What happened:

Our client, a 53 year old male, was employed as a forklift truck driver in a distribution warehouse. Another forklift truck cut across his path causing him to swerve to avoid a collision. In doing this his foot came out of the forklift cab and was crushed between the two forklift trucks.

The client sustained a fractured ankle. Although a nasty fracture the client made a full recovery after about 2 years.

What went wrong:

Despite being a large well known distribution centre handling goods for many household brands, there was a complete absence of health and safety measures in place. 

There were no marked lanes for forklift trucks to keep to and no training on how to safely move around the distribution centre. The incident was captured on CCTV which showed forklift trucks travelling at speed in all directions with no discernible system to avoid collisions. 

Impact on client:

The client was unable to work for about 4 months due to the fractured ankle and when he was physically fit to return to work he began suffering panic attacks as on his return no steps had been taken to improve health and safety. Eventually, he left and sought alternative employment elsewhere.

In addition to a course of physiotherapy we arranged cognitive behavioural therapy to help him overcome the panic attacks.

Legal outcome:

The claim settled for £27,000.00 before trial but after Court proceedings had been issued. It was necessary to start the Court proceedings as liability was denied. 

Despite the incident being captured on CCTV the insurance company argued the client deliberately drove around with his leg hanging out of the forklift truck and caused the accident by swerving in front of another forklift truck. 

The compensation eventually negotiated comprised about £14,000.00 for the fractured ankle and the remainder for loss of earnings and treatment costs.