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:
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- What Is The Eligibility Criteria For Forklift Accident Claims?
- Examples Of How A Forklift Accident At Work Could Occur
- Potential Compensation Payouts From Forklift Accident Claims
- Evidence That Could Support An Accident At Work Claim
- Use No Win No Fee Solicitors To Make A Forklift Accident Claim
- Read More Guides Related To 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 is, for example, suitable for the use it was intended, safe for use and maintained in a safe condition, and 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:
- Your employer had a duty of care towards you.
- The duty of care was breached.
- 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.
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.
Compensation payouts for successful forklift accident claims can be split into two heads of loss – general and special damages.
General damages cover the pain and suffering of the physical and/or psychological injuries you have suffered from your forklift truck accident. Some factors that help determine the value of this head include:
- How your mental health has changed.
- What treatment you need.
- How long it will take for you to recover.
- The severity of your injury.
Solicitors can use the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) and any independent medical reports to assist them in calculating the value of your injuries. The JCG publishes guideline compensation brackets for several kinds of injuries.
You can find a selection of JCG figures in the table below. However, the figures are not guaranteed since compensation is evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
|Injury Type||Severity Level||Award Brackets (Guidelines)||Comments|
|Brain damage||Moderately severe (b)||£219,070 to £282,010||Injured person will substantially depend on others and need constant professional care due to a very serious disability.|
|Moderate (c) (iii)||£43,060 to £90,720||The ability to work is reduced and concentration as well as memory are affected.|
|Back||Severe (i)||£91,090 to £160,980||Spinal cord and nerve root damage causing serious issues, such as severe pain and disability.|
|Severe (iii)||£38,780 to £69,730||Disc lesions or fractures or soft tissue injuries causing chronic conditions.|
|Leg||Amputations (a) (iii)||£104,830 to £137,470||Where one leg is amputated above the knee.|
|Amputations (a) (iv)||£97,980 to £132,990||Where one leg is amputated below the knee.|
|Arm||Severe (a)||£96,160 to £130,930||A 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)||£19,200 to £39,170||Significant disabilities with a substantial degree of recovery that has either already happened or will be expected to happen.|
|Foot||Serious (e)||£24,990 to £39,200||Less severe injuries but there is still ongoing pain from traumatic arthritis.|
|Moderate (f)||£13,740 to £24,990||Displaced metatarsal fractures causing permanent deformity and ongoing symptoms.|
Special Damages When Claiming For An Injury At Work
Special damages cover what you have financially lost because of the injuries you sustained in the forklift truck accident, such as:
- Loss of earnings.
- Medical costs.
- Domestic care costs.
- Travel expenses.
You will need to provide evidence of these losses, so you should collect documentation to prove any financial expenses, such as receipts, bank statements, invoices and payslips.
For further guidance on calculating compensation for successful forklift accident claims, please contact an advisor on the number above. They can offer a free valuation of your potential case.
You will need to provide evidence to prove how badly you were affected by the injuries you sustained in your forklift truck accident and how your employer is responsible.
Examples of evidence needed for a personal injury claim include:
- CCTV footage of the accident. This can show how it happened.
- A diary with written recordings of your symptoms and well-being.
- Copies of your medical records.
- Contact information of potential witnesses to the accident.
- Photographs, such as of the defective forklift and/or your injuries.
- Documents that show your employer failed to given any training or that they gave training that was inadequate.
If you have a valid personal injury claim, and wish to seek legal representation, you could instruct a solicitor from our panel. They will be able to help you collect evidence to support your case as part of the work they do. Contact us today to learn more.
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:
You can find more of our guides below:
- Find out whether you could make a hand injury claim following an accident that wasn’t your fault.
- Learn what steps your employer should take to prevent an accident in the workplace and when you could claim if they failed to do so.
- Read this guide if you want more information on what you need to do after an accident at work in order to make a personal injury claim.
Also, we have provided some additional resources:
- Health and Safety Executive (HSE) – A guide on lift truck training.
- NHS – Find information on first aid.
- GOV.UK – See whether you can claim Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) for needing time off work.
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.