A Guide to Claiming Cherry Picker Injury Compensation

The following article sets out everything you need to know about making a successful cherry picker accident compensation claim.

Introduction

An estimated 3% of all fatal construction accidents involve cherry pickers. Health and Safety Executive data shows that in 2014 several thousand workers were seriously injured in a fall from height.

Work accident claims represent the majority of claims for injuries involving cherry pickers, but claims involving?injury to members of the public are also made.

Cherry pickers are also referred to as boom lifts, man lifts or basket cranes, and are widely used in the construction industry, as well as various other industries where people are required to work at height, like window cleaning and fruit picking. Scissor lifts and similar machinery are also used in similar circumstances, and is as likely to cause injury. Collectively, these machines are referred to as 'mobile elevating work platforms (MEWPs)'.

Cherry picker injury

Who is responsible for cherry pickers?

Usually someone will operate a cherry picker in the course of their employment.

The employer is primarily responsible for the cherry picker including ensuring that operators are appropriately trained. The employer is liable for injuries that result from an operator's negligence. The mechanism by which employers are held responsible for the acts of their staff is 'vicarious liability'.

Causes of cherry picker accidents

There are a number of ways accidents commonly occur when working with cherry pickers.

Inappropriate use

Accidents can occur when the cherry picker is used by an untrained person, or when it is used for a task which causes a breach of the applicable workplace safety regulations. The risk of an accident is greater when the cherry picker is used for a task it is not intended for.

Examples included use of a cherry picker for an extended time period when scaffolding would be more appropriate, to reach across a gap, or in a dangerous environment involving live wires or other hazards.

If you have been injured in a cherry picker accident as a result of poor or unsafe use, you should have a case to make an injury claim.

Faulty or badly maintained cherry pickers

It is the responsibility of the employer to ensure that any equipment used is maintained to a high standard. If a badly maintained cherry picker results in an accident, the employer may be at fault and liable to pay compensation for injuries that result from the fault or poor maintenance.

Negligence of cherry picker operator

Those operating cherry pickers have a level of responsibility to ensure that they are used safely and do not put others at risk. There have been cases of workers being crushed against equipment, buildings and other structures due to the negligence of a trained cherry picker operator. In these cases, the Courts will examine all of the evidence to establish who was responsible and therefore potentially liable to pay compensation.

Insufficient training of cherry picker operators or users

Working at height has a level of risk associated, and necessary safety precautions should be in place to prevent accidents. The cherry picker should always be secured on level ground, and only used by fully trained operatives.

Anyone using a cherry picker should be sufficiently trained in operating the machine safely. If you were not sufficiently trained before being allowed to operate a cherry picker, and this resulted in an injury, you may have a claim against your employer for failing to ensure that you had sufficient training.

If someone else was operating the cherry picker and was not fully trained, and you were injured as a result, you should also have a claim against the operator or the employer. The Courts will look at all of the evidence in order to decide who was responsible for the accident.

Do I have a cherry picker injury claim?

You should be able to make a cherry picker injury claim if you were injured:

  • in the last three years and;
  • someone else was to blame.

However, if these two points don't apply, you may still be able to make a claim.

To find out for sure, you can speak to a cherry picker injury claim expert on 0800 612 7456.

A short call will tell you exactly where you stand. You will never be pressured into making a claim.

Alternatively you can try our Online Claim Checker.

What if the injury was diagnosed years after the event?

Typically, the dates of the injury and accident are the same. However, some injuries manifest themselves months or even years after the accident or exposure.

In this case, the clock starts ticking on the date of discovery (the date of diagnosis) of the injury rather than the date of the accident.

Read more

Check my claim online

How much compensation can I claim for a cherry picker injury?

The amount of money you could claim for your cherry picker injury will depend on:

  • the extent of your injury, and
  • any financial losses or costs you have incurred.

At the start of your claim, your solicitor will consider the many ways your cherry picker injury has affected your life. Your solicitor will take all of these effects into account to calculate the correct compensation award for you.

This calculation will factor in general damages and special damages.

General damages

General damages are awarded for pain, suffering and loss of amenity (PSLA).

Awards for general damages are set by the Judicial College and published in their guidelines for personal injury awards.

Special damages

Special damages are for financial losses and expenses you have incurred as a result of the accident.

See a list of what you can claim for:

Examples of special damages include:

  • Lost earnings (including future earnings)
  • Medical treatment costs
  • Physiotherapy
  • Travel costs
  • Costs of care
  • Costs of adapting your home or car

Find out what your claim could be worth now

Assessing a claim's value at the outset can be complicated.

If you would like a FREE claim estimate with no obligation to start a claim, call 0800 612 7456.

Alternatively, our compensation calculator will give you an instant estimate of what your claim is worth.

