forklift accident compensation claim

Forklift Accident Compensation: Claim For Injury At Work Caused By Pallet Trucks

Find out what a forklift accident compensation claim is; the different types of forklift truck that can cause injury; the most common types of accidents involving pallet trucks; calculating the amounts of compensation for bodily injury and financial loss with access to our free online and telephone specialist solicitor legal help.

What is a forklift accident compensation claim?

“Forklift accident compensation claims” are claims for compensation made by an employee, or other worker, from an employer for injuries caused by the defective maintenance or operation of a forklift truck.

What are the most common types of forklift truck?

A forklift truck or FLT is known by many names – which often relate to the type of objects the fork lift is used to carry, the means by which it operates or the type of attachment used in place of the forks, for example:

Pallet truck

Perhaps the most common name for a forklift truck is a pallet truck. Most of the objects moved by a forklift rest on pallets. Pallets are typically square wooden slatted structures which have gaps at their base in which the forks of the truck can be positioned.

Some pallet trucks are pump action hand trucks – others are gas, diesel or electric powered vehicles.

Counterbalance truck

All forklift trucks are in essence counterbalance trucks. The front forks of the truck can lift extremely heavy weights as that weight is counterbalanced by heavy weights in the back of the truck – typically made of cast iron.

Forklift attachments

A forklift truck can have many attachments which can be used instead of the traditional forks. The type of attachment will depend on the nature of the objects to be lifted.

Side loader truck

The side loader attachment allows the forklift driver to move the forks of the truck horizontally for easier positioning of the loads. A worker hit and injured by the forks will likely be able to make a forklift accident compensation claim from his employer.

Telescopic attachments

Telescopic attachments are extended forks which allow the forklift driver to pick up two pallets in line (without an attachment the forks are only long enough to pick up one pallet at a time).

Bin tipping truck

Bin tipping trucks are forklift trucks with a rotator attachment, which allow the forks of the truck to rotate and empty the contents of large tubs or bins.

Pole and clamp attachments

Other attachments include poles (for inserting into carpet rolls or other long cylindrical objects), clamps (for attaching to smaller cylindrical objects such as barrels).

High low loader

Forklift trucks have the facility to raise and lower the forks – a common name for such trucks is therefore high low trucks.

work forklift truck
Work Forklift Truck

What are the most common types of accidents involving forklifts?

A forklift truck is a very heavy and powerful piece of machinery – used to move extremely heavy weights in the workplace.

The most common types of accidents at work involving forklifts, include:

Forklift crush injuries

Crush injuries to your body parts – such as hands, arms, feet and legs are all too common, which typically comes from the careless operation of the pallet truck by the driver or improper maintenance of the vehicle.

For example – we have seen forklift accident compensation claims succeed when the weighty forks of the truck slipped hitting a worker causing crush injuries. The forks had slipped due to the lifting mechanism of the pallet truck being faulty and improperly maintained.

See our defective work equipment compensation article to see how to show your employer is responsible for faulty maintenance and work machinery defects.

Inadequate training of forklift truck drivers

Fork lift truck drivers should have a valid licence in place demonstrating that proper training has been provided by an employer and the driver is aware of all the dangers and safety requirements for operating such a vehicle.

An employer will be held responsible to pay forklift accident compensation for injuries caused by any errors made by a forklift driver at work under a legal doctrine known as vicarious liability.

Back injuries from operation of forklifts on unsuitable surfaces

Some forklift trucks can have suspension – others do not. When heavy vehicles without suspension or faulty suspension are used on uneven surfaces the forces that can be passed onto the driver can be immense.

Neck, back and spine injuries are quite common in such accident types and employer liability typically follows from not providing you with a safe work environment or system of work

Fatal pallet truck injuries

Regretfully, tragic consequences can result from forklift work accidents and if a worker is hit on the head a fatality can be caused.

In such cases, family members and dependents can claim compensation – see our fatal accident article for our guide to making a fatal accident claim.

Remember – the Health &Safety Executive guidelines set out how driver can use a forklift safely.

How to calculate the amount of compensation you can claim for forklift truck injuries?

The amount of compensation your forklift injury claim is worth depends on several factors – including the area of your body injured and the severity of your injury.

Our detailed compensation amounts to see examples of forklift accident compensation payouts for pain and suffering for injuries to various different body parts.

Watch out – in additions to compensation for pain and suffering, you can claim for financial loss and expense as a direct result of your injury. These losses are known as special damages.

We appreciate that making a claim for compensation using a solicitor is a daunting prospect – your confidence is often knocked by severe injuries and you may feel uncertain as to whether you wish to claim against your employer. Sometimes all you initially need is a conversation – online or on the phone, to help you decide what to do.

See our specialist solicitor free online legal help to select from our legal help options, including asking an online question, speaking direct to our specialist solicitors about your work injuries and the process of making a forklift accident compensation claim.