Forklift Accident Claims Guide

By Cat Todd. Last Updated 2nd May 2024. Forklift trucks are often used in warehouses. If a forklift is defective or is not used correctly, this can lead to accidents and, subsequently, injuries. If you have been injured in an accident with a forklift truck because your employer didn’t uphold their duty of care, you might wonder whether you could seek compensation. As we move through this guide, we discuss the eligibility criteria for forklift accident claims, the evidence that could be used to substantiate your case, and how compensation payouts for successful accident at work claims are calculated.

Moreover, we discuss the duty of care your employer owes you and give examples of how an accident at work caused by a forklift truck could happen if their is a failure to adhere to this duty and the injuries that could be sustained.

Finally, we look at how our panel of No Win No Fee solicitors can help you if you have an eligible forklift accident claim and want to begin legal proceedings.

If you require any additional information whilst or after reading, please contact an advisor for free. To reach them, you can:


A forklift in a warehouse running over a worker

Jump To A Section

  1. What Is The Eligibility Criteria For Forklift Accident Claims?
  2. Examples Of How A Forklift Accident At Work Could Occur
  3. Potential Compensation Payouts From Forklift Accident Claims
  4. Evidence That Could Support An Accident At Work Claim
  5. Use No Win No Fee Solicitors To Make A Forklift Accident Claim
  6. Read More Guides Related To Forklift Accident Claims

What Is The Eligibility Criteria For Forklift Accident Claims?

The Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 sets out an employer’s duty of care. All employers owe their employees a duty to take practical and reasonable steps to ensure the safety of the workplace, environment, facilities and equipment to prevent injury to employees. This will involve managing and removing or reducing the risk of injury posed by potential hazards by conducting regular risk assessments and providing the appropriate training and personal protective equipment (PPE). 

Additionally, the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER) places a duty on those who own, operate, or have control over work equipment as well as on those whose employees use work equipment regardless of whether they own it or not. They must ensure equipment provided for use at work, such as heavy equipment on a construction site, is suitable for the use it was intended, safe for use and maintained in a safe condition. It should also only be used by those who have received adequate information and training.

If your employer failed to uphold their duty, and you suffered an injury from this, you may wish to seek compensation. However, in order to make a personal injury claim for an accident at work you must prove this criteria:

  1. Your employer had a duty of care towards you. 
  2. The duty of care was breached. 
  3. This breach caused your injury.

Is There A Workplace Injury Time Limit When Seeking Compensation?

If you want to claim for a personal injury following an accident at work, you have three years to begin legal proceedings. This time limit starts from the date you were injured as per the Limitation Act 1980

Exceptions to the time limit may be made in some circumstances, however. To find out more about the eligibility criteria and time limit for forklift accident claims, please get in touch to talk with an advisor. 

Examples Of How A Forklift Accident At Work Could Occur

Here are examples of how your employer breaching their duty of care can cause a forklift accident at work:

  • A lack of training – Forklift trucks require training to use. If someone is asked to drive one without being trained, it can create the risk of injury. For example, an employee operating a forklift without the necessary training could lose control of the workplace vehicle and crash causing them to sustain a head injury.
  • Defective machinery – If a fault with the forklift has not been identified because the employer has not carried out regular maintenance and asks you to use it anyway, you could be injured. For example, the forks could collapse, causing a pallet to fall and hit you on the head, potentially leading to a brain injury
  • Loading the truck incorrectly – Manual handling training is required before any related activities are carried out. If there is a failure to do so, it could lead to an employee loading a forklift truck incorrectly. They could create an imbalance by piling the loads on just one side causing the stock to topple over and crush them. This could lead to several injuries, such as damage to the chest and a broken arm injury

It’s important to note that not all forklift accidents will be the result of an employer breaching their duty of care. As such, it might not always be possible to claim.

To discuss your specific case and find out whether you could claim following an accident at work with a forklift truck, call our team on the number above.

Potential Compensation Payouts From Forklift Accident Claims

All forklift accident claims are different, and this means all payouts are different too. Because each claim comes with its own unique circumstances, this can make it hard to provide an average payout; however, we can still explore what kinds of compensation you could receive, and how each heading is calculated.