Calculate my injury claim

Caring and sensitive support

Your solicitor will handle your cherry picker injury case from the initial consultation through to the financial settlement. In addition, your solicitor will work with other specialists to help you with:

  • Financial support: interim payments while you are unable to work.
  • Advice: on personal injury trusts, tax and welfare benefits.
  • Coordination: with rehabilitation providers and therapists.
  • Access: to treatment and therapies not always available on the NHS.

How did your injury occur?

The claims process that your solicitor follows will vary, depending on how the injury occurred:

At work

If you are thinking of making a work accident or injury claim, there are some key points to be aware of:

Work Accident Claims - What you need to know

In a road accident

If you are thinking of making a road accident claim, there are some key points to be aware of:

Road Accident Claims - What you need to know

In a public place (e.g. supermarket, pavement)

If you have been injured in a public place, there are some key points you need to be aware of:

Public Place Claims - What you need to know

Other claim types

Find details on another type of claim:

See list of other claims

No win, no fee, no risk

With a no win, no fee agreement (known as a 'Conditional Fee Agreement' or 'CFA') you can make a cherry picker injury claim without the worry of upfront legal fees. If your cherry picker injury claim is unsuccessful you won't have to pay any money to your solicitor.

Our no win, no fee guarantee

Our no win, no fee guarantee means there is absolutely no financial risk in making a cherry picker injury claim - even if you don't win your claim.

What do I pay if I win my cherry picker injury claim?

Your injury solicitor will receive a success fee which is deducted from your compensation, once your claim is settled. The solicitor's success fee can be up to 25%. You and your solicitor can agree the success fee before you start your claim.

What do I pay if I do not win my cherry picker injury claim?

If your cherry picker injury claim is not successful then you do not have to pay any legal fees whatsoever.

Read more about No win, no fee

How can Quittance help?

Our highly experienced panel of solicitors have an excellent track record of winning work accident claims. Your solicitor will fight for the best possible compensation settlement for you.

If you have any questions, or would like to start a No Win No Fee claim, we are open 8am to 9pm weekdays, 9am to 6pm on Saturday, and 9.30am to 5pm on Sunday.

Call us FREE 0800 612 7456 or arrange a callback:

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Cherry Picker Injury FAQ's

Can I claim for someone else?

Yes. In certain circumstances, it is possible to claim compensation on behalf of another person in the capacity of a 'litigation friend'.

If an injured person is either too young or vulnerable, too injured or otherwise unable to claim on their own behalf, their litigation friend can handle the claim process on behalf of the injured person.

The litigation friend will be responsible for communicating with the solicitors, and for making decisions in respect of the claim.

Read more about claiming on behalf of another person.

Can I claim if I was partly responsible for an accident?

You may still be able to claim compensation even if you contributed to your accident or to your injuries.

However, if you were partly to blame (known as contributory negligence), your compensation may be reduced and it may be more difficult to prove liability.

Read more about claiming compensation if you were partly responsible for an accident.

How long will my claim take?

The length of time needed to secure compensation can vary considerably.

For example, straightforward car accident claims can settle in a matter of weeks, whereas complex medical negligence cases can take years.

Injury claims can also take longer if it is not clear who is responsible for your injury, or if liability is denied by the defendant.

Taken from average case times, this table sets out approximately how long personal injury claims take to settle:

Personal injury claim type

Estimated claim duration*

Road accident claims

4 to 9 months

Work accident claims

6 to 9 months

Medical negligence claims

12 to 36 months

Industrial disease claims

12 to 18 months

Public place or occupiers’ liability claims

6 to 9 months

MIB claims (uninsured drivers)

3 to 4 months**

CICA claims (criminal assault)

12 to 18 months**

*RTA and other claims processed through the Ministry of Justice portal can settle faster.
**Official Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) Government agency and Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB) figures.

Read more about how long personal injury claims take.

Will I have to go to court?

Highly unlikely. The vast majority of claims that are settled by Quittance’s solicitor panel are settled out of court.

Only a very small percentage (approx. 5%) of personal injury claims go to court. Generally, only very complex cases, or those where liability cannot be resolved, end up in court.

Cases that do ultimately go to court are held in front of a judge, not a jury.

Read more: Will my injury claim go to court and what if it does?

Will I have to go to a solicitor's office?

No. You will not need visit a solicitor's office. As with most professional services, it is no longer necessary to meet face to face with your solicitor. Personal injury claims are dealt with via email, post and telephone.

Should you need to have a medical, this will be arranged at a medical centre near you or at your GP's surgery.

Read more: Will I have to visit a solicitor's office?

Can I get an interim compensation payment?

If you suffer financial hardship as a result of an injury, you may be able to claim interim compensation payments.

An interim payment is a partial settlement of your claim which is paid before your claim is concluded. The amount you receive in interim payments would then be deducted from your final compensation settlement or award.

Read more about interim compensation payments.

Gaynor Haliday, Legal researcher

About the author

Gaynor Haliday is an experienced legal researcher and published author. She has had numerous articles published in the press and is a legal industry commentator.

Read more about this Quittance Legal Expert