncommon. If you’ve been injured in forklift truck accident at work that wasn’t your fault, it’s only fair that you can bring a compensation claim.
To bring a claim, get in touch now using our online claim form or call for free on 0800 234 6438. Trained advisers can guide you in your first steps towards making a no win no fee forklift truck accident claims.
Forklift vehicles range from industrial reach forklift vehicles – including those with a higher lift height than others, and ‘stand-up’ forklift trucks with two forks on the front that pass under a load in order to transport it to somewhere else.
Then there are industrial counterbalance forklifts, with dual front forks at the front, which are commonly used in warehouses and stores. There are also industrial side-loader forklifts, telescopic handler forklifts and rough terrain forklifts. Some forklifts are so powerful they can pick up to 50 tonnes.
Given the nature of these vehicles, it’s not hard to see how forklift truck accidents in the workplace can cause particularly serious and potentially life-changing injuries. The most accidents happen in industry and in the construction sector.
The stop-start motion of operating heavy vehicles on a work or construction site, with their long attachments makes them dangerous machines, particularly as they are often used in close proximity to bystanders. They are also extremely heavy, weighing up to 4100kg. The average forklift truck can weigh more than three times that of an ordinary domestic car and are far more likely to tip over, particularly if overloaded, driven at speed or are unbalanced while moving.
Employers have serious responsibilities and duties to ensure these are safe to use in the workplace in order to minimise the risk of injuries to workers, particularly the need to carry out a regular risk assessment.
If you’ve been injured following a forklift accident at work and suffered personal injury, get in touch on 0800 234 6438 to find how you can make a no win no fee personal injury claim and secure maximum compensation.
Forklift trucks are involved in roughly a quarter of workplace accidents involving transport
If you or a family member have suffered injuries from a work accident while driving a forklift truck vehicle, and it was someone else’s fault, you should be able to make a work compensation claim if it happened in the last three years.
Contact a legal advisor as early as you can for free advice about making a no win no fee injury claim.
Forklift vehicle accidents can injure anyone in the immediate vicinity of the accident, but fork truck drivers are at greater risk of injury. It is very likely that if you were injured while driving a forklift truck, your employer was negligent in some way.
These types of accidents are often serious and can also cause serious injuries – and sometimes death. They are likely to happened because your employer failed in its duties in ensuring the vehicle could be safely used, it was not properly maintained or insufficient training given.
Individuals who have been injured following a forklift accident in circumstances such as these should be able to make forklift truck accident claims for compensation. Specialist solicitors can help you start a no win no fee claim and provide free expert advice about claiming. We know compensation can never undo the harm done to you but it can make a real difference to your financial situation and help you on the road to recovery.
For a successful claim, your solicitor will need to demonstrate that your employer owed you a duty of care and that they breached that duty, causing your injuries. With any personal injury claim, it’s crucial to keep as much evidence as you can, including sketches and photographs of where the accident happened, and details of any witnesses.
Importantly, if you bring a forklift truck accident claim you should check that your employer has kept a formal record of the incident in the works accident book and that the accident was reported to the health and safety executive (HSE).
To find out about making a claim, get in touch with a legal advisor on 0800 234 6438, or use our contact form and ask for a call back.
Forklift vehicles are common features on building and construction sites, commercial and shipping yards, and in warehouses, factories and supermarkets. They are a vital asset in the workplace, helping to move large items around an area quickly and efficiently; clearing yards and other spaces; and even moving pallets vertically for storage.
In 2020 the Advanced Fork Truck Training (AFTT) company reported that 42% of forklift truck accidents involved crushing by a vehicle tipping over; 25% involved people being crushed between the vehicle and a surface; and 11% were run over by a forklift.
Because forklifts are commonly found in the workplace, it can be easy to get complacent around proper training and warning signs. This means that carelessness and lack of concentration can lead to an accident involving a forklift, with serious consequences for anyone injured as a result.
