How common are forklift truck injuries?
It is estimated that nearly 1,500 people a year are admitted to hospital after a forklift truck accident.
According to the HSE, 1 in 4 workplace transport injuries involves forklift or power pallet trucks. They are statistically more dangerous than Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGV) and Large Goods Vehicles (LGV) put together.
Bystanders and pedestrians are more at risk (approx. 60%) of injury than drivers.
The sheer size and weight of forklifts mean that all too often injuries are very serious and sometimes fatal. During use, forklifts can have a high centre of gravity as heavy loads are lifted up the mast. The risk of injury to the driver from the forklift toppling over must also be considered.
Common types of forklift accident include:
- collision with another vehicle
- collision with a pedestrian
- injury from falling loads that were not properly secured
- where forklift operating and pedestrian walkways are not properly partitioned
What to do if you have been injured in a forklift truck accident
See a doctor
Even if you feel your injury is minor, you should get medical attention as soon as possible after your accident. Seeking professional medical advice will make sure that your injuries are fully recorded.
It is particularly important that you seek medical attention after a head injury, even if you don't feel any symptoms.
If you don’t seek medical attention, or delay in doing so, making a claim may be harder.
To make a successful forklift accident claim your solicitor must show that your employer did something, or failed to do something, that led to the accident.
You can help by starting a file containing a detailed account of everything you can remember about the accident and your injuries. Take photos of the scene and get the contact details of any witnesses.
Reporting a forklift truck accident
Although employers are only required to report more serious accidents, reporting any accident or injury at work is best practice.
Because heavy machinery can be so dangerous, even near-misses involving forklifts, pallet jacks, telehandlers and other equipment should be reported.
Once you have received medical attention and the site of the accident has been made safe, you should report the incident to your manager or supervisor. The company accident book should be completed and you should keep a copy for your own records.
Can I make a claim?
In many cases, it is easier to make a work accident claim than it is to claim for other types of personal injury. If you were injured at work in the last three years, you should be entitled to claim.If you were working on a construction site as a contractor or were injured by a forklift driven by a contractor, the employer or site operator will still be liable.
Support if you can't work after a forklift accident
If you are suffering from a work-related illness or have been injured at work, you may have to take time off work. This can be a stressful time, especially if you have dependents.
Financial support during your recovery may be available in the form of sick pay, or through benefits payments under schemes including the Employment and Support Allowance.
If you have started a compensation claim, you may also be able to get interim payments to cover treatment costs and household expenses, before the claims process is complete.
What impact will my job status have on my claim?
Contractors, agency workers and employees on zero-hours contracts are all still entitled to claim compensation following a forklift accident. How compensation is calculated, and who the claim is made against, however, may vary.
Find out more:
How much can I claim?
The compensation you can claim following an accident at work will depend on what injuries or illness you have suffered, and how serious those injuries are.
The final amount will also factor in:
- Pain, suffering and loss of amenity
- What impact the injury or illness has had on your life and ability to work
- Any financial losses or expenses that were caused by your injuries
The Work Accident Advice Centre online calculator sets out what you can claim for, and how much compensation you could claim.
No win, no fee
Legal aid is not available when claiming compensation from an employer. Instead, a forklift compensation claim can be made through a solicitor under a No Win, No Fee agreement.
Under a No Win, No Fee agreement, you pay nothing upfront and no legal fees at all if you don't win your claim.
If you do win, your solicitor will receive a success fee which is deducted from your compensation after you receive it. Under a No Win, No Fee agreement, a solicitor will receive a success fee of up to 25% of a claimant's compensation.
Compensation awards are, however, increased for claimants on a No Win, No Fee agreement in order to reduce the impact of the success fee.
Our work injury advisors will:
- Offer free, impartial advice to injured workers
- Listen, answer your questions and explain your options
- Recommend the right No Win, No Fee solicitor