Forklift Truck Accident Claims & Injury Compensation

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Sadly, forklift trucks are a common cause of personal injury compensation claims. Their size and weight, coupled with their speed and the type of environments they’re used in, mean that any accident involving one tends to be serious.

But if you’re unfortunate enough to be injured in a forklift truck-related incident – either as a driver, a fellow employee or a site visitor – it can be hard to know exactly what your rights are.

Table of contents

What type of accidents can lead to a claim?

Forklift truck accidents can take many forms. Every case is different, but the basic rule is this: if you’ve suffered an injury as a result of someone else’s mistake or negligence, you may well be in a position to make a claim.

In our many years of dealing with forklift truck-related claims, these are some of the common scenarios that can lead to compensation.

  • Careless, reckless or high-speed driving
  • Colliding with another forklift truck
  • Colliding with and knocking over stacked warehouse goods
  • Directly hitting a nearby employee or visitor
  • Malfunctioning or poorly maintained forklift truck
  • Poorly stacked goods or pallets toppling over and injuring someone
  • Driving over someone’s foot
  • Causing a collision on a road or public highway
  • Driving a forklift truck in adverse weather conditions

In all cases, including those not specified above, one of the key things to establish is responsibility for the accident. Whose fault was it?

How do I know whose fault it was?

There are strict regulations around health and safety in all UK workplaces.

Employers have an obligation to take all reasonable steps to keep their employees free from harm. In the case of forklift trucks, this includes regular maintenance of the vehicle, adequate driver training, an appropriately designed space for the vehicle to be driven in, and use of protective barriers where practical.

As a result, all sorts of underlying issues can be the root cause of a forklift truck-related accident, including those listed below.

  • The driver involved is poorly trained or lacks the proper qualifications and license.
  • The space in which the forklift truck is being operated is too small, too hazardous, or too bumpy and uneven.
  • The truck has been dangerously overloaded and is carrying too heavy a weight, resulting in the vehicle tipping off balance.
  • The truck is being operated in an area affected by a dangerous spillage.
  • The truck lacks appropriate warning equipment, such as a reversing alarm and flashing lights.
  • The load is so great, and stacked so high, that the driver is unable to see clearly where they’re going.

Of course, even in workplaces that are well run, with safely operated forklift trucks, accidents can still happen. This applies whether you’re on a construction site, in a warehouse, on a commercial yard, or somewhere else entirely.

As such, it can sometimes be difficult to know whether an accident was someone else’s fault. At Direct2Compensation we’ll always be happy to talk through your own situation, find out more about what took place, and give you fair and honest advice about your rights after being injured at work.

To do this, it helps to have as much information as possible about the accident.

What should I do after a forklift truck accident?

If you’ve been badly hurt, it goes without saying that your first priority should be your own immediate wellbeing. This might mean on-the-spot treatment, but never delay in calling an ambulance or heading to the nearest Accident & Emergency ward if needed.

You should officially report the accident to your employer at your earliest opportunity. Try to make sure there’s a detailed written record of what took place, most likely in your employer’s Accident Report book. Where, when and why did the incident happen? Avoid signing an Accident Report that seems inaccurate, or which you haven’t had a chance to read in full.

Where feasible, you should try to take photos of your injuries, of the location where the accident took place, and of the aftermath. If this is impractical, always try to ask someone else. It can also be helpful to gather statements from any witnesses, to back up your version of events. Take the contact details of these witnesses if necessary.

If, for whatever reason, it has proved impossible to make a written report, or to gather any photographic evidence, don’t panic. A well-managed claim would still stand a chance of success – but be sure, in all cases, to keep a proper record of any medical diagnoses you receive as a result of the accident.

With serious forklift truck accidents, the report should also be escalated to the Health & Safety Executive (HSE). Under the HSE’s Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (known as RIDDOR), your employer is obliged to report certain serious workplace accidents to the HSE.

What type of compensation could I be due?

As with all types of compensation claims, accidents involving forklift trucks are evaluated case by case. Courts will try to determine the impact the injury has had on your life. Successful claims tend to have two parts: general damages and special damages.