Also, where the site or environment itself is unsafe for the forklift vehicle to be used or the machine itself is not safe to use, the results could be catastrophic. Loads can be unstable, operators may turn corners too sharply and ramps may be ridden over too quickly causing the vehicle to tip over. Accidents in these types of situation are avoidable. If an incident does happen causing injury, you should be able to make a forklift accident claim.
The most common causes of accidents which lead to forklift accident claims include:
The risk of injury also increases if there are problems with the energy source of the forklift truck, which could result in an explosion.
Poor weather conditions could also cause an accident. If the vehicle is being used outside, it’s not hard to see why poor weather could make the use of forklift vehicles dangerous. Heavy rain or ice can cause the vehicle to slip; and strong winds can cause forklifts being used on gradients to destabilise and tip over.
Again, the risk of accidents in these situations and conditions should be minimised and if such accidents happen, successful forklift truck accident claims may follow. Call now for free on 0800 234 6438 for guidance on how to bring a compensation claim on a no win no fee basis .
42% of UK fatalities involving forklift trucks involve crush injuries after the vehicle tipped over; and around 70% of all UK forklift accidents were preventable with adequate training.
Because these vehicles are so large and heavy, accidents can result in severe injuries. They can often be fatal. So it’s hardly surprising to know that crush injuries are by far the most common types of injury sustained after a forklift accident. In fact, the AFTT reported in 2020 that crush injuries were involved in 78% of forklift truck accidents.
Other typical injuries include broken bones and internal injuries from being hit by a forklift. Some forklift incidents result in the victim falling from the forks or from pallets causing sustain broken bones, head and back injuries and severe injuries and bruising.
Whatever the personal injury sustained in a forklift vehicle accident, you should be able to make a no win no fee forklift accident claim to help get you back on the road to recovery.
It is not uncommon for an injured worker to think that they must have been to blame for the incident and the resulting personal injury. However, in many cases that is not actually the case, so if you believe that the incident was your fault, you must still talk things over with our specialist advisors so that you can be reassured as to whether you can make a no win no fee personal injury claim.
For example, you may think you had been driving the vehicle too fast and that this caused the forklift accident. However, in practice it may be that the evidence reveals that it was the condition of the truck not your speed that caused the incident; or you may not have received adequate training in how to drive the forklift properly. This is often the case in many workplace transport accidents.
For these reasons, it is always wise to take expert legal advice, rather than lose your opportunity to make a no win no fee personal injury claim with the assistance of expert personal injury solicitors.
It could be that when you’re claiming compensation, your employer may come back and argue you were partly to blame for your injuries (or may even deny responsibility altogether). However, it is then the employer’s responsibility to prove you were to blame. For example, they may try to prove you were speeding and that this is what resulted in the incident.
That said, there are cases where the employee can be treated partially to blame, for example, you may have been operating the forklift vehicle faster than you should have been; but there was also a defect in the vehicle which can also be treated as a cause of the accident.
A team of specialist personal injury solicitors who are experienced in national accident law issues and bringing personal injury claims can give you the advice you need.
In these types of cases where the injured person is found partly to blame, it is known as ‘contributory negligence. If this happened in your case, it would mean your employer would probably not have to pay you the full amount of compensation you would otherwise be entitled to. Instead, the full compensation awarded to you would be reduced by a proportionate amount to reflect your responsibility for the incident.
So if you think you were partly to blame for your injuries, it is important to raise your concerns with your solicitor as early as you can. It should not stop you making a claim, though it could reduce the amount of the final compensation you receive.
Your employer has strict legal duties and obligations to ensure the workplace is safe and that any risks to health and safety are identified in a timely way.
Employers’ general responsibilities in relation to worker safety are set out in the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and other laws. These expect employers to ensure that, so far as they reasonably can, they protect their employees’ health, safety and welfare.
Particularly, the 1974 Act requires employers to ensure all machinery and vehicles used by their staff at work are appropriately maintained and that all necessary measures have been taken to ensure employees operating them are protected from the risk of accident and injury.
