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Compensation for Forklift Accident Injuries

Forklift Accident Claims

Forklift trucks, or FLTs, are used in many different industries and come in many different shapes and sizes. These types of vehicles, along with reach trucks and stand up trucks, are incredibly useful in the workplace for moving heavy loads, stacking loads and reaching things, but they can also be very dangerous and are the cause of many accident and injury compensation claims.

On average, 10 people are killed in forklift accidents at work every year and a few thousand injured - that's a huge amount of accidents and much more than work accidents from HGVs and cars combined. But many of these accidents, and the personal injury claims that accompany them, could be avoided.

The Hazards of Forklifts

According to the Fork Lift Truck Association, the greatest hazard associated with the use of forklift trucks in the workplace is when the forklifts are used in places where pedestrians are present. Forklifts and pedestrians just don't mix and many accidents are the result of a pedestrian being knocked over by a forklift truck when the driver just hasn't seen the pedestrian. Other accidents associated with forklift trucks include:-

  • People being crushed under an overturned forklift
  • People being pinned between the truck and a wall, the ground or an object.
  • People being crushed by a load falling off a forklift truck.

The main causes of forklift truck accidents, according to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) are a lack of training and poor supervision of forklifts in the workplace. However, poor maintenance of forklifts and also inadequate premises, such as an uneven surface or potholes, can also be major causes of accidents.

Employers have a duty to take certain steps to keep people safe when forklift trucks are being used in the workplace, measures such as:-

  • Ensuring that forklift truck operators are competent and fit enough.
  • Ensuring that the premises are adequate and safe.
  • Identifying risks and hazards and taking steps to reduce or eliminate these.
  • Making sure that pedestrians and vehicles are separated.
  • Ensuring that vehicles are inspected, well maintained, appropriate for the job and operated safely.

If employers do not take these steps and an accident happens, they can be found negligent and ordered to pay out on a no win no fee accident claim.

Forklift Injury Compensation Cases

In one personal injury case, an Uxbridge firm had to pay out £50,000 in personal injury compensation and £6,000 in costs after a 60 year old employee was crushed to death in a forklift truck accident. The man was killed when the forklift truck's load fell from its forks after the driver had performed an emergency stop to avoid hitting another employee. The family of the man consulted a no win no fee solicitor who was able to claim successfully because it was found that the firm had not carried out appropriate risk assessments and that it had made no attempt to ensure that pedestrians and vehicles were separated. The firm's carelessness and negligence led to this man being killed, a family suffering much distress and the firm being sued for compensation.

If you, or a member of your family, has been injured in an accident at work, you may be eligible to claim personal injury compensation. Compensation can help with medical bills, compensate you for lost earnings and allow you to move on with your life. An experienced personal injury solicitor will be able to advise you on your situation, tell you the likelihood of success for your claim, build a cases and get you the appropriate compensation award. Not only that, no win no fee lawyers also take the risk out of claiming you pay nothing if you lose.

You should not feel guilty for claiming against your employer - claiming compensation for an accident at work will ensure that your employer takes measures to prevent further accidents in the future and the payout should be covered by their liability insurance.