General damages compensate you for the pain and suffering you’ve endured, as well as any loss of amenity, which covers your overall enjoyment of life. The court will take into account the severity of the injury, and the level of negligence of the third party.

Special damages compensate you for the impact the forklift injury has had on your working life. They cover things such as loss of earnings (including future earnings) caused by your injuries, as well as any other medical or transport expenses you’ve incurred as a result.

It’s vital that you can show these expenses, so always keep receipts for any hospital car parking tickets, petrol costs, taxi fares, rehabilitation or physio treatments, and prescription charges.

Let us help

Might you be in a position to make a claim for a forklift truck accident? You’re in safe hands with Direct2Compensation. Our advice is always honest, our claims process is transparent and effective, and you’ll have the peace of mind that comes with our no-win, no-fee approach.

To find out more, or to start your claim today, call us on 01225 430285. If you prefer, we can call you back.. After just a few minutes on the phone, we’ll have enough information to allow our solicitors to get your claim started.

42 questions have been answered below, why not ask your own?

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Questions & Answers

  • Amir

    I hurt my left foot under a forklift. I was sitting on the side on the body and on the seat was another guy my co worker. I hopped off and he turned at the same time and my foot come under it. I called my boss to pay me, he said no, is there any other way to get paid because am injured and can’t walk or earn for my family or my self no money at the moment at all?

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      As you were injured in an accident at work, there is a possibility that you could pursue a claim for accident at work compensation, which if successful, would enable you to recover compensation for your injury and recover your lost or unpaid income.

      If you would like our help in making a No Win No Fee claim, please provide more information via the start your claim page of our website so that we can further investigate this matter for you.

      Reply
  • Sandra

    Hi, I have been squashed by a forklift and been diagnosed with damaged muscle tissue in the back and leg.

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      Our Solicitors can help you claim compensation for your injuries and also recover any loss of wages or incurred costs caused by your accident.

      Reply
  • Santa

    I made a claim with a solicitor after I had an accident in a factory. The lorry bumped in to me when I was driving the forklift. My solicitor said they can’t get answers from the factory insurance company and said that they have 3 years to get back us?! But before they told me that they had 3 months to respond. How can this be right?

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      I think you may be mistaken or have misunderstood your Solicitor and you should check with them again. In usual circumstances the period of time afforded to a defendant to respond to a claim is around 3 months. If the defendant doesn’t respond, a Solicitor will issue a further deadline and if that deadline is again missed and the defendant continues to be uncooperative, your Solicitor would issue court proceedings to compel the defendant to respond and cooperate with the claim.

      Reply
  • Michael

    I have a question. l have been driving a forklift for ten years & I now have back, neck, shoulder knee and feet pain – which are risk factors. Is my work place at fault for my injuries due to years of driving?

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      Establishing causation – a causal link between your work and the injuries you mention is likely to be an issue in making any claim in this situation. Has your employer provided the appropriate training for you to work safely? Have you seen your employers risk assessment for the work you do? We would like to know more about your employment and the working environment.

      Reply
  • Charlie

    Hello, I’m in need of a professional opinion and am not sure if I have a potential claim. On December the 14th I was involved in a accident at work within a 20ft container. There was a double stacked pallet of tubes which roughly weigh 300kg to 400kg each. The top pallet was ever so slightly over hanging and leaning inward which me and my collegue was aware of. When lifting and trying to move the double stacked pallets with a pump truck they wouldn’t budge. My colleague who was on the Forklift decided to assist me with trying to move the pallets. He managed to free the double stacked pallets by putting the forks under the pump truck slowly lifting it whilst gently reversing. At that time I was assisting him in guiding the stacked pallets closer to the edge of the container as I was pushing onto the top pallet to keep it balanced whilst being only partially on the forks. When it came to gently putting the pallets down, because the pump truck was raised, the slightly leaning pallet shifted towards me and pinned my left hand against my shoulder and the container wall. Luckily I wasn’t severely injured or pushed out of the container as it was still attached to a trailer. I do have an injury due to being pinned and my doctor says it sounds like I could have a damaged tendon. During the Risk assessment meeting the health and safety officer stated that there wasn’t enough procedures or safety policies put in place to stop accidents like this happening especially within a container. They do have a ramp on the goods out site which usually gets used for off loading container work. But this occasion to save time and extra work moving the pallets to a storage warehouse they opted to unload it at that site using a pump truck and a forklift. I am currently off of work due to back/shoulder pain and I’m not sure how long I’ll need to recover. I’m also not sure where I stand with this in context to claiming. Thanks