Apart from ensuring forklift trucks are regularly maintained and free of defects, training and supervision must also be kept effective and up-to-date. The fact is, failures in training and supervision pose a big risk in the workplace because these dangerous vehicles need to be operated with great care.
The training given to workers operating forklift trucks must be to the required standards, using either inhouse or external trainers. Training should also be followed by at least one test and then followed up by suitable refresher training.
Proper training is expected to last for between three and five days – so if your training was for a lesser period, this is a potential indicator that there has been some sort of short cut in the training process, suggesting your employer may have been negligent.
Forklift truck drivers and operators should be properly trained in areas ranging from how to safely load and unload the forklift; how to safely step into and out of the truck; how to use emergency breaks and stops; and how they should reach to ‘blind spots’.
They also need training in wider general spatial awareness while using the vehicle. This may well include understanding minimum distances to be maintained between the forklift itself and other vehicles and pedestrians and appreciating the traffic system on site and how it is implemented. If a forklift truck driver is unfamiliar with these issues while operating a forklift vehicle, the risk of an accident escalates.
The HSE has a code of practice for the use and operation of rider-operated forklift trucks which sets outs the minimum standard of training. Evidence that the employer failed to follow the code, and similar guidance, will be extremely useful for an injury claim.
A carpet sample book manufacturer was fined £20,000 after two workers were seriously injured in a forklift truck crash. One of the forks impaled the arm of a worker to the side of the truck. The company admitting failing to implement a safe system of work and to provide adequate instruction and training to employees.
If a workplace accident has happened involving a forklift vehicle, anyone who was injured as a result can make a claim for forklift accident compensation. You may not have been the driver, or even a passenger in the vehicle at the time, but if you were hurt and it was someone else’s fault, you should be able to make a claim.
Crush injuries are one of the most common types of severe injuries following a forklift incident. If, for instance, you were a bystander one one of the traffic routes at the time of the accident, you may have been crushed by the weight of the vehicle. It would not be uncommon for one worker to be operating the forklift while another helps with directing the unloading of pallets on the forklift. An accident can risk serious injury to anyone nearby.
Even if you were not directly involved in the forklift operation at the time of the incident, there may have been insufficient warning signs of the potential dangers posed by the forklift vehicles. So, anyone injured at work as a result of a forklift accident can start a claim for forklift accident compensation, if it was caused by someone else’s negligence.
While some workplace accidents often result in minor injuries, forklift truck accidents can, by their very nature, cause catastrophic injuries in many cases. How much compensation you can claim depends very much on your unique situation.
Whatever your injuries – whether it’s following a workplace accident or medical negligence – it is only right and fair that levels of compensation should be significant to match the level of harm and injury caused. You can be sure your solicitor will work towards securing maximum compensation for your employer’s negligence and its effects on you.
If your injuries result from employer negligence, get in touch with a fork lift truck accident solicitor for a free consultation.
Every case is different when it comes to recovering compensation, so it is difficult to estimate how much an injury victim may win in their particular injury claim because it depends on a number of factors, including the nature and extent of the injuries; and the wider impact of the injuries on your life and ability to work.
That said, there are formal judicial guidelines on the assessment of what is known as ‘general damages’. Lawyers rely on this guidance to calculate what compensation amounts an injured person is entitled. For example,
Depending on your own injuries, you can try our online calculator, but you should bear in mind this is intended as a starting guide only. Specialist advice should always be sought
You will also need expert medical evidence to help your lawyer negotiate a fair injury compensation settlement, but you need not worry about how to arrange this because your solicitor will do that for you.
Yes, in addition to general damages, you can also include a claim for ‘special damages’. This will compensate you for any accident-related financial losses such as loss of wages and overtime, medical bills and rehabilitation costs. Your solicitor will discuss this with you and explain when they need to claim back your costs.
