A Guide To Forklift Truck Accident Claims – How Much Compensation Can I Claim?

By Stephen Burke. Last Updated 3rd August 2022. Throughout this guide, we are going to look at fork lift truck accident claims in detail. Forklift truck accidents in the workplace can lead to serious, life-changing injuries, whether the incident occurs in the workplace or in a public area. If you have suffered a forklift injury, we can help you through the process of filing a claim for compensation on a No Win No Fee basis.

forklift truck accident claims

forklift truck accident claims

Being involved in a forklift accident in the workplace can lead to time off work, and if you suffer a very serious injury, you may not be able to ever work again. Fortunately, fatalities in the workplace are on the decline. However, should an employer fail to make a workplace safe for their employees by following Health and Safety guidelines and you are injured as a result, you could be entitled to file a personal injury claim and be awarded the level of compensation you rightly deserve for your pain and suffering? To find out how we can help you through the process of filing No Win No Fee fork lift truck accident claims, please contact us today.

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A Guide To Forklift Truck Accident Claims

Every year there are about 8,000 forklift accidents in the UK with the good news being that fatal accidents in the workplace, in general, are on the decline. Although in 2021, there were 142 fatalities in accidents at work, and you can see the causes below.

fork lift truck accident claims statistics graph

Anyone who suffers a forklift accident that results in injury whether in the workplace or in a public area, could be entitled to claim compensation with fork lift truck accident claims, especially if an employer has failed to follow Health and Safety guidelines which by law, they must do.

Forklift trucks are commonly used in the workplace to move pallets or other items from place to place. Operating a forklift carries certain risks to both a driver and anyone who is in the vicinity. As such, operators and employees who work around a forklift must be given the correct training to do so. Employers must carry out a risk assessment, and the correct signs must be placed in strategic places to indicate where a forklift truck is being operated.

Some forklift truck accidents occur due to driver error whether they failed to pay enough attention or their line of vision was obstructed, which results in a collision with another employee, an object or another vehicle. Speed is another factor in forklift truck accidents. Driver must adhere to speed limits in the workplace and operate a forklift with due care.

If you have suffered an injury in a forklift accident, we can help you through the process of filing a forklift accident claim for a no win no fee agreements service. We offer a free, initial no-obligation consultation which allows us to assess whether you have a strong case. You may wish to work with us on a No Win No Fee basis which means that once we have assessed your claim we could start work without the need of any upfront payment taking the financial stress you would otherwise have, off the table.

Fork Lift Truck Accident Statistics

The number of forklift accidents in the workplace has increased over recent years. If we take a look at the latest figures from the HSE on fatal accidents, we can see from the latest figures reported under RIDDOR that in 2019/20, 1,483 workers were struck by a moving vehicle. Lift trucks fall under this category.

Fork-lift truck injuries could be caused by objects falling from the likes of warehouse shelving, or being struck by objects falling from the truck itself.

fork lift truck accident at work statistics

Accidents in the workplace are tragically a common occurrence, with 693,000 people reportedly suffering an injury at work in 2019/20 alone (according to the latest health and safety statistics published by the HSE and recorded by the Labour Force Survey.

If you’ve been hurt by a lift truck at work, get in touch with our team for free legal advice on making a personal injury claim.

Forklift Truck Accident: Health And Safety Considerations

Under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, an employer must ensure that all machinery and equipment are correctly maintained, including forklift trucks. Anyone operating a forklift must be kept safe to minimise the risk of injury or forklift truck accident occurring in the workplace.

However, the number of incidents involving forklift trucks has been seen to rise over recent years. Fork truck accidents in the workplace can occur for a variety of reasons which are detailed below:

  • Negligence on the part of an employer
  • Inadequate training
  • Failure to use correct protective wear/equipment
  • Mechanical failure
  • Incorrect use of a forklift truck
  • Incorrect protective equipment

If you have been injured while operating a forklift truck and are wondering if you have a case to claim for compensation, we recommend you discuss your concerns with one of our No Win No Fee personal injury solicitors who would be in the best position to assess your personal injury claim and offer valuable advice on how best to proceed so that you receive the right level of compensation for the injuries you sustained. We have handled many successful forklift truck accident claims or clients in the past.