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      My initial view is that you have a valid claim and one that you should pursue further with our specialist Solicitors. Whilst the employer hasn’t set out to cause you injury, employers are obliged to ensure that the risks of injury in the workplace – such as the one you have sustained – are minimised. In this instance, their Health and Safety officer has admitted that the employer has failed and not had the appropriate policies and practices in place.

      Many people injured in an accident at work are anxious about making a claim against their employer and worry that making a claim could get them the sack. These concerns, whilst understandable should be ignored. As long as you are acting legitimately – which you clearly are and your employer has investigated the accident and effectively admitted fault, you have nothing to be concerned about. You are legally entitled to make a claim against the employer in such circumstances and the claim is made against the insurance that they are obliged to have. Therefore, the company isn’t damaged by your claim and no colleagues will face disciplinary procedures for your accident or your claim.

      If you would like to speak further about this matter, please call us on 01225430285. Alternatively, you can provide more information using the ‘start your claim’ form on our website. We’ll then be in touch to offer advice and answer any queries you may have.

      Reply
  • Danielle

    I was hit by a pallet truck/forklift in work on the 24/11/2020 around 12.45am. At the time of the incident getting hit was sore but I thought it was more shock so I continued on with my shift. I had a sore head before the accident so took paracetamol on my break (1am). It wasn’t until later on around 4.30/5am that my shoulder started to get sore. I then attended a&e the next day as when I got up my shoulder was really sore and I couldn’t move it. I was told by the hospital that I’ve torn ligaments in my shoulder and need to take 2weeks off work, i was given medication and exercises to do. I am wondering what pay I’m entitled to. Also I was never asked to fill out an accident form which at the time never came into my head.

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      Wether or not you are entitled to sick pay will depend on your contract of employment. The law in the UK does not compel employers to pay sick pay to staff, with the statutory requirement being covered by statutory sick pay – if you qualify for that.

      If you don’t receive sick pay, you can recover any loss of income or other incurred costs by making a claim for personal injury compensation. Given the nature of your accident and how you came to be injured, we feel that you have a robust claim for accident at work compensation. Please call us on 01225430285 or use the form on our website to start your claim for compensation.

      Reply
  • Mark

    I work for a company in a warehouse yesterday I was hit from behind when I forklift truck came round the corner not beeping and being driven by someone without a license or training it did not stop instantly and I was stuck on the forks for a short distance I cut my arm and have done ligament damage to my angle and on crutches and need to go back to hospital in 2 weeks for another scan. I have been into work today to write a statement but feel pressured as they say the drive can go to prison even though they knew he drives it and they let him could really do with some advice as I feel they are putting me in a awarded situation so I don’t do anything about it

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      You certainly shouldn’t agree to a report that is not accurate and if the report in anyway makes the potential to attach liability (which is currently clear and obvious) more ambiguous and difficult.

      We would be very happy to help you make a claim against the employers insurance for the painful injuries you have sustained. Given the injuries you have, it is clear that you will require some time away from work. As such, your employer is obliged to report the accident to RIDDOR and it should be investigated fully.

      You can make a claim against your employers insurance with the help of our specialist Solicitors. The claim does not directly impact on the business or any colleagues and won’t jeopardise your right to continue with your job once you have recovered.

      This is a situation you should seek specialist advice and guidance on at the earliest opportunity.

      Reply
  • John

    I had and injury at work las December with a fork lift truck at work. It hit me and I hurt my knee which took me out of work for 6 weeks and has now left me with an unstable knee with onset of arthritis. I’m stuck in two minds wether to make a claim

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      You can make a claim without jeopardising your right to continue with your work, without damaging the business or impacting any of your colleagues. Any claim for an accident at work would be against the insurance of the employer. You would not think twice about claiming against someone’s car insurance if they were to damage your car in a collision and you should see claiming for injuries that are not your fault in the same light.

