Forklift Truck Accident Claims

Forklift trucks are common in certain workplaces. If you have suffered a forklift accident at work, you could be entitled to compensation.


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Forklift trucks are common in many industries, including manufacturing, storage, shipping and construction, as well as in warehouses. They are used for lifting objects such as pallets and crates, which are too heavy for manual lifting.

Common forklift accidents

With their presence comes risk. Forklift accidents are common, causing 25% of workplace transport injuries, according to the British Safety Council. The somewhat ungainly size and significant weight of a fork truck means it is not uncommon for it to fall over, while those around the forklift are at risk of being hit or crushed by the vehicle or its load.

There are a huge variety of ways in which you could suffer a forklift truck accident, whether you’re the driver or not. For example, the truck might be overloaded, which could lead to it losing its load and hitting you.

You might be hit by the vehicle. This could be as a pedestrian or a driver of another vehicle. A forklift crash is likely to be caused by speeding, which can lead to the driver losing control, or carelessness on the part of the driver. According to the Fork Lift Truck Association, “excessive speed contributes to a significant number of forklift truck accidents, increases the likelihood of an accident and the severity of injuries”.

It advises that employers should decide on a maximum speed based on a number of factors, including traffic routes, driving surfaces, the load being carried, how many people are present, lighting and weather.

Forklift trucks can topple over, particularly when not carrying a load. This is because the vehicle is less stable when not carrying a load. It can also happen when a load is not properly balanced or if the surface it is driving across is uneven. These accidents can cause a number of injuries.

Common injuries after a forklift accident

Crushing is one of the most common injuries caused by a forklift accident. You may be crushed between the forklift and another vehicle, wall or other object. This can cause internal injuries, such as internal bleeding, as well as bone fractures and nerve injuries. Having your foot run over is a comparatively common fork truck accident.

Avoiding accidents like these is one of the main reasons to ensure high visibility equipment is always worn around forklifts.

Meanwhile, falling objects can result in head injuries, particularly as the reason they are being lifted by a forklift is because they are too heavy for manual lifting. Smaller objects falling from a truck can also present a trip hazard if they are not dealt with right away.

The worst forklift accidents can result in fatality. According to the Health and Safety Executive, 30 people died after being hit by a moving vehicle, 16 died after being struck by a moving object and 11 were killed by a collapsing or overturning object. Forklift accidents can be responsible for all of these accidents.

How to prevent forklift injuries

To prevent a forklift accident, your employer should carry out risk assessments on the use of this vehicle.

A specific route should be set out for the forklift, which all other workers should be instructed not to cross. There should also be strict limits on what the truck can carry, reducing the chances of it overbalancing or dropping a load.

Make sure the lighting is appropriate and if the weather has turned bad, consider postponing the work requiring the use of the forklift.

Your company should make sure all drivers are fully trained in how to operate a forklift, as well as in the necessary safety processes and what to do if something goes wrong.

Who is responsible for a forklift truck accident?

Your employer is responsible for ensuring the safety of its workforce. This means it is required to make sure the use of fork trucks is safe. The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 require employers to ensure that all working equipment is in:

  • An efficient state
  • Efficient working order
  • Good repair

If your employer has not done its duty and ensured its forklifts meet these standards, it can be held accountable for an injury in the workplace.

Your employer is also required to ensure all forklift operators are trained in the correct safety practices. They must also ensure high visibility clothing is worn on-site to minimise the chances of a forklift accident. If your employer has not done so, you could make a claim against them.

How to make a forklift accident claim

You may be worried about making a claim against your employer. It’s natural to think that it could cause further problems, even resulting in your employment being terminated.

But companies are not allowed to sack you for making a claim. If they did, you would have a case for unfair dismissal, which you could claim compensation for.

Your employer is required to have certain insurance policies in place. You would claim against the insurance, meaning that you wouldn’t be claiming directly against your employer for your accident.

How long after a forklift accident can I make a claim?

In most cases of an accident at work, you’ll have three years from the date of the accident to make a claim. So it pays to start the process of claiming as quickly as possible. In addition to the details of the accident being clearer in your mind, it will also be clearer in the minds of any witnesses.

Meanwhile, it will also be easier to get hold of certain pieces of evidence, such as CCTV, if you begin as quickly as you can.

How much compensation will I receive?

Our compensation calculator could help you work out roughly how much you might be entitled to.

As a real-world example, one of our clients received £5,000 after suffering leg injuries from a forklift truck accident.

Any compensation you’re awarded will depend on your specific injury and how it has affected you. It is difficult to say exactly what you might receive without a consultation, so just get in touch to discuss your injury.

Just give us a call, request a call back or start your claim online.

