My employer has told me it is not possible to make claims for pallet truck accidents if there are no witnesses to confirm how the accident happened. Is this true?

Eoin P. Campbell, LL.B., Solicitor

Editor in Chief

Eoin P. Campbell

Question:

My employer has told me it is not possible to make claims for pallet truck accidents if there are no witnesses to confirm how the accident happened. Is this true?

Answer:

Pallet truck accidents in warehouses are some of the most common reasons for claiming workplace personal injury compensation, and every year many pallet truck accident victims are able to successfully recover compensation for their injuries. Workers in warehouses are often required to perform their duties without supervision and move stock on their own. Often pallet truck accidents occur without any witnesses, and while this can make claiming personal injury compensation more complicated, it does not mean that a pallet truck accident compensation claim will not be possible. While it is certainly beneficial to the claimant if there are witnesses to a pallet truck accident, it is not a prerequisite for making claims for pallet truck accidents.

However, in order for claims for compensation to be made for pallet truck accidents at work, you must be able to prove that the pallet truck accident was not your fault and that your employer was primarily to blame. Your employer must have failed in a duty of care and must have been negligent in order for a claim for pallet truck accidents to be made against the company insurance policy.

Any manual handling activity has potential to cause an injury, and while pallet trucks enable heavy loads to be moved relatively safely, injuries are still common. The main reasons why injuries are sustained in pallet truck accidents is due to a lack of training. An employer has a legal responsibility to supply a pallet truck to assist with the manual handling tasks in warehouses, but his responsibilities do not end there. Training on the correct use of pallet trucks must also be provided to help prevent pallet truck accidents in warehouses.

Any pallet truck accidents, which could have been prevented had training been provided, can result in claims for compensation being made for any injuries sustained as a direct result. If an employer has instructed you to move a heavy pallet which should have been a job for more than one member of staff, and you were injured in the process, this could also represent negligence and could well be grounds for making a pallet truck accident claim.

When there are no witnesses to a pallet truck accident, it becomes even more important to ensure that the accident is written up in full in your employer’s accident book. You must ensure that the circumstances of any pallet truck accidents are recorded and how you sustained your injury. You must seek medical attention at the local hospital or from your GP promptly.

When there are no witnesses to pallet truck accidents, the assistance of a personal injury solicitor can be invaluable. Without witnesses to help confirm the circumstances under which pallet truck accidents occur, other evidence of negligence needs to be collected. A personal injury solicitor can be invaluable in this regard. After listening to your account of the pallet truck accident in which you were injured, you will be advised on what evidence you need to collect. Your chosen solicitor will also be able to contact other employees to help determine employer negligence.