      You have sustained a painful injury that is still affecting you and has clearly caused an early on-set of age related degeneration. As such, you have every right to pursue what would appear to be a valid claim for compensation.

      We would be more than happy to help you with your claim or discuss with you how the process works and what you should expect.

      Reply
  • Alan

    Whilst walking in a warehouse aisle, a forklift driver accidently pushed multiple boxes off high racking weighing 15kg each from approx 15 foot high on to me. These hit me on the head, face, back and shoulder. I have been suffering with the injuries for 9 months and still in back pain and off work. Am i able to claim for this?

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      You are certainly able to make a claim for the injuries you have sustained in this accident at work. We would be very happy to help you make your claim for personal injury compensation. Please call us on 01225430285 or you can get us to call you when you are available to start your claim.

      Reply
  • Marita

    My husband was on the job, another employee was not paying attention (A temporary employee) and back into him with a forklift, causing the tire to land on top of his foot, pinning him into the warehouse takes. Also causing injuries to his shoulder. His employer trying to make him feel guilty so, now he’s back to work and in alot of pain. Does he have a claim?

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      Your Husband has every right to make a claim for personal injury compensation. We would be very happy to help him make a claim. If your Husband is unsure about making a claim, he may want to have an informal discussion with us to find out a little more about the process and gain an understanding of his rights. We would be very happy to chat with him regarding his injuries and the incident at work.

      Reply
  • Anuar

    I work at a place where i can smell alcohol in the supervisors breath everyday, i feel stressed and worried because he also drives a forklift at work, what can i do?

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      You should make a confidential disclosure of your concerns to your line manager. If your suspicions are proved correct, there is a clear risk to the health and safety of your colleagues and your employer needs to address that matter seriously.

      Reply
  • Hunter

    I got hit in the back and neck by a rack caused by a forklift driver, the racks are a foot away from my work space and we have to grab parts off the racks.

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      The working area you describe could be something that puts your employer in a position of negligence as to only allow 1′ (30cm’s) between the racks and your workspace would seem to be a recipe for disaster.

      You should ensure that the injury you suffered is recorded correctly with your employer in their accident book and if any symptoms persist for more than 2 weeks, you should contact us to start your claim.

      Reply
  • David

    If a work mate has run me down whilst driving a forklift and I am to claim loss of earnings due to being off work. Would I claim against the employer or the employee?

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      In the accident at work scenario you describe, any claim would be made against the insurance held by your employer, rather than the employee. If you would like to find out more about pursuing a claim for compensation and discuss your concerns about claiming against an employer with us, please call us on 01225430285 or use our website to request that we call you.

      Reply
  • Julie

    Employer is running a propane forklift in the building where we work and there is no ventilation or air exchanger. I already once ended up in the emergency room with carbon monoxide poisoning …. and he still continues to run the propane fork lift in the building after several attempts of telling him not to do so. I am concerned of the long term affects of continued affects in my health.

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      Make sure your concerns are addressed to the employer in writing so that you have evidence to prove that you have made such a warning and report. You could also make contact with external agencies such as the Health and Safety Executive too.

      Reply
  • dan

    I was stood next to a forklift truck at work in a extremely noisy environment as to where i couldn’t hear the truck running, the driver set off with the wheels on full lock which then the truck swung round and drove up my leg and stopped below the kneecap. I was rushed to hospital with compartment syndrome and operated on immediately, i broke my leg in 4 places and had to have a skin graft and also had to have my tendons and ligaments reattached, and had 4 blood transfusions. I was in hospital 3 weeks and now at home unable to work, i also am unable to move my foot and have no feeling at present due to possible nerve damage which may need further surgery. I have also heard different stories that the driver has no licence and the investigation at work was only internal, where as i think is should have been external HSE. I believe that my work may try to cover it up, i am unsure it went in the accident book, do i have a right to put a claim in as my consultant stated i may have further complications later on in life?

