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Forklift Accident Claims – A Guide to Claiming Compensation

Forklift trucks can make warehouses, factories and other workplaces much more efficient but, as with other workplace vehicles, used in the wrong way, forklift trucks can be dangerous. Therefore, employers must try and ensure that forklift trucks are used as safely as possible. Failure to do so could mean you’re entitled to claim compensation for any subsequent injuries. In this article, we’ve provided answers to common questions on forklift accident claims.

We also provide free legal advice about claiming for forklift accidents as part of a no-obligation initial consultation. Your call will be handled by one of our specially trained advisors who’ll answer any questions you might have regarding workplace forklift claims. Additionally, they could put you in touch with one of our specialist solicitors who, if your claim is valid, will work on a No Win, No Fee basis.

If you’ve suffered a forklift injury at work and would like to talk to us about it, you can:

  • Phone us on 0333 241 2519.
  • Use our live chat service 24 hours a day.

Getting legal advice as soon as possible after a forklift accident at work can significantly enhance the chances of receiving compensation for the pain, suffering, and financial losses you’ve incurred due to the forklift accident.

Can I Make a Forklift Accident Claim?

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has published an Approved Code Of Practice (L117 ACOP) regarding the safe use of forklift trucks in the workplace. Following the advice given in the guide can help employers to meet their obligations under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.

The steps they can take to try and prevent forklift accidents include:

  • Training staff to the standards listed in LL17 ACOP using accredited training organisations.
  • Conduct refresh training on an ongoing basis for operators who’ve not used a lift truck for some time.
  • Only allow non-employees (lorry drivers, engineers etc) to operate their trucks if they are fully qualified to do so.
  • Ensure forklift operators are aware of the company’s health and safety procedures.
  • Maintain all forklifts as per the manufacturer’s guidelines.

If your employer doesn’t uphold their legal responsibilities and you’re involved in a forklift accident at work, you might be entitled to claim compensation for any suffering endured.

To check if you could start a forklift accident claim, see if you can answer yes to the following questions:

  1. Did your employer owe you a duty of care?
  2. Were you involved in a forklift accident because your employer was negligent?
  3. Did you sustain an injury diagnosed in the last three years that can be proven to have occurred because of the accident?

If you’ve answered yes to all 3 questions or have any queries about your eligibility to claim, please give us a call and speak to one of our specialists today.

What Types of Forklift Accident Claims Can We Help With?

It’s important to note that it’s not just forklift drivers that can make forklift injury claims. Anyone else injured in an incident involving a forklift through no fault of their own could be entitled to compensation for their injuries.

Therefore, we’ve provided a sample of the different types of forklift accidents that could result from negligent actions.

  • You were driving a forklift that toppled over after skidding on oil and suffered a dislocated shoulder as a result.
  • If the forklift you were operating dropped its load on you because you’d been told to move more than it was capable of.
  • Where you were trapped against a wall by a forklift being driven in a pedestrian-only area.
  • If you were injured after being hit by a forklift that was being operated by an untrained driver.
  • You were crushed by items falling from racking or shelving after a reckless forklift driver collided with it.

There are of course plenty more ways in which forklift accidents at work can occur. Therefore, even if we’ve not described your accident here, please feel free to call our team to discuss your options.

What Should I Do If I’m Injured in a Forklift Accident at Work?

Complying with your own health and safety obligations is important if you are injured in a forklift accident. Depending on your company’s health and safety policy, these may include:

  • Telling your immediate supervisor about the accident as soon as possible.
  • Making sure the accident is logged in the company’s accident report book.
  • Ensuring your injuries are diagnosed and treated correctly.

Also, some forklift accidents will need to be reported to the HSE. If they decide to investigate the one you’ve sustained personal injuries in, you should comply fully and provide any information they ask for.

What Evidence Can Be Used for Forklift Truck Accident Claims?

Evidence can be vital in a forklift truck accident claim as it can help prove your case and explain why your employer was to blame for your accident. Some examples of the types of evidence you could present include:

  • Photographs of the forklift truck, the accident scene and any visible injuries.
  • Copies of your workplace training record.
  • Contact details for any witnesses to the accident.
  • The accident report form to confirm when and where the accident occurred.
  • Medical records to help confirm your injuries.
  • CCTV footage of the accident where possible.

If you’re thinking about making a forklift accident claim, call us now so we can review your evidence for free.

How Long Do I Have to Claim Forklift Injury Compensation?

As per any type of work-related personal injury claims, forklift claims have a 3-year time limit. This is explained by the Limitation Act 1980 and must be adhered to so that your claim doesn’t become statute-barred.

More often than not, the time limit starts on the date of the accident. However, if you (or a loved one) have been involved in a serious forklift accident and lack the mental capacity to claim, the time limit may essentially be paused until the time comes, if ever, when they regain capacity. In this situation, someone else can become the claimant’s litigation friend and seek compensation on their behalf at any point.

forklift truck accident at work background

Take the first step towards claiming compensation for a forklift truck accident with our complimentary free consultation.