What Are The Most Common Causes of FLT Accidents?

The most common type of forklift truck accident in the workplace are detailed below:

  • A collision with another member of staff
  • The load was improperly secured, which results in people being hit by falling items.
  • A forklift truck topples over due to an imbalanced load.
  • A pedestrian is crushed between a wall and a load or a wall due to the driver’s view being obstructed or because they were not paying the correct attention or because the pedestrian was incorrectly trained.
  • A collision with another vehicle or object

It is essential that all forklift truck operators follow Health and Safety regulations and guidelines that are set in place to minimise the risk of a forklift truck accident and injuries occurring in the workplace. This includes operators and pedestrians wearing hard hats and HV jackets.

Forklift trucks must be correctly maintained to minimise the risk of mechanical failure. Once any faulty machinery is identified, it must be repaired before an operator can use it in the workplace again.

Under UK law, an employer must have comprehensive liability insurance covering employees and the business in the event of a forklift truck accident occurring. Should you have suffered a forklift truck injury in the workplace, your fork lift truck accident claims are covered by an employer’s liability insurance.

The Most Common Types Of Forklift Truck Accidents In the Workplace

Studies into fork truck accidents in the workplace have shown that about two-thirds of the incidents involve another employee or person other than the operator. Suppose anyone in the vicinity of the forklift is not paying attention to what is going on around them, the risk of a forklift truck accident occurring increases. With this said, the most common types of forklift truck accidents are detailed below:

  • A forklift topples over: badly balanced loads, uneven surfaces, and a forklift being overloaded can result in it toppling over which puts an operator at risk of being severely injured. Potholes, slopes and drains also present other reasons why a forklift might topple over. As such, risk assessments must be carried out before using a forklift
  • Falling items: A badly loaded forklift can result in items falling and injuring anyone in the forklift vicinity. Such an incident may result in a serious forklift truck injury or could even lead to a person losing their life due to being hit with a falling object which can result in a horrible forklift accident. All loads on forklifts must be correctly secured before being moved or lifted.
  • Incorrect racking: Many forklift accidents involving forklifts involve racking. Poor driving, badly maintained racking, and attempting to place items on the wrong racks can result in a forklift truck accident occurring.
  • Collisions: A lot of forklift accidents involving forklifts involve collisions with other items, vehicles and other forklift trucks that are operating in the same vicinity
  • Slips, trips and falls: Getting out of a forklift truck can result in an operator slipping, tripping and falling. All forklift truck operators must wear the correct footwear and be correctly trained on how they should get in and out of a forklift.
  • Dangerous driving: A forklift truck operator must not drive too fast to minimise the risk of a forklift truck accident happening. Speed figures are high on the list of worst forklift accidents, and anyone hit by a forklift at work could have the right to claim compensation.

What Duty Of Care Do Employers Owe Employees?

Employers have a duty of care under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, so that all employees are kept safe in the workplace and minimise the risk of accidents/injuries by carrying risk assessments. An employer’s duty of care to all employees, including forklift truck operators, are detailed below:

  • Forklift truck operators are fully trained and have been shown a forklift accident training video.
  • They are given appropriate safety equipment.
  • They have enough experience to operate a forklift truck in the workplace.
  • They only operate well-maintained forklift trucks.
  • They are made aware of all Health and Safety procedures in the workplace.