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      You describe a clearly serious workplace injury and a nasty accident at work. Given the severity of your injury, it is very likely that you will suffer long term complications from your injury and possible that you may never fully recover. As such, doing anything other than attempting to claim compensation by way of a claim for accident at work compensation against your employer and their insurance.

      You are right in stating that an accident at work with such serious injuries at the centre of it, MUST be reported to the HSE and to RIDDOR by the employer. If they have not already done so, you should contact RIDDOR yourself to make them aware. This could well protect your interests going forward.

      I would imagine that an Ambulance attended the scene of the accident to take you to Hospital for emergency medical treatment? If so, the Ambulance service will have important records that can help to provide further evidence to support any claim you may make.

      We would be very willing to support you and attempt to pursue your claim for compensation on a No Win No Fee basis. Should you wish to take this further, please call us on 01225430285 or use the ‘start a claim’ page of our website and we’ll help you to understand the claims process and what rights you have after being injured in an accident at work.

      Reply
  • Diane

    Hi I recently had an accident at work, where the forklift driver pushed a big stil full of metal parts. And it crushed me againist a drill bench, I worked the remaining part of the week and the following week, even though I was in a lost of pain, and very distressed as they recently laid my partner off work, so financially I felt obliged to work. I’ve now been to the hospital, and be diagnosed with fractured coccyx so I’m currently off work with serious pain and limited movement. Do I have grounds for a compensation claim, as I feel it was there fault, and there wasn’t any safety involved? Many thanks.

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      You definitely have a valid claim in this matter. For the forklift driver to knock an item over and push it in to you indicates that they have made a mistake. As such, you have every right to make a claim.

      Reply
  • David Warren Jarvis

    I am a supervisor at a warehouse job . We have several department heads with the same supervisorial status . One of the supervisors from another department has had several incidents , forklift related , in the last month . There has been no action taken , as they are the supervisor/ operator . Yesterday , the supervisor was involved in an incident , leaving a temp. worker with 2 painfully injured fingers . I have had enough . I am hearing comments of discontent from the workers throughout the entire facility of this supervisor being allowed to carry on with no consequence . Is it my right to demand a copy of the accident report , as I wish to see if the person responsible has indeed taken responsibility . I fear that incidents like this are ‘swept under the carpet ‘ as the supervisor has a favoured status with the operations manager , who oversees us as a whole ?

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      In the UK, there is no right for employees to demand sight of an accident book record that does not relate to an incident in which they were not injured. In cases like the one you mention, it would be wise to ‘whistle blow’ and bring in an external regulatory authority to investigate the Health and Safety management in the workplace. In the UK, you could seek the services and advice of the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) and remind the employer of their obligations under the Health & Safety at Work Act.

      Reply
  • Donovan Wessels

    I was injured at work on 12 April 2017. I was busy loading a crate with 6 metre underground pipe into a truck. The forklift driver is supposed to bring half the crate into the truck whilst the other half outside is to be secured by me placing two wooden frames under it.

    I went under the pipe to see whether the crate was correctly in place on the 2 wooden crates. I asked the forklift driver to lower the pipe down on to the wooden crates and then asked him to go to the back of the pipe and push the pipe into the truck. However, within seconds as I was getting out, the forklift driver left pipe it fell on to my side. The crate of pipe pushed on to me just below by neck and I felt a sudden and very sharp pain in my lower back. It was seen and the accident reported. An Ambulance was called and it took me to hospital where I was told that I had broken my spine. The Doctors hade to operate and do a double fusion from the T12 to L2. The L1 vertebra was broken.

    An inquiry was conducted by my employers without any outside health and safety department. The outcome was that it was me that had been negligent in instructing the forklift driver to go to the end side while I was not safe. The recommendation of the employers report was that I should be given a written verbal warning. I started with the company in 2013 and I saw that everyone was loading like this and working in the way I had. I have never been trained otherwise and have never been told or heard that the company have a health and safety policy that states that the way I was working was prohibited.

