A Guide to Claiming Forklift Truck Injury Compensation
If your life, or the life of a loved one, has been affected by a forklift truck accident we can help.
The purpose of this guide is to help anyone who has suffered a forklift truck accident and is considering a legal claim for compensation. If you are looking for medical advice, please see the NHS website.
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?
It should be possible to make a forklift truck 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.
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.
What can I claim for after a forklift truck injury? (see list)
Examples of special damages (losses you can claim for) include:
- Lost earnings (including future earnings)
- Medical treatment costs
- Travel costs
- Costs of care
- Costs of adapting your home or car
How is compensation calculated if I have multiple 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.
General damages for a serious arm injury can be £45,000
For a less serious leg injury, in isolation, you would typically receive £7,500.
However, if you have a serious arm injury and a less serious leg injury, you would typically receive £45,000 + a reduced percentage of £7,500.
Special damages, such as loss of earnings are not usually increased if you have multiple injuries.Read more about multiple injury claims
What is the average injury compensation for a forklift truck 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 forklift truck injury will depend entirely on your specific circumstances.
Your forklift truck 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.
Will a work injury claim affect my benefits?
It may. The receipt of a compensation award could affect the calculation of any means-tested benefits. One approach to protecting your benefits, would be to set up a "Personal Injury Trust" or "PI Trust". Read more: Should I set up a personal injury trust?
Can I claim for an existing forklift truck injury that has got worse?
Yes, it is possible to pursue a claim in the event that a pre-existing medical condition, illness or injury is made worse or aggravated by an accident or someone else's negligence.
Forklift truck injury compensation
Calculating how much compensation you can claim for a forklift truck 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 forklift truck injury claim could be worth now:
How long does a forklift truck injury claim take?
How long it can take to win compensation for a forklift truck accident can vary considerably.
For example, if liability is accepted by your employer, a claim can settle in a matter of weeks. If liability is denied, however, the process might take considerably longer. On average a work accident claim takes between 6 and 9 months. See:How long will my claim take?
Will I still be able to claim for a forklift truck 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 forklift truck 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:
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. Your solicitor may take out insurance to ensure there will be nothing to pay.
What is Legal Aid available for?
In 2000, the government abolished the right to legal aid in personal injury law cases. Depending on an individual's circumstances, Legal Aid may be available for discrimination cases, criminal cases, family mediation and court or tribunal representation.
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:
if you can claim
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 do I have to make a forklift truck injury claim?
In general, you have a time limit of up to 3 years from the date of the forklift truck injury to make an injury claim.
The last date you can make a claim is known as the claim limitation date - after which your forklift truck injury claim becomes 'statute barred'.
Can I claim for a forklift truck 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 forklift truck injury compensation.
In reality, there are a number of factors that can affect whether a forklift truck injury claim will be taken on by a solicitor.
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.
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 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.
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