There are two heads of compensation that you could receive, and the first is general damages. This covers the injuries suffered in the forklift accident and the pain and suffering they have caused.

The Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) help people calculate this head of claim by providing compensation guidelines for different injuries and illnesses. You can see some examples of these guidelines that could be relevant to forklift accidents below, but please be aware that the first entry has not been taken from the JCG.

Guideline Compensation Awards

Injury TypeSeverity LevelAward Brackets (Guidelines)Comments
Multiple Severe Injuries And Special DamagesSevereUp to £450,000+A combination of multiple injuries and financial losses, like lost earnings and the cost of a mobility aid.
Brain damageModerately severe (b)£267,340 to £344,150Injured person will substantially depend on others and need constant professional care due to a very serious disability.
Moderate (c) (iii)£452,550 to £110,720The ability to work is reduced and concentration as well as memory are affected.
BackSevere (i)£111,150 to £196,450Spinal cord and nerve root damage causing serious issues, such as severe pain and disability.
Severe (iii)£47,320 to £85,100Disc lesions or fractures or soft tissue injuries causing chronic conditions.
LegAmputations (a) (iii)£127,930 to £167,760Where one leg is amputated above the knee.
Amputations (a) (iv)£97,980 to £132,990Where one leg is amputated below the knee.
ArmSevere (a)£117,360 to £159,770A brachial plexus injury that is serious and leaves the injured person little better off than if they had lost the arm entirely.
Less Severe (c)£23,430 to £47,810Significant disabilities with a substantial degree of recovery that has either already happened or will be expected to happen.
FootSerious (e)£30,500 to £47,840Less severe injuries but there is still ongoing pain from traumatic arthritis.

What Else Could I Claim For?

You could also be eligible for special damages, but not all claimants will receive compensation under this heading. Special damages cover the financial losses caused by the forklift accident. For example, this might include expenses such as:

  • Lost earnings.
  • Prescriptions.
  • Housekeeping.
  • Childcare.
  • Mobility aid.s
  • Prosthetics.

Get in touch with our team of advisors today if you’d like to get more information on making a forklift truck accident claim.

Evidence That Could Support An Accident At Work Claim

One of the most important steps in the forklift accident claims process is collecting evidence to support your case. The evidence that you collect should be able to prove:

  • Who caused your injuries and how.
  • How severe your injuries are.
  • What kind of treatments you need now or in the future.
  • Whether or not you suffered financial losses as a result of your injuries.

Some examples of evidence that you might collect to support your claim include:

  • The contact information from any witnesses so that a statement can be collected from them by a legal professional.
  • CCTV footage from the warehouse or premises of the accident.
  • Medical records or the results of an independent medical examination.
  • Photographs of your injuries or of the accident site.
  • Bank statements, invoices, or wage slips detailing your financial losses.

If you choose to make a forklift truck accident claim with the help of a solicitor, they can help you gather this evidence. Contact our team of advisors today to find out if a solicitor from our panel could help you.

Use No Win No Fee Solicitors To Make A Forklift Accident Claim

Our panel of solicitors have experience handling forklift accident claims and could offer their services under a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). A CFA, which is a specific type of No Win No Fee contract, means you won’t need to pay upfront costs for the solicitor to start work on your case or ongoing costs for their continued work. You also do not have to pay for your solicitor’s services if the claim fails. 

If your claim is successful, your solicitor will take a percentage of your compensation, known as a success fee. However, you will still receive the majority of your compensation payout, as the law puts a cap on the maximum percentage solicitors can take. 

Do you want to pursue your personal injury claim on this basis? If so, don’t hesitate to contact our team today. An advisor can answer any questions you might have free of charge. To get in touch, you can:

Read More Guides Related To Forklift Accident Claims

You can find more of our guides below:

Also, we have provided some additional resources:

We hope this guide exploring forklift accident claims has helped. However, if you have any other questions regarding your eligibility to seek compensation, please don’t hesitate to contact an advisor using the number at the top of the page.