    I have now heard that my employer has implemented a pipe loading policy. I have never had training or seen a company health and safety manual for our workplace. I feel that my company was also negligent for not following Health and Safety law requirements and providing training and guidance. Given this, I would like to claim for the injury and future pain and medical expenses I will incur. I still have to undergo surgery to have the screws in my spine removed and I would like to know if have the right to make a claim?

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      On the basis of your description of the incident in which you were injured at work, I would say that there is a valid claim to be made on the grounds of employer negligence.

      UK law requires employers to provide health and safety training to all staff and in areas of known and foreseeable danger (such as the role you were performing) it is clear that training is vital, as would be a safe working policy. The employer appears to have failed to provide either of these and we would argue that this indicates employer negligence.

      Your injuries are clearly very serious and have life long consequences and if you were to succeed with a claim, your compensation settlement value could well be very high. If you would like our help further, please call us on 01225430285.

      Reply
  • Almin Thomas

    Hi i was hit in my back by a forklift, i was pin to a pilot, the supervisor ain’t do anything but told me to go home then i ask him to call for help, then he did, but i was scared to go to the hospital because i needed my job but i went later on.

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      Almin

      If this accident happened in the UK, I would say that you have a very strong claim for compensation.

      Reply
  • Darryl da costa

    I was on my way to park my car at work Into my company’s allocated parking area. I noticed a van was parked on double yellow lines in front right side of my way to go. The van was stationary and presumably waiting for someone. My way to go was clear with no obstruction whatsoever.
    As I drove past the van all of a sudden a forklift appeared behind the van and drove straight into my car smashing into my both windows from one side to another. It was a miraculous escape as I was caught between both the forklift blades.
    Apparently the forklift was loading behind the van in which I had no visibility and in an area not designated for loading as it’s double yellow lines. I did not expect forklift to operate freely in this busy vehicular roads. The CCTV footage easily demonstrates About the incident

    My employer reported this incident, tried the company of the forklift liable to compensate me but I’ve been told that they’re not ready to compensate, this has caused a lot of distress although I didn’t have any injuries apart from being traumatised by this. As a result I cannot focus I don’t want to talk to anyone, I did see the gp and was off work for a week, I tried my best to go to work but I realised I can’t, the incident keeps flashing, I just think that the other easily got away with it. I need some advice.

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      What a shocking incident you have endured. I can fully appreciate why you feel traumatised by this and yes, it sounds as if you were very lucky to not sustain serious physical injury.

      On the basis of your description of events, I think you have a viable claim for compensation.

      May I suggest that you call us on 01225430285 so that we can take some further information and then get the right specialist solicitor to discuss this matter with you.

      Reply
  • Leevan prussia

    Hi, i was involved in an accident at work on monday, i was on my ppt truck heading down the warehouse when i stoped to drop my load and the guy behind me on his forklift truck slammed in to me. His fork squashed over my foot pinning me to my truck, 1 more inch to the right and i’d of probably lost my leg due to the forks going through my ankle!! All procedures were followed, accident book was filled in and i attended A&E where they said i have severe soft tissue damage to my left foot. Today is thursday, i’m still in severe pain and no signs of my swelling going down and still unable to walk my foot is ballooned and bruising so bad (been taking day to day pictures). Do i have the right to a claim?? And if i claim can i lose my job?? I’m in two minds of what to do as i cant loose my job, then at the same time i feel like i’m entitled to try and claim. I also feel i may try to be talked out of claiming when i get back to work by my bosses……. help!!

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      On the basis of your comment, I am of the view that you have a very strong claim for compensation and you really ought to pursue such a claim. We would be very happy to help you with this.

      I appreciate your concerns about claiming against your employer, but you have nothing to fear if you were to pursue a legitimate claim and given the nature of this injury and how it happened, it is clearly a legitimate claim. Your employer cannot dismiss you for simply claiming compensation after an accident at work.

      An employer can only dismiss an employee for acts of gross misconduct, via redundancies (which have to include the job role rather than the individual) or if you are unfit for a long while and unable to work, an employer can terminate your employment – but you don’t need to have any concerns about that as I am sure you will be fit to work well before the employer would feel the need to take any action.

      Reply
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