Forklift Truck Accidents

Expert Serious Injury Lawyers London

Because a forklift truck is used in close proximity to people accidents can lead to serious and life-changing injuries. Osbornes Law specialises in serious injury claims. Our lawyers fight to ensure you receive the best financial package and on-going medical care and rehabilitation.

  • “A niche firm that punches well above its weight in the catastrophic injury sector, borne out by the quality of work they obtain.”

  • “They punch well above their weight. The quality of service they provide equals that of any of the larger top-name firms in this area.”

By far the most dangerous piece of industrial transport equipment is the forklift truck. This is because it is used in close proximity with people and is not always driven with proper care or under safe conditions which can lead to forklift truck accident

Workplace Safety to Avoid Forklift Truck Accidents

Forklifts, reach trucks and telescopic handlers are needed at warehouses and distribution hubs to load and unload delivery lorries and to store and stack stock every day. This means they must often operate outside as well as indoors and they will be in close proximity to drivers and loaders, customers, warehouse workers and others.

Employers at these places must make sure that they have proper systems for keeping forklifts away from pedestrian traffic. So there will need to be designated traffic routes and pedestrian walkways, with floor markings, warning signs, notices and barriers. Speed limits must be imposed and observed. This all requires thought and a proper assessment of the logistics, to arrange the workplace so that it is efficient and productive but also as safe as possible.

Safe vehicles

The average forklift truck (or FLT) weighs about 7000 lbs and will carry loads of between 1 and 5 tonnes, up to a height of 24 feet. It therefore has the potential to do a lot of damage and must be properly maintained. Daily checks should be carried out and logged, especially of the loading mechanism and the safety features, such as the warning siren, flashing lights and rear view mirrors. Any defect or malfunction with these parts could lead to a serious forklift accident.

Safe drivers

Perhaps more important than the safety of the vehicle is the safety of the driver, because most forklift accidents are caused by human error. The operator must be trained and qualified to drive a forklift and must be familiar with the particular type of truck he is assigned to. The training is not limited to the use of the vehicle; it must also include the processes involved, the safe methods of loading, unloading and stacking, and the layout of the workplace. This training is an on-going process and it is vital to keep it up to date with refresher courses. The driver must also be properly supervised by someone with the qualifications and experience to do that job.

Some forklift accidents are caused by drivers not being fit, through medication, drink or drugs, to drive safely, and the employer should keep and police a policy which outlaws forklift driving whilst under the influence.

Legislation

There is adequate health and safety legislation in place to prevent accidents involving forklift trucks. There are workplace regulations which impose strict duties in relation to work at height and the arrangement of transport traffic routes, and there is plenty of guidance from the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) and theForklift Truck Association.

But sometimes the rules are not observed and people are injured in avoidable forklift accidents. In these cases the breach of the relevant regulation can be used to prove the negligence claim against the employer or other person responsible.

Forklift Truck Accidents & Claims

Common accident situations involving forklifts include:

  • People falling after being incorrectly lifted by a forklift
  • Reversing forklifts running down pedestrians
  • Unsecured loads falling from forklifts
  • Malfunctioning forklift safety equipment
  • Forklifts colliding with other vehicles or structures
  • Failure to clear mark traffic routes and failure to observe traffic routes
  • Driver error caused by inattention, lack of experience or drink or drugs

Injuries caused by forklift trucks are often very serious. Head and brain or spinal injuries can result where a person is dropped from height or where a load falls onto them. Being run over by a forklift can cause devastating orthopaedic and degloving injuries, often leading to amputation.

With the more serious injury cases there is likely to be an investigation by the HSE or Local Authority, and where there is clear evidence of safety breaches they will prosecute. This usually provides helpful evidence that can be used in the civil claim.

A recent case study

In 2011 we acted for Mr R, a lorry driver who worked for building suppliers. He reported to the depot every morning and colleagues would load his lorry with a forklift truck. One day he was walking across the yard, between the warehouse and his lorry, and he passed behind the back of a stationary forklift truck. As he did so, the forklift reversed and ran over his legs. He suffered several fractures and loss of tissue and muscle which required skin grafting, and he needed extensive physical and psychological rehabilitation. He claimed that he did not hear any siren or see any flashing lights and that there was no safe walkway he could use. His employers argued that the forklift was working correctly and the cause of the accident was Mr R walking too close to the vehicle and not paying attention. After legal proceedings, the defendants eventually conceded liability and the case settled for nearly £100,000.

Forklift Accident Injury Claims

At Osbornes we have built up over the years a wealth of experience in dealing with forklift accident claims, and are confident that in most cases we will be able to prove breaches of safety regulations to allow the claim to be brought successfully.

Speak to a Personal Injury Lawyer Today

For a free initial conversation call 020 7485 8811

Email us Send us an email and we’ll get back to you






    • "They punch well above their weight. The quality of service they provide equals that of any of the larger top-name firms in this area"

      Chambers UK 2022

    • The group is noted for its expertise in matters relating to cycling injuries, and is the official legal partner of the London Cycling Campaign charity.

      Legal 500 2022

    • "A small but high-powered team, dealing with cases of significant value and complexity."

      Legal 500 2021

    • "An excellent firm which achieves fantastic outcomes for clients."

