A Guide to Claiming Cherry Picker Injury Compensation

If your life, or the life of a loved one, has been affected by a cherry picker accident we can help.

The purpose of this guide is to help anyone who has suffered a cherry picker accident and is considering a legal claim for compensation. If you are looking for medical advice, please see the NHS website.

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?

It should be possible to make a cherry picker injury claim if you were injured:

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

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

To find out for sure, speak to a legally trained adviser on 0800 612 7456.

A brief phone consultation will tell you exactly where you stand. There is no obligation to start a claim.

You can also find out if you have a claim with our Online Claim Checker.

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.

What can I claim for after a cherry picker injury? (see list)

Examples of special damages (losses you can claim for) include:

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

How is compensation calculated if I have multiple cherry picker injuries?

If you have sustained multiple injuries, the compensation amounts are not simply added together.

The upper bracket of the most serious injury may be considered as a starting point, with a reduced amount applied for the other less severe injuries.

For example:

General damages for a life-altering crush injury can be £80,000

For a less serious arm injury, in isolation, you would typically receive £4,000.

However, if you have a life-altering crush injury and a less serious arm injury, you would typically receive £80,000 + a reduced percentage of £4,000.

Special damages, such as loss of earnings are not usually increased if you have multiple injuries.

What is the average injury compensation for a cherry picker injury claim?

The Judicial College injury tables give a approximate idea of the ranges awarded for different injuries.

However, the money you would receive following a cherry picker injury will depend entirely on your specific circumstances.

Your cherry picker injury compensation will be calculated based on the unique impact your injuries have had on your life, your ability to work, and the actual financial losses you have incurred as a result of your injuries.

See the injury table above for some examples.

Can I claim for prescription costs?

Special damages?are awarded for costs or losses incurred as a result of the cherry picker injury injury. Damages can include loss of earnings, treatment cost and any other 'out-of-pocket' expenses such as prescriptions.?

Will I have to pay tax on my cherry picker injury compensation?

If you receive financial compensation following a cherry picker injury injury, specific legislation ensures that you do not have to pay tax on it. This is the case no matter whether the compensation is received as a lump sum or as staggered payments.

Cherry picker injury compensation calculator

Calculating how much compensation you can claim for a cherry picker injury can be complicated.

Our injury compensation calculator tells you if you may have a claim, how much compensation you could claim, and what you can claim for.

Find out what your cherry picker injury claim could be worth now:

Calculate compensation

How long does a cherry picker injury claim take?

The length of time needed to settle a cherry picker accident claim can vary significantly.

For example, if your employer or their insurance company accepts liability, a claim could be settled in a few weeks. If liability is denied, however, it could take significantly longer. Usually, a work accident claim should take 6 to 9 months. For more information on how long your claim could take, see:

How long will my claim take?

Will I still be able to claim for a cherry picker injury after the law changes in April 2020?

The law relating to personal injury claims is changing in April 2020.

You will no longer be able to claim no win, no fee compensation using a solicitor for lower value claims (under £5,000).

In addition, compensation for whiplash and other soft-tissue injuries will be reduced.

Caring and sensitive support

Your solicitor will handle your cherry picker injury claim 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:

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. Your solicitor may take out insurance to ensure there will be nothing to pay.

Read more about No win, no fee

How can Quittance help?

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

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 do I have to make a cherry picker injury claim?

In general, you have a time limit of up to 3 years from the date of the cherry picker injury to make an injury claim.

The last date you can make a claim is known as the claim limitation date - after which your cherry picker injury claim becomes 'statute barred'.

Can I claim for a cherry picker injury after 3 years?

Possibly. The general rule for adults is that a claim must be started within three years.

However, the three-year countdown starts on the day you learned of your injury or illness. This will usually be the date of the accident, but could be the date your doctor gave you a diagnosis.

There other circumstances that can also impact the limitation date. Call us now on 0800 612 7456 to find out if you are still able to claim cherry picker injury compensation.

In reality, there are a number of factors that can affect whether a cherry picker injury claim will be taken on by a solicitor.

Calculate your claim limitation date

Will I have to go to court?

Highly unlikely. The vast majority of claims that are settled by the 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 early compensation payment?

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

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.

Howard Willis, Personal injury solicitor

About the author

Howard qualified as a solicitor in 1984 and has specialised in personal injury for over 25 years. He is a member of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) and is a recognised Law Society Personal Injury Panel expert.

Read more about this Quittance Legal Expert