However, where forklift trucks are concerned, there are some other Health and Safety guidelines that must be set in place which are as follows:

  • Safe site design: Areas of the workplace where forklift trucks and other vehicles are constantly in use, must be kept as free as possible of hazards and risks to minimise the risk of accidents and injuries. This typically involves a specific workplace design that separates machinery from other employees, contractors and anyone visiting the designated area. With this said, cross-over areas are bound to exist and as such these must be clearly sign-posted with rights-of-way being clearly indicated. Speed limits must be clearly indicated. Outdoor areas where machinery is used must be clearly indicated too. In certain instances, where an employer has take every care to fulfil their duty of care towards employees, potential liability could be negated should you have the misfortune of being injured while operating a forklift truck or been injured as a result of being in the vicinity where a machine was being operated.
  • Traffic routes: Forklift trucks must be operated in an area that allows a machine to move safely. In short, enough room must be dedicated to areas where they are used. The surface must be even, uncluttered and free of spillages. A forklift operator must have clear visibility at all times and that all signs must be the same as those on a public road.

What Types Compensation Can You Claim For A Forklift Truck Accident?

Although an operator may be injured in a forklift truck accident, in most cases it is other employees and site visitors who are injured when a forklift is being loaded or unloaded, when a forklift is being parked up or when it is being moved from location to location. However, it is not just in the workplace that a forklift truck accident may occur; it could just as easily happen on a public highway or public area.

In most cases, accidents involving forklift trucks are not restricted to just one person being injured, and the level of injury sustained can vary from case to case. If you have suffered an injury due to an accident, whether as the forklift truck driver, pedestrian or visitor to a workplace, we can help you understand the process of filing fork lift truck accident claims for compensation.

Fork Lift Statistics

In this particular section of our guide, we wanted to look at forklift and workplace transport accidents in greater detail and provide some relevant statistics. However, please keep in mind that these statistics are not a direct relation to negligence.

As outlined by the British Safety Council, around 1,300 UK employers are hospitalised with serious injuries following a forklift accident. That’s five UK workers each day that suffer debilitating injuries and traumas. This can often include fractures, dislocations, deglovings, and amputations. Pedestrians are particularly at risk from forklift accidents, accounting for 57% of injuries and deaths.

How To Claim Compensation For A Workplace Forklift Truck Accident

If you have suffered any sort of injury resulting from being involved in a forklift truck accident, the first thing you must do is seek medical attention as a matter of urgency. You may need to be treated on the spot. You may need to be hospitalised, but you must seek medical attention so that an official detailed report on your injuries is noted, strengthening your compensation claim.

It is also imperative that a detailed report on the incident is reported to management, and they must write this down in the company’s accident report book. It may also be necessary to file a report of the incident with the Health and Safety Executive.

Witness statements must be taken when an accident involving a forklift truck occurs in the workplace. These are essential when it comes to filing fork lift truck accident claims and goes a long way in strengthening your case.

Photographs of where the accident occurred and of any injuries sustained prove the circumstances surrounding a forklift truck accident and again help strengthen a claim. Many incidents are recorded and forklift accidents caught on tape are valuable when filing a claim for compensation.

An accident at work is commonplace throughout the UK. If you have suffered an injury resulting from being involved in a forklift truck, discussing your fork lift truck accident claims with a personal injury solicitor would take the stress out of filing a claim. We offer an initial free, no-obligation consultation which allows us to assess your case before advising you on the best way to proceed. You may choose to work with us on a No Win No Fee basis which allows us to begin work without asking for any upfront fees minimising the strain you would otherwise have on your finances ensuring you receive the right level of compensation based on many other forklift injury settlements we won for clients in the past.

Reporting And Recording Forklift Truck Workplace Accidents

Legislation regarding Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations or RIDDOR for short, clearly states that all employers, managers or persons who are in control of a workplace, must keep relevant records and reports of incidents/accidents that occur. These reports must be forwarded to relevant authorities and must include the following:

  • All incidents including forklift accidents in the workplace where employees or other persons suffer injury and where a member of staff is unable to carry out their duties for more than 17 consecutive days because of the severity of their injuries
  • All “near miss” incidents together with other occurrences deemed dangerous as specified in a specific list.
  • All injuries suffered by members of the public where the person has to be taken straight to the hospital from the accident site.

