£250k awarded to man hit by a forklift truck at work.

Whilst at work a 39 year old man was forcibly struck by a forklift truck. The accident occurred at work where the claimant was carrying out his normal duties. One of his work colleagues without checking it was safe to do so, reversed his forklift truck.

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Case details

The forklift struck the claimant knocking him to the ground. As a result, initially it appeared the claimant had suffered a soft tissue lower back injury.


The claimant alleged that his employer was negligent in failing to employee competent fellow employees. That they therefore put the claimant at foreseeable risk of injury. The claimant also alleged that the system of work employed by his employer was unsafe. Liability was not disputed by the defendant employer.

Injuries and Progression

It was first thought the claimant had simply suffered a soft tissue injury to his lower back. However over the next 5 years he showed no signs of improvement. He was subsequently diagnosed as having pain syndrome which was described as chronic. He was not expected to improve significantly, although some level of improvement would be possible with treatment.

The treatment would be from a Pain Management Consultant. In view of the on going pain symptoms the claimant would not be able to return to a manual occupation. He would have to try re-train for some form of office based job. His earnings would be likely to be reduced because of his change of occupation.


The parties attempted to negotiate settlement without the matter reaching a Trial. The parties could not reach agreement by negotiation. The claimant therefore issued county court proceedings and proceeded to Trial. Liability for the accident was not contested. The arguments between the parties related to the potential value of the claimant's claim. In particular the economic level at which the claimant might be able to find work after appropriate treatment.

At Trial almost 6 years after the claimant sustained his injuries a Judge awarded the claimant the equivalent of £28,000 for his pain suffering and loss of amenity with a further £220,000 for his financial losses, making a total award of in the region of £250,000.

Read more: work accident compensation claims

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Gaynor Haliday, Legal researcher

Gaynor Haliday, Legal researcher