Heavy vehicles and equipment are a common source of accidents in the workplace, forklift truck accidents are one such example. A forklift trucks sheer size and weight can make them difficult to manoeuvre and the smallest impact can have serious consequences.
Inadequate training and lack of supervision are two common causes of forklift truck accidents in the workplace. More often than not, the driver remains uninjured. However, it is the other employees and visitors to the site who are at greatest risk in the event of any accident involving a forklift truck.
Whether you are a forklift truck driver, an employee in the workplace or a visitor on site, if you are injured in a forklift truck accident due to no fault of yours, you may be eligible to make a forklift truck accident compensation claim to compensate you for your injuries and other losses.
Common Causes Of Forklift Truck Accident Claims
Forklift trucks are used in a wide range of workplaces, most commonly at construction or building sites, manufacturing industries and warehouses. At constructions or building sites, they are used to transfer building materials to and from the site. At manufacturing units they are used to transport raw materials into the unit and finished items out of the unit. At warehouses, forklift trucks are used to transfer items in and out of storage.
At any of these sites, a forklift truck may cause injuries by:
- Hitting somebody directly or while they are in another vehicle.
- Bumping into mobile equipment or stacked items which may topple over and injure somebody standing nearby.
- Speeding around or driving a forklift truck rashly.
- Items that are improperly stacked falling over and striking someone or crushing them under the weight.
- Driving a forklift truck over somebody’s foot.
- Losing control after hitting a pothole or when going down a steep slope.
- Malfunctioning of the forklift truck because of poor maintenance.
Because of the size and weight of a forklift truck, if it so much as bumps into you, however lightly, there is a high chance that you could sustain serious injuries. The exact injuries would depend on the cause of the forklift truck accident but broken limbs, crushed feet and head injuries are very common.
Understanding Responsibility In Case Of A Forklift Truck Accident
In any workplace, the employer is responsible for putting measures in place to ensure that the premises are reasonably safe for all employees and also visitors.
If forklift trucks are used on or around the premises, employers are required by law to ensure that these heavy vehicles are well-maintained and in top working condition. They must also have a clear path for the forklift trucks to move around with the driving spaces clearly demarcated and signboards warning employees and visitors not to walk around those areas. There should also be protective barriers installed to minimise the risks of any accidents.
In addition to having a heavy vehicle driving license, all employees who are entrusted with driving the forklift truck must also undergo the appropriate training in safety practices. They must also compulsorily wear appropriate personal protective equipment, which includes safety boots, hard hats and high-visibility clothing. If you have a forklift truck accident and are injured due to the incorrect PPE being issued you might want to read our advice on PPE claims.
If the employer is negligent in any one of these areas and you get injured as a result, they are liable to compensate you for your injuries.
Forklift Truck Accident Compensation
In order to claim compensation for a forklift truck accident for injuries sustained, you will need to prove that the accident was due to somebody else’s negligence or mistake. In order to increase your chances of winning compensation, there are a few things you should do immediately after the accident.
Seeking medical attention should be your first priority. Make sure you keep all your medical records and also the receipts for any doctor’s charges, hospital fees, cost of medication and all other related expenses. You will need these to make your forklift truck accident claim.
Back at the workplace, you must make a record of the accident in the log book and keep a copy for yourself.
It is also advisable to take photographs that show how the forklift truck accident happened and the aftermath of the accident, including photographs of your injuries and the damage if any to the surrounding areas.
Get witness statements if you can as these will help support your claim. ‘
Forklift Truck Accident Claims Solicitors
Even with all of this supporting evidence, filing a successful forklift truck compensation claim is not as easy as it sounds. All businesses are covered by insurance and when you file a claim, you will be fighting against highly experienced insurance lawyers who will not accept liability easily. Unless you are familiar with all aspects of personal injury law, this is not something you should attempt to do on your own.
Your best chance of winning a compensation claim is by getting professional legal help, and we can certainly provide this. An experienced personal injury solicitor is conversant with all areas of the law and will give you advice on the best way to proceed with your claim. Ours will also take it one step further by offering to represent you on the basis of a No Win No Fee agreement so you do not have to bear the burden of any legal expenses while the case is in process. You are only liable to pay our fee if the court awards you compensation, which can be agreed upon before you commit to anything.
The amount of compensation for a forklift truck accident awarded to you will depend on the extent of your injuries and also all costs that are directly related to the accident. While calculating compensation, the court will take into account your medical expenses including the cost of long term treatment and rehabilitation, cost of travelling to and from the hospital, loss of income from not being able to go to work and the cost of long term care if necessary. In calculating compensation, the court will also take into consideration the cost of any type of structural modifications that you may have to make to your home or vehicle to accommodate your injuries.
One of the biggest advantages of using a personal injury solicitor for you forklift truck accident claim, aside from the No Win No Fee agreement is that they will make sure that you get the maximum compensation that is due to you.