A Guide to Claiming Forklift Truck Injury Compensation
Updated: Sep 2, 2019
The following guide sets out everything you should know about making a successful forklift accident compensation claim.
Health and Safety Executive (HSE) figures indicate that lift trucks, including forklift trucks, are a frequent source of workplace accidents. Over 5,000 reported accidents a year involve workplace transport.
Lift trucks are involved in around 25% of all workplace transport accidents.
The HSE has found that lift truck accidents are often the result of inadequate supervision in the workplace, and inadequate training in handling lift truck vehicles.
Do I have a forklift truck injury claim?
As a basic rule, you can make a forklift truck injury claim if the injury happened:
- in the last three years and,
- someone else was at fault.
However, if these two points don't apply, a compensation claim may still be a possibility.
To get an impartial answer, speak to a legally trained adviser on 0800 612 7456.
A brief phone consultation will confirm whether you have a claim. There is no obligation to start 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.
Who can make a forklift accident claim?
In approximately 60% of cases, forklift truck accidents cause injury to site visitors and employees other than the forklift truck driver.
Forklift truck accident injury can be sustained by adjacent co-workers in a warehouse. Injury to the general public can also be caused. Usually, accidents involving the public occur during forklift truck loading, or unloading, in a public space or public highway. Claims for building site accidents are also not uncommon.
If personal injury is sustained in a forklift truck accident, all inured parties involved are entitled to make a compensation claim.
Typical forklift truck injuries
Forklift truck accidents can cause severe injuries including:
- Crushing between the vehicle and an adjacent object
- Collision injuries resulting from impact with the vehicle
- Impact injuries resulting from objects falling from, or pushed over by, the vehicle
If you have sustained injuries, your solicitor will assist you in gathering accident site evidence to support your claim.
Making a claim as an injured employee
Legislation covering the safety of employees using lift trucks, including forklift trucks, includes:
Workplace (Health Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 - employers have a duty of care to ensure the safety of their workers in the workplace. The Regulations also require that vehicles are able to move around safely in the workplace.
Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 - employers must provide adequate training in the safe handling and driving of forklift truck vehicles. Supervision must be provided to ensure continuous safe handling and operation of forklift truck vehicles in the workplace. Forklift truck vehicles must be appropriately maintained, and in good working order.
The HSE has also published minimum safety standard recommendations for the operation and handling of lift truck vehicles in the workplace: Rider-operated lift trucks: Operator training and safe use: Approved Code of practice and guidance.
Employers can be held liable to pay compensation for workplace injuries to their employees. Claimants can sue their employers (as the defendant) for workplace injuries, even if the actions of a co-worker caused the accident.
If you have been injured in a workplace forklift truck accident, you are entitled to make a personal injury compensation claim.
Making a claim as a member of the public
If you sustain forklift accident injuries as a member of the public, you are entitled to make a personal injury claim. Even if you are unsure who was responsible for your accident, you may still be able to claim. Your solicitor will assist you in gathering evidence to support your claim, such as CCTV footage.
The amount of money you could claim for your forklift truck 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 forklift truck 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 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 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
- 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.
Caring and sensitive support
Your solicitor will handle your forklift truck 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:
If you are thinking of making a work accident or injury claim, there are some key points to be aware of:
In a road accident
If you are thinking of making a road accident claim, there are some key points to be aware of:
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:
Other claim types
Find details on another type of claim:
How does no win, no fee work?
'No win, no fee' means that if your forklift truck injury claim is unsuccessful, you won't have to pay your solicitor any money. Known as a 'Conditional Fee Agreement' or 'CFA', no win, no fee is an agreement entered into between you and the solicitor.
Our no win, no fee guarantee
If you have been injured through no fault of your own, our no win, no fee guarantee takes the risk out of claiming compensation for your forklift truck injury.
What do I pay if I win my forklift truck injury claim?
Your injury solicitor will receive a success fee which is deducted from your compensation, after 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 forklift truck injury claim?
If your forklift truck injury claim is not successful then you do not have to pay any legal fees whatsoever.
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:Call me back
No Win, No Fee
to start a claim
Forklift Truck 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.
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.
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*
4 to 9 months
6 to 9 months
12 to 36 months
12 to 18 months
6 to 9 months
3 to 4 months**
12 to 18 months**
**Official Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) Government agency and Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB) figures.
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.
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.
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.
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