Forklift trucks are a familiar sight in many workplaces. Throughout the country, and across a range of different industries, forklifts are used day-in, day-out.
They are powerful pieces of machinery and, with so many in operation, it is perhaps unsurprising that they are frequently involved in accidents. According to the Health and Safety Executive, on average, forklifts “are involved in about a quarter of all workplace transport accidents.”
Sadly, there are many kinds of accident that can occur involving in a forklift truck.
Some examples are:
- Collisions with people or objects
- Crushing injuries from lifting mechanisms or the forklift itself
But unlike most hazardous machinery, it is not the operators of forklifts who are at greatest risk from them. Some estimates suggest that around two-thirds of all injuries caused by forklifts are inflicted on people other than the operator.
Forklifts have also led to many fatal accidents, although fortunately numbers have fallen over recent years. Even so, the risks are still there. It only takes the
carelessness of an employer or one of their employees to result in a severe incident.
Suffering a personal injury in a forklift truck accident
If you have been injured by a forklift truck, there are steps you can take to obtain compensation.
At Truth Legal, we help people get their lives back on track, recovering the compensation they deserve and seeking justice for the wrongs they have suffered.
With forklift truck accidents, the situation is worryingly close to home. Statistics suggest that, for forklift truck accidents, the North is on the wrong side of a clear
Despite a roughly even split of forklift truck sales between North and South, three of the top four worst areas for serious forklift accidents were in Yorkshire (namely Wakefield, Leeds, and Doncaster).
Truth Legal are based in Harrogate, although we also have offices in York, Manchester, and London. I find it particularly horrifying to think that people in nearby communities could be at a much greater risk of being injured by a forklift than their colleagues down South.
Making a personal injury claim for a forklift accident
If you have been injured by a forklift truck, and it wasn’t your fault, then you could be entitled to compensation.
Forklifts pose considerable dangers to those working around them. This makes it even more vital that employers are doing all they can to make their workplaces as safe as possible.
Employers are under legal duties to ensure the safety of their employees. Similar duties are also owed to anyone visiting their premises. If they fail in these duties, or their standards fall short of those required, injuries can happen – injuries which should have been prevented. Such circumstances are a textbook example of an employer’s negligence.
In reality, employer negligence can take many forms. For example:
- Poor maintenance of forklifts or other equipment
- Poor working practices, such as dangerous procedures for loading and unloading forklifts
- Inadequate training given to forklift operators or other workers
- Inadequate supervision
- Poorly-planned workplace layouts which put people at risk
- Allowing obstructions in areas where forklifts will be driving
- Allowing heavy volumes of forklift traffic at the same time
- Placing pressure upon drivers, causing them to operate at speed or under unreasonable stress
- Inadequately designated walkways/safe areas for pedestrians
- Allowing a poor workplace environment, such as bad lighting or flooring
- Failing to supply appropriate safety equipment, such as gloves or high-visibility clothing
Under the law, the actions of an employee during the course of their work are also the responsibility of their employer. So if, for example, you were injured by another employee – who was messing around or just not paying proper attention whilst driving a forklift – a claim could be made against your mutual employer. Your employer would be held, what is called, ‘vicariously liable’.
Time limits to making a claim
If you are thinking of making a claim, you must be aware that you could be prevented from doing so if it has been too long since the accident occurred.
For personal injury claims, you generally have to make your claim within 3 years of the accident date.
A number of rules may change the time limits which apply to your case. If you are considering a claim, or you are worried matters have been left for too long, it is recommended that you seek legal advice as soon as possible.
How much would it cost to make a claim?
If the accident was not your fault, we are often able to conduct matters on the basis of a ‘No Win, No Fee’ agreement.
This means, in the vast majority of situations, that you will not have to pay our fees if we are unsuccessful in recovering compensation for you. On the other hand, if we are successful, our fees will be paid by a portion of your compensation award and also by your employer’s insurers.
If you have any concerns on how a personal injury claim is funded, we are more than willing to discuss matters with you in more depth. Please feel free to contact us.
How Truth Legal can help you
Truth Legal are personal injury specialists who have helped hundreds of people recover the compensation they deserve. We devote our skill and expertise to every part of your claim to make it as smooth a journey as possible. We pride ourselves on being open and fair with our clients, maintaining the highest standards of integrity.
If that is the kind of solicitor you want handling you case, contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation.