Forklift accidents account for the largest proportion of accidents in the workplace and if any resultant injury is the fault of another party (e.g your employer), you may be entitled to compensation.
Such accidents frequently result in very serious injuries such as crushed limbs, broken bones, spinal injuries and unfortunately in some cases fatalities. Owing to the use and function of the forklift, the injuries tend to be quite significant and often result in permanent disability. In a recent survey the average payout for an accident involving a forklift is €33,000.
Forklift accidents are frequently caused by poor or inadequate training on the part of the driver of the forklift, failure to maintain in a proper and safe manner the mechanics of the forklift such as brakes, lights etc.
In addition to these causes, a poor layout in the factory or work place is also a common cause with the driver frequently incurring difficulties in turning space etc.
Employers’ Duty of Care
An employer owes a duty of care to his employees and this duty extends to proper training for all forklift drivers.
Employers are also required to maintain the forklift mechanics in a good safe and workmanlike order at all times in order to prevent accidents occurring. Where they fail to do so an employee or any other person (such as a visitor to the premises) is injured then that employee is entitled to seek compensation for their injuries.
In common law, an employer must at all times provide a safe place of work, a safe system of work and employees who are properly trained and safe equipment.
If you have been involved in an accident involving a forklift you should do the following:
- Seek medical attention immediately or as soon as possible thereafter. Please ensure to inform the medical doctor as to how precisely the accident happened and describe for him in detail the injuries sustained.
- The accident should be reported to your employer as soon as possible and a written account of the accident should be given to your employer in the Incident/Accident Report Book.
- Consult an experienced Personal Injuries Solicitor in order to seek compensation for your injuries.
CASE STUDY: €57,500 injury compensation for forklift accident
Marcus was involved in a forklift accident in March 2012, he was employed by a large construction company as a forklift driver. Owing to a failure to maintain the forklift properly, the brakes failed and the forklift collided with a lorry in his workplace and Marcus sustained back injuries and a fractured shoulder.
In July 2012 he instructed Quinn Solicitors to take a claim for compensation on his behalf for his injuries. Marcus was unable to work for ten weeks and as part of Marcus’s case a loss of earning claim was included and Marcus recovered all of his wages for this period. In July 2014, Marcus received the sum of €57,500 plus his legal costs as compensation for the injuries he sustained.