A man who suffered serious soft tissue injury to his foot in a forklift truck accident won £10,000 in compensation from his employer. His supervisor was driving the vehicle when he dropped an industrial bin on the claimant’s foot.
The very prospect of taking legal advice after an injury can be daunting, particularly if you are still recovering. It can be even more worrying, thinking about whether you might have to go to court. You might not even have to visit your solicitor in person at their law firm. Communications can almost always now be conducted remotely, via telephone of video conferencing, such as Zoom and Facebook Live.
If an in person visit ever became necessary, your solicitor may well be able to come to you if necessary – but that can be arranged if and when the need arises. Solicitors are heavily regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority, which gives you much needed reassurance that your claim will proceed professionally.
You do not have to proceed if you don’t want to – the solicitor will give ‘no obligation advice’, so there’s no pressure on you to make a claim if you decide not to. And just to let you know, if you do choose to go ahead, then National Accident Helpline may pay us a marketing fee for our services.
The good news is that it’s very unlikely you’ll have to go to court when you make an injury claim following a forklift truck accident. The vast majority – more than 95% – of personal injury claims are settled before formal court proceedings are even issued, which means a court hearing does not become necessary.
This is because no one wants their case to go to court – not even the employer or their insurer. Usually, it is only the biggest personal injury claims that reach the courts. You can be assured that your specialist injury solicitor will work hard to settle your claim to avoid a court hearing. However, your solicitor will not settle for anything less than you deserve
Settling your accident at work injury claim will be best for all the parties concerned – it enables you to concentrate on getting your life back on track and means your employer can quickly put the incident and any repercussions behind it (while hopefully learning lessons from what happened).
In many cases, the claim is settled after court proceedings have been started. If this happens, it’s still unlikely you’ll end up going to court. It’s not unusual for solicitors to decide to issue proceedings as a way of persuading the other side to agree to settle if negotiations have reached an impasse; or because the other side is not complying with the rules under the pre-action protocol. Often, issuing proceedings can actually speed up the resolution of your claim.
Even if you were expected to attend court in future, you need not worry that you’ll be facing a jury – injury claims are civil claims, not criminal trials, so any hearing will be before a judge. The experience is not nearly as daunting as you might imagine.
In forklift truck accident claims – indeed, for all accident at work injury claims – your solicitor will have to prove on balance that your employer was negligent and that you were injured as a direct result of the forklift truck accident.
If your solicitor can show there were, for instance, failures in training and supervision, insufficient warnings signs or poor maintenance and repairs of the vehicles, your personal injury claim will succeed.
When you claim compensation, your specialist personal injury solicitor will take your case as a no win no fee claim and guide you through the claims process under a no win no fee agreement. This means you will pay no legal fees unless you win. With no win no fee claims, if you win you pay a solicitor’s success fee to your solicitors to cover their fees (the success fee will be no more than 25% of your compensation amount.
Get in touch with specialist legal advisors experienced in forklift truck accidents about the steps you can take to claim compensation.
Claims.co.uk is not a claims management company, we work in conjunction with National Accident Helpline and National Accident Law to provide free injury guidance to those who have suffered an accident at work injury that wasn’t their fault.
Essex steel firm PCR Steel Ltd was fined after a 47-year-old worker visited its premises to collect a load – but was killed when the 400kg balcony frame fell on him. The company had failed to ensure the lifting operation was properly planned by a competent person, appropriately supervised, and carried out safely – including no plan for how to exclude people from the danger zone.
A Tesco warehouse worker won more £86,000 in compensation following a forklift truck accident at a distribution centre. The employer was standing on a pallet truck in an empty loading bay when someone drove a forklift truck into it, throwing him to the floor.
His injuries included serious and long-lasting injuries to his back, hip and wrist. The extent of his injuries meant he had to finish his job with Tesco. The supermarket giant admitted liability.
Nicola is a dual qualified journalist and non-practising solicitor. She is a legal journalist, editor and author with more than 20 years' experience writing about the law.
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