If you’ve been injured in an accident involving a forklift, you may be able to claim compensation for lost income, medical costs and other expenses. To get the full amount you’re entitled to, you should consider engaging a forklift accident lawyer.
Causes of forklift accidents
Even at low speeds, forklifts can cause serious injuries and even death to forklift drivers and pedestrians. Common accidents include:
- being hit by a forklift or by a load falling off a forklift
- being crushed between a forklift and a wall or other object
- having a forklift overturn.
Companies that use forklifts, such as in warehouses and construction sites, must have risk management plans in place to protect people in areas where forklifts are used, and meet OHS requirements.
However, sometimes these plans fail – or don’t exist – and accidents happen. Common injuries from forklifts include:
- crushed limbs
- broken bones
- cuts and severe bruising
- head injuries
- sprains and strains.
Compensation for forklift accidents
If you’ve been hurt in a forklift accident, you may have to take time off work to recover – a long time if the injury is serious. You’ll probably have to pay your bills and treatment expenses while you’re not working.
If the forklift accident was due to someone else’s negligence, you may be able to claim compensation.
Most forklift accidents happen around worksites. If the business owner has failed in their duty of care to provide a safe work environment for all staff and visitors, they may have to pay workers compensation. (The law requires all employers to have this insurance.)
What you can claim for
- General damages – for pain and suffering you have experienced
- Medical costs – including hospital, surgery, treatment, medical equipment, ongoing rehabilitation, medicine, x-rays and scans, and travel costs
- Loss of income – income you have lost and will lose (future earnings) from being unable to work, as well as superannuation
- Care and assistance – if you need to hire someone to help you with personal tasks.
As well as claiming for injuries caused by the accident, you can make a claim for pre-existing conditions or injuries that were worsened or aggravated by the accident.
How your compensation is calculated
How much you can receive depends on several factors:
- Your quality of life before and after the accident – obviously, the more severe your injury, the more compensation you’re entitled to.
- Your loss of income and future earning potential – including how much you earned before the accident and how that has changed. Can you do a different task to earn an income – such as a desk job – or are you unable to work at all?
- The extent to which you contributed to the accident– such as if you were breaking a rule at the time or wearing headphones.
To calculate how much potential compensation you can receive for your accident, use our calculator.
How to start a claim
You should contact a forklift accident lawyer to get advice on how to proceed. These claims have time limits, so you should start as soon as possible.
At Main Lawyers, we can have a free, no-obligation chat with you to figure out whether you have a claim.
You should also gather paperwork and other evidence that could help prove your case, such as medical records, video and witness statements.
We will investigate the case and advise you on how much you may be entitled to. We will then process all the necessary paperwork and work on your behalf to get you a settlement.
Usually we can reach an agreement and get you what you deserve without going to court. However, it can take months to get your compensation payout, so you should start as soon as possible.
Want to know more?
Contact us for a discussion about making a compensation claim after a forklift accident.