With 30+ years of experience, our solicitors are committed to providing a 100% No Win, No Fee claims service, offering claimants a risk-free path to pursue the compensation they deserve.

Start a Claim

Or call us on 0333 241 2519 to speak with a specialist solicitor.

How Much Forklift Accident Compensation Can I Claim?

When valuing a forklift accident claim, your solicitor will consider:

  • How you’ve suffered because of any physical or psychological injuries (general damages).
  • Any financial losses you’ve incurred due to your forklift-related injuries (special damages).

To evaluate how your injuries have affected you, your solicitor will arrange for an independent medical assessment. The report that follows and a copy of your medical records will be used to help value your claim.

If you’ve lost out financially because of your injuries, your losses could also be reflected in your compensation payout. That means you could receive special damages for:

  • Lost earnings.
  • Physiotherapy and other medical expenses.
  • Travel costs.
  • The cost of a carer at home.
  • Future loss of income.
  • The cost of making adaptations to your home (or vehicle) that’ll make it easier for you to cope with longer-term injuries.

If you’d like us to help put a potential value on your forklift accident claim, please call one of our advisors today.

Can I Claim if I Was Injured by a  Faulty Forklift Truck?

The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER) means that companies have a responsibility towards employee safety when using any workplace equipment.

Therefore, they should try to ensure that your forklift is:

  • Safe and suitable for the job at hand.
  • Inspected, repaired and maintained properly.
  • Only used by trained employees.
  • Accompanied by any necessary health and safety features such as flashing lights to improve visibility and warning signs to remind the operator of weight limits for example.

If your forklift was faulty due to your employer’s negligence and you were injured as a result, we could help you start an accident at work claim so please contact our team today.

Can I Claim if I’m Not a Full-Time Worker?

The duty of care that employers owe to their staff covers all types of workers. Therefore, forklift accident claims can be made for injuries caused by employer negligence by sub-contractors, zero-hours workers, the self-employed as well as full and part-time employees.

If you’re in any doubt about your right to claim for forklift-related injuries, please speak to one of our advisors right away.

Will I Need a Solicitor for a Forklift Accident Claim?

While it is perfectly acceptable for you to sue your employer for a forklift accident at work without instructing a solicitor, the claims process can involve quite complex legal and medical information so taking on a specialist solicitor might be beneficial.

If you work with one of our solicitors, not only will you benefit from their legal training and experience, but they’ll reduce the financial risks of hiring them by offering a No Win, No Fee Service. As part of that service, they will:

  • Try to secure the evidence you’ll need to prove your case.
  • Deal with your employer and their insurance provider so you won’t need to talk to them.
  • Argue your case, present extra evidence and try to counter any objections where necessary.
  • Send you regular updates on how your claim is progressing.
  • Aim to ensure that any compensation you receive covers all of your suffering in full.

So that they can provide a No Win, No Fee service, your solicitor will ask you to sign a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). The CFA will clarify that:

  • No upfront payments are needed to cover your solicitor’s work.
  • You won’t pay your solicitor for their work if the claim fails.
  • You’ll have a success fee deducted from any compensation you’re awarded.

The success fee is legally capped at 25 per cent of your settlement when using a CFA so you can be sure you’ll keep the bulk of any compensation you’re paid.

To see if you could make a No Win, No Fee forklift accident claim with one of our solicitors, please call today.

How Long Do Forklift Injury Claims Take to Settle?

Some forklift injury claims can be settled in a matter of 6 months or less. This may be the case if your injuries were only minor, your employer took the blame for the accident quickly and you’ve fully recovered.

However, other claims can take longer because more time is needed to negotiate over the extent of your injuries or your employer’s liability for them. Here, your claim could take 9 months to a year.

Some cases can take longer than a year because more time might be needed to fully understand your prognosis. In these cases, if your employer has agreed that they caused your accident, they might make interim payments to cover any financial problems your injuries are causing i.e. to cover lost earnings, care or medical costs.

Will the Claim Go to Court?

In our experience, personal injury claims very rarely go to court. That’s usually because the costs and time involved are prohibitive. Therefore, employers, insurers and lawyers will aim to reach an out-of-court settlement wherever possible.

If your forklift accident claim cannot be settled amicably, a court hearing is always an option. If that happens, it is the court that will decide on liability and any compensation required after reviewing all of the evidence.

Contacting Us About a Forklift Accident Claim

We’re here to help you claim for any injuries you’ve sustained in a forklift accident at work. If you’d like to speak to one of our specialists for free legal advice, you can:

  • Use our free live chat service day or night.
  • Call us on 0333 241 2519.

We’ll provide no-obligation legal advice in a completely free initial consultation to discuss your options. If your claim appears to be feasible, we could connect you with one of our solicitors who’ll work on a No Win, No Fee basis if your forklift accident claim is taken on.

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