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  • In these cases brain damage, if any, will be minimal.
  • Where a good recovery has been made but symptoms such as poor concentration and memory problems continue.
  • Where ability to work is reduced and there is a risk of epilepsy.
  • The injured person is very seriously disabled and is dependent on others.
  • Epilepsy has been caused as a consequence of the injury.
  • Affecting the ability to cope with life and/or work or affecting relationships with family and friends.
  • The injured person largely recovers within two years.
  • Injury causes effects that cause significant disability for the foreseeable future, or permanently.
  • In consequence of defective permanent waving etc. where effects are dermatitis or hair loss leading to distress and effects on social life.
  • Where hair has been pulled out leaving bald patches, or stress-induced alopecia with full recovery within two years.
  • Resulting in pain and temporary interference with vision.
  • Permanent impairment of vision in one or both eyes.
  • Total loss of sight in one eye and reduced vision or other problems with the other eye
  • Total loss of sight in one eye only.
  • Mild tinnitus with some hearing loss
  • With noise induced hearing loss, or moderate to severe tinnitus, or noise induced hearing loss alone.
  • With noise induced hearing loss
  • With or without associated problems such as tinnitus, dizziness or headaches.
  • With or without the speech being affected, or tinnitus.
  • Full recovery with no surgery required.
  • Where recovery is complete after surgery
  • Injuries requiring a number of operations and/or resulting in permanent damage.
  • Simple fracture of the cheekbone, which will fully recover without surgery.
  • Simple fracture of the cheekbone requiring some reconstructive surgery, but with full recovery and little or no cosmetic effects.
  • Serious fractures causing lasting effects such as burning/prickling sensation or an element of disfigurement.
  • Requiring immobilisation but recovery is complete.
  • Serious injury causing permanent damage, such as difficulty eating or opening the mouth.
  • Very serious multiple fractures requiring prolonged treatment. Permanent effects such as severe pain, restricted eating.
  • Assessed per tooth.
  • Single tooth only.
  • Extends over a number of years, including significant deterioration of overall condition of the teeth.
  • Where full recovery takes place between nine months and one year.
  • Fractures or dislocations which cause severe immediate symptoms and chronic conditions, leading to impaired function or limitation of activities.
  • Injuries usually involving serious fractures or disc damage leading to disability, such as substantial loss of movement or loss of function in one or more limbs.
  • Caused by asbestos
  • Varying levels of respiratory disability and reduced lung function (1-10% and in excess of 10%)
  • Severe pain and impairment of the pleura (lung lining) or the peritoneum (lining of the abdominal cavity), affecting function and quality of life.
  • Causing respiratory disability attributed to asbestos exposure.
  • Causing permanent damage, impairment of function, physical disability and reduction of life expectancy.
  • Such as soft tissue damage causing considerable pain but recovery almost complete within two years.
  • Such as frozen shoulder causing limitation of movement and discomfort for up to two years.
  • Causing pain in shoulder and neck, aching in elbow, weakness of arm and hand.
  • Involving damage to the brachial plexus and resulting in significant disability.
  • Temporary or permanent disability as a result of a fracture.
  • Such as strains, sprains, disc prolapses and soft tissue injuries.
  • Such as disturbances of ligaments and muscles causing backache, or compression fracture.
  • Injuries causing severe pain and disability, including impaired bladder, bowel and sexual function.
  • Resulting in significant or permanent disability
  • Most elbow injuries such as simple fractures, laceration and tennis elbow, not resulting in permanent damage or impairment.
  • Injuries causing impairment of function but not involving major surgery or significant disabilty
  • Injuries such as deep lacerations, soft tissue wounds or crush injuries, all recovering within six months.
  • Resulting in impairment of grip or reduced mechanical function. Partial amputations resulting in deformity.
  • Injuries such as a thumb being severed and re-attached, leaving it with little use, amputation of the tip or at the joint of the thumb. Nerve damage or fracture resulting in impaired grip or dexterity.
  • Amputation resulting in very little use and weak grip.
  • Amputation due to crush injuries, or loss of a significant part of the hand due to traumatic injury.
  • Serious injury resulting in extensive damage to both hands, effectively leaving them with little use.
  • Caused by repeated vibration, damage to hands including impaired grip, dexterity and frequent pain.
  • Such as an uncomplicated fracture with full or virtual recovery.
  • Injuries resulting in significant permanent disability, but some useful movement remains.
  • Injuries causing some permanent disability, such as persistent pain and stiffness.
  • Resulting in complete loss of function in the wrist, for example when an arthrodesis has been performed.
  • Such as a broken femur, tibia or fibular
  • Serious fracture or injuries to joints or ligaments, scarring, instability and lengthy treatment required.
  • Fractures where a full recovery is not made.
  • Loss of a leg below the knee
  • Loss of a leg above the knee
  • Both legs being lost above the knee, below the knee, or where one leg has been lost above the knee and the other below.
  • Torn cartilage or meniscus, laceration, twisting and bruising. May be full recovery, or continued aches and pains.
  • Injury or damage causing mild disability or continuing pain, discomfort or limited movement that may require future surgery.
  • Fractures, joint or ligament damage causing constant pain, impairing movement and agility. Requiring prolonged treatment, the injured person will be prone to osteoarthritis.
  • Including fractures where there is full recovery within two years.
  • Significant injury but any permanent disability is not major. Injury may require a hip replacement.
  • Such as extensive fractures resulting in substantial disabilities.
  • Simple metatarsal fractures, ruptured ligaments.
  • Displaced metatarsal fractures resulting in permanent deformity.
  • Fractures to feet resulting in restricted mobility and /or considerable continuing pain.
  • Crush or multiple fractures to two or more toes, resulting in permanent disability.
  • Undisplaced fractures, sprains and ligament injuries.
  • For fractures and ligament tears resulting in moderate disability, such as difficulty walking on uneven ground or on stairs.
  • Injuries involving long periods of treatment, long period in plaster and some permanent disability.

Simply fill in our form below and we’ll call you back at a time to suit you.

Or talk to our team on:
0808 271 6198

There are other types of compensation you could be awarded through your accident such as loss of earnings or damage to property. The estimates given here are simply for your personal injury claim.

First4Lawyers' solicitors will be able to give you the best idea of the amount you should expect from your individual injury.

It is important to keep in mind that every case is different and the advice and estimates you'll be given, once your case has started, will be tailored specifically for your case.


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