It is worth noting that it is unnecessary to report all injuries or accidents to the relevant authority. Still, employers have a duty to record all incidents in the company’s accident report book. To find out more about accident reporting procedures, please visit the RIDDOR website at the address shown at the bottom of the page.

All reports to the relevant authorities must be made immediately. The only exception is for injuries where a person has 7 days off work because their injuries prevent them from carrying out their duties. The reports must be followed up 10 days following the initial report. When it comes to reports for injuries where a person is off work for more than 7 days, these must be sent to the relevant authority within 15 days of the incident.

Employers must keep records of incidents where an employee is off work for more than 3 days because their injuries prevent them from carrying out their normal duties. Although records of these incidents must be kept in the company’s accident report book, it may not be necessary to notify the relevant authority. It is worth noting that when calculating an employee’s “time off”, whether it’s for 3 days or 10 days off due to injury, you must not include the day the accident occurred or weekends or normal days off.

The records an employer must keep of all workplace accidents/incidents enable Health and Safety Executive representatives to assess risks in your workplace. When an accident occurs, Health and Safety representatives can investigate the incident with an end goal being to make the workplace a safer environment.

Fork Lift Truck Accidents – Compensation Payouts

If you have suffered a forklift accident that resulted in injuries, you may be entitled to file a claim for compensation. We can help you through the process once we have thoroughly assessed your case. The amount you may be awarded would depend on several factors and as such, providing an accurate estimate of how much a court might award can prove challenging.

In the table below, we’ve included compensation brackets for different injuries that may potentially be covered in claims following fork lift truck accidents. The compensation figures should be treated as guides only and only cover certain injuries you may claim for following a forklift accident. The brackets are based on the 2022 edition of the Judicial College Guidelines and are based on payouts given out for past claims.

Type Of InjuryDescription Of InjuryCompensation Bracket
Post-Traumatic Stress DisorderSevere£59,860 to £100,670
Post-Traumatic Stress DisorderModerately Severe£23,150 to £59,860
Wrist InjuriesThis bracket covers injuries that result in total loss of function in the wrist£47,620 to £59,860
Wrist InjuriesThis bracket applies to an uncomplicated Colles’ fractureIn the region of £7,430
Elbow InjuriesSeverely disabling injuries£39,170 to £54,830
Elbow InjuriesLess severe injuries£15,650 to £32,010
Shoulder InjuriesSevere£19,200 to £48,030
Shoulder InjuriesSerious£12,770 to £19,200
Thumb InjuriesVery Serious£19,600 to £35,010
Thumb InjuriesSerious£12,590 to £16,760

In addition to this compensation, an award for financial losses such as loss of earnings could also be possible.

No Win No Fee Forklift Accident Compensation Claims

Many people choose to work with us on a No Win No Fee basis, which allows us to begin working on forklift truck accident claims without asking for an upfront payment. You only pay an agreed amount when your claim is successful and you are awarded the amount you rightly deserve having suffered a forklift accident through no fault of your that left you injured.

Often referred to as a Conditional Fee Agreement or CFA, it allows anyone who feels they may be entitled to compensation following an accident, the chance to seek legal advice and the support of a personal injury lawyer without the need of paying anything for their claim to be filed. Should a claim be unsuccessful, you would not have to pay a solicitor anything for having worked on your behalf under an FCA.

How We Can Help You Make Fork Lift Truck Accident Claims

We make forklift truck accident claims that much easier to understand. Our No Win No Fee structure takes the financial pressure off you so you receive the level of compensation you rightly deserve.

Our phone lines are open 24-hours, 7 days a week, 365 days a year because we appreciate that accidents can happen any time, night or day.

We are recognised nationally as regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA), and The Law Society. Trust and Transparency are of paramount importance to us.

We take a professional approach to all forklift truck accident claims and work hard to get you the level of compensation you deserve following an injury due to a forklift accident.

