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Warehouse Worker Seriously Injured by Fork Lift Truck

01 September 2015

forklift truck

A warehouse worker has received £150,000 in compensation after he was struck by a fork lift truck driver whilst helping a colleague at work.

Slater and Gordon Solicitor: A Personal Injury Solicitor at Slater and Gordon Lawyers in Manchester.

Settlement Value: £150,000

What happened: The client had just returned to work after a holiday and was working at his employer’s warehouse facility. The layout of the warehouse had changed during the holiday shut down period and on the day of the accident he was assisting a temporary fork lift truck driver inside the warehouse.

There were very few staff on that particular day and the driver the client was helping was under a time constraint to locate parts from the back of a lorry.

After offering his help, the client walked alongside the driver into the warehouse. But as they entered the building, the driver turned his vehicle and struck the claimant’s leg causing an open fracture to the right ankle.

The client had to be airlifted to hospital where he underwent emergency surgery. He had supportive metal work inserted into his leg and he also underwent skin grafting. Revision surgery was then needed due to pre-existing medical problems and this delayed his recovery.

How Slater and Gordon helped: We were contacted by the client’s family whilst the injured worker was an in-patient in hospital and were concerned that the claimant would be unable to work again and that his mobility would be severely impaired. 

The defendants delayed a liability response before they eventually admitted primary liability, leaving the issue of contributory negligence ‘live.’ CCTV footage was provided which showed the claimant walking alongside a moving vehicle, which was deemed inherently dangerous. 

We managed to secure a £10,000 interim payment whilst medical evidence was obtained and after obtaining an immediate needs report as well as orthopaedic evidence, a Part 36 offer of £135,000 was received. 

Decision: Upon receiving instructions, Slater and Gordon negotiated an increased settlement offer of £150,000, which the claimant accepted after obtaining advice from Counsel. 

The claimant’s mobility was much improved by this stage. Further, there were risks both in terms of a finding of contributory negligence and a favourable prognosis for the injury. The claimant therefore chose to accept the offer.

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