I was hit by an item falling from a forklift truck being driven by a delivery company driver. My boss has told me that I should be able to claim compensation for broken bones in my toes against the delivery company. Is this correct?

Eoin P. Campbell, LL.B., Solicitor

Editor in Chief

Eoin P. Campbell

Question:

I was hit by an item falling from a forklift truck being driven by a delivery company driver. My boss has told me that I should be able to claim compensation for broken bones in my toes against the delivery company. Is this correct?

Answer:

In order to claim compensation for being hit by an item falling from a forklift truck you must prove that the accident was caused by negligence of a third party. Most personal injury claims at work are made against an employer’s liability insurance company. However, when a delivery driver causes an accident at work, it will not be your employer who is liable for your injuries, even though they occurred on work premises.

Delivery drivers are required to be insured; however it is the company which employs them that arranges the insurance cover. A claim for an item falling from a forklift truck would therefore not be made against the driver directly, but must be made against the company which employs him. For a forklift truck injury claim to be successful you must be able to prove that the driver was negligent, and that his negligence was the reason why you suffered broken bones in your foot when you were hit by an item falling from a forklift truck driven by him.

Since the forklift truck accident occurred on work premises you must record how you came to be hit by an item falling from a forklift truck in your employer’s ‘Accident Book’. You must also record the name of the delivery driver responsible for the accident and the contact details of any witnesses. Their testimony can be invaluable when making a claim for being hit by an item falling from a forklift truck and proving that the delivery driver was at fault.

Since you will no doubt have visited a hospital for an x-ray to confirm your broken bones, a record of your injuries will have been made in your hospital medical records which is necessary in order for a claim for personal injury compensation to be made. However, crushing injuries to the delicate bones in the toes can have repercussions throughout life. It is not unusual for crushing injuries to the feet to cause long term damage, and it is vital that your forklift truck accident claim reflects this.

If you use the services of a personal injury solicitor to pursue compensation, your solicitor will ensure that an orthopaedic doctor thoroughly assesses your injuries to ensure that future loss of amenity and mobility problems are included in your claim. This will help to ensure that you receive your full entitlement to compensation for being hit by an item falling from a forklift truck.