      Legal 500 2021

    • "Osbornes Law have captured the magic of keeping the customer service levels of a smaller firm whilst having all the expertise and power of the biggest firms."

    • "A superb boutique catastrophic injury firm."

      Legal 500 2021

    • "Really good at dealing with people who have suffered a serious injury."

      Chambers UK 2021

    • "Affable and charming with very good client-handling skills."

      Chambers UK 2021

    • "superb firm with consummate professionals and a human touch."

      Chambers UK 2021

    • Osbornes now has a team of highly experienced personal injury lawyers; particularly strong on high-value quantum cases, workplace accidents and claims involving foreign workers injured in the UK.

      Legal 500 2020 - Personal Injury

    • The team provides fantastic strength-in-depth for personal injury claims. It is also particularly well placed to service clients from Eastern Europe with specialist native language speakers. From the smallest case to a multimillion-pound spinal injury case, Osbornes has the right staff to manage every claim.

      Legal 500 2020 - Personal Injury

    • Ben Posford remains pre-eminent in his field with expert understanding of litigating cases of the upmost severity. His experience builds on Stuart Kightley’s running of the firm with recent partner additions of Rob Aylott making a fantastic addition.

      Legal 500 2020 - Personal Injury

    • A firm going from strength-to strength-which retains its client care whilst being able to offer a full personal injury service.

      Legal 500 2020 - Personal Injury

    • Beneath Ben Posford’s calm and reassuring presence, which clients love, lies a formidable tactical and legal brain. His experience tells and he gets it right at every stage of the process from arranging the best possible rehabilitation, to ensuring, so far as possible, a polite relationship with those acting for the defendant in order to ensure best and early resolution of the claim.

      Legal 500

    • "Clients say he is very impressive, in terms of both his experience and his management of the personal injury team."

      Chambers UK

    • "They have an expanding profile in personal injury and clinical negligence and offer a superb, broad service in accidents abroad, enabled by their recruitment of bilingual legal executives who can guide non-English speakers through complex litigation."

      Chambers & Partners Directory 2020, Personal Injury

    • "Solid personal injury practice well equipped to advise on high-value and high-profile claims arising from fatalities and severe head and spinal injuries."

      Chambers UK

    • "Offers specialist expertise in cycling-related injury claims."

      Chambers UK

    • "Offers specialist expertise in cauda equina syndrome cases."

      Chambers UK

    • "An exceptional outfit. They take on difficult cases, fight hard and win."

      Chambers UK

    • "Stuart Kightley is an incredibly empathetic solicitor who is very knowledgeable about traumatic brain injury."

      Chambers UK

    • "They are an outstanding firm to work with. They are consistently impressive in their work."

      Chambers UK

    • "Osbornes has a growing influence and impressive work load and is gaining a reputation for handling complex catastrophic work."

      The Legal 500

    • "Osbornes often handles claims valued at over £1m, particularly relating to severe brain and spinal cord injuries and niche areas such as cauda equina syndrome and cycling accidents."

      The Legal 500

    • "The hard-working, thorough and committed Robert Aylott, who brings significant heavyweight personal injury experience."

      Legal 500 2019

    • "Key team members include the energetic and personable Stuart Kightley who is head of the personal injury department."

      The Legal 500

    • "Catastrophic injury cases head Ben Posford is an excellent practical litigator who offers exceptional service."

      The Legal 500

    • Thank you for the hard work and patience and for being so patient with my constant questions.

      Personal Injury Client

    • "I have found Osbornes to be thorough, clear and understanding from the initial call. They do exactly what they say they will and with passion! I would recommend them to anyone".

      Client Review

    • Very good efficient service. Would not hesitate to use again.

      Personal Injury Client

    • I will use Osbornes for any future needs.

      Personal Injury Client

    • I don't think I could have asked for anything more. One of the best dealings I've had with the legal profession.

      Personal Injury Client

    • Sam was excellent and very professional in dealing with our claim.

      Personal Injury Client

    • Head of the personal injury department, Stuart Kightley is a first-rate practitioner, wholly focused on getting his client the best outcome in a pragmatic, sensible and consensual manner.

      Chambers UK

    • As a real specialist in spinal cord injuries, Ben Posford is always looking at new angles on how to maximise his cases.

      Chambers UK

    • Ben Posford is one of the best catastrophic injury lawyers around.

      Chambers UK

    • They provide exceptional service, great knowledge and understanding of the law, excellent client care and tactical nous

      Chambers UK

    • Stuart Kightley is praised for his expertise in catastrophic and fatal claims. Clients say he is very impressive, in terms of both his experience and his management of the personal injury team.

      Chambers UK

    • My claim was dealt with efficiently and professionally. Communication was excellent, and timely. Shrewd and sound advice was provided at every stage of the claim from beginning through to completion. On the basis of my personal experience I would strongly recommend Osbornes.

      Personal Injury Department Client

    • I just wish to thank you for your hard work and successful outcome. I am pleased with the result and would recommend you and your firm to anyone in the future.

      Personal injury department client

    • Ben Posford … is ‘tactically astute’ and ‘one of the best personal injury solicitors around’.

      Legal 500

    • Ben Posford ‘knows how to maximise the value of the claim for his clients’.

      Legal 500

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