Using a personal injury solicitor in forklift truck accident claims

If you’ve ever dealt with an insurance claim before, you might be aware of how tricky they can be. Even if you believe you know what happened, they can ask for evidence that you don’t know how to get, deny liability for the accident or suggest you’re claiming for too much. Why do we mention this here, though? Well, if you are injured by a forklift truck, your claim won’t usually be against the company responsible, it will usually be against their insurance policy. Therefore, we’d suggest taking on a personal injury solicitor to help you. We believe that by doing so, you’ll find the claims process much less stressful. Furthermore, you could improve your chances of winning your case.

In cases that we agree to take on, we’ll appoint a solicitor who could have up to 30-years experience in handling injury claims. They’ll gather all of the evidence needed and will discuss the effects of your injuries with you. Also, they’ll book a local medical assessment for you.

Once they fully understand your forklift truck accident claim, it will be sent to the defendant’s insurer. Your solicitor will manage the case so you don’t need to be involved. They’ll update you as the case progresses and you can ask questions should they crop up. Where queries or objections are raised by the insurer, your solicitor will try to counter them by supplying further evidence. Ultimately, they will aim to ensure you receive the full amount of compensation available for your fork lift truck accident claims.

Want to know more about starting forklift truck accident claims with us? If so, why not call our team today?

Talk To Accident Claims UK Today About Fork lift Truck Accident Claims

For a quick response, phone us today and talk to one of our personal injury solicitors about fork lift truck accident claims.

  • You can email us if more convenient or request a call back by filling out the form.
  • Call us on 0800 073 8801 to speak to a No Win No Fee personal injury solicitor.
  • Email us at office@accidentclaims.co.uk and we will get back to you asap.

Useful Links Relating to Fork Lift Truck Accident Claims

  • HSE – This link takes you to the RIDDOR website where you will find valuable information about reporting accidents to relevant authorities.
  • HSE – This link takes you to the government website to find useful information on accidents in the workplace and their frequency.
  • Legal Rights After A Workplace Accident – take a look at our guide to learn more.
  • Back Injury at Work – Take a look at our guide to learn more about back injury claims.
  • Stress at Work Guide – click here to learn more about stress at work guide.

Fork lift truck accident claims FAQ.

What is the most common type of forklift accident?

One of the most common forklift accidents are overturns. As a result, this can often result in crush injuries, fractures and broken bones.

Why are forklifts so dangerous?

Forklifts can be dangerous for numerous reasons. Firstly, forklifts often carry heavy and dangerous loads, and if an accident were to occur, this could ultimately cause an incident.

What causes forklift accidents?

Numerous factors can cause forklift accidents, such as:

  • Speeding
  • Lack of proper tools.
  • Poor training.
  • Lack of supervisor.
  • Poor maintenance.

What happens if you crash a forklift?

If an operator is at fault for a fork lift truck accident, that operator, or their employer could be held liable for injuries sustained by other parties as a result.  If a forklift truck operator fails to operate the forklift in accordance with safety protocols, causing an accident, they could be at fault. However, if an employer fails to train someone how to operate a forklift safely, when it is part of their job, this could be construed as being the employer’s fault. If you are wondering who you could claim fork lift truck accident compensation against, we could ascertain who your claim would be against.

What is the most common accident involving fork lift trucks?

As we previously mentioned, overturns are the most common accidents involving a fork lift. A forklift overturning could account for almost a quarter of incidents and a quarter of fatalities too.

Who is responsible if a forklift accident occurs?

It could be difficult to know who is responsible immediately after an accident occurs. For example, if a forklift driver fails to brake quickly enough to avoid hitting someone, you could assume it would be their fault. However, if the brakes fail, it could be the forklift’s manufacturer that is liable, or even your employer if they have failed to maintain repair a faulty forklift.

If you would like to make a claim for forklift accident compensation but aren’t sure who could be held liable for your injuries, please speak to our team for guidance and support.

We hope this guide on claiming for forklift accidents has been useful, but please do contact us if you still have any queries about making fork lift truck accident claims.