Personal injury claims for vehicle accidents don’t just have to involve a road vehicle. Anyone injured as a result of specialised machinery like a forklift may have grounds to make a personal injury claim.

If you have been injured by a forklift in Australia, you aren’t alone. Between 2000 and 2007 there were roughly 7,400 of these accidents, according to Comcare, with half of these involving pedestrians.

Forklift accidents don’t just affect workers in warehouses and industrial sites either. Members of the public can be injured by forklifts that are used incorrectly or if the operator has not followed proper health and safety procedures.

The good news if you have been injured by a forklift is that it is possible to make a claim against the responsible party.

Here is what you need to know about making a claim for a forklift injury, depending on whether you are a company’s staff or a member of the public.


As an employee, it is your employer’s responsibility to maintain a safe workplace. If they are unable to provide an environment that is safe and this results in a forklift injury, you may be eligible to make a claim for worker compensation.

This is true whether you are temporarily off work or suffer a total and permanent disability as a result of the accident. Employers in Australia are also legally obliged to obtain worker compensation insurance. Each state has different worker compensation laws, so make sure to get in contact with an injury lawyer who can advise on local legislation.

Forklifts are treated within the law as a motor vehicle, which means injured staff can make a damages claim against their employer. Often, an accident involving a forklift can result in multiple claims.

Members of the public

As a member of the public, if you are injured by another person’s use of a forklift you may also have grounds for a compensation claim. Many people will be unfamiliar with the health and safety requirements of a work site so the burden is on the operator to ensure their work doesn’t put individuals at risk.

To learn more about making a claim for compensation following an injury, make sure to contact specialised accident lawyers today.

Frequently Asked Questions

A: If you’ve had a motor car accident, stop your vehicle and turn on your hazard lights. Make sure nobody is injured, and if so, call emergency 000 and remain at the scene of the accident. If it’s a minor incident you don’t need to call the police, but move the damaged cars if possible. Never admit responsibility even if you think you were at fault. Collect name, address, registration number and insurance details from the other parties and get witness details if possible.
A: Motor accident compensation claims are normally finalised after you’ve recovered, or your injuries have stabilised. It can take some people longer to recover than others – from days to years – which determines the length of time it can take to finalise a claim. Also, your injuries may not always appear immediately after the accident and can take some time to appear, in some cases, years.

A: In a carpark, anyone driving in the lanes has the right of way, so if you’re the one pulling out of the car space and hit another motor vehicle, you are likely to be the majority at fault in the accident. However, since both cars are moving, both drivers might hold some responsibility. But if you hit a parked car, you are likely at fault.

A: When lodging a claim for compensation after a motor vehicle accident it’s best to do it as soon as possible. However, it isn’t always feasible if you were severely injured and couldn’t file a claim straight away. There are time limits, however, so get someone to call a lawyer at PK Simpson for you to lodge a claim at least within six months of the crash.

A: The length of time you have to make your claim depends on the jurisdiction.

For instance:

  • TPD claims – these may be commenced up to 10 years after you’ve stopped work. TPD claims are very technical and you may have more than one TPD claim.
  • Car accident claims – A personal injury claim form should be filled in and sent to your CTP insurer as early as possible, but must be no later than six months from the date of your accident. HOWEVER, out of time claims may be made. New NSW CTP laws have made it difficult for injured people and many law firms still do not understand how to run new claims under these laws – so call us at PK Simpson Sydney as soon as possible.
  • Workers compensation claims – You should contact a lawyer within six months of the accident. But remember, out of time claims can be handled by PK Simpson Sydney. We can help you get the treatment required to build your claim.
  • Slip ‘n’ fall/occupiers liability claims – Your claim must be lodged usually within three years of the date of your accident.

Medical Negligence – within three years of the date of when the cause of action was discoverable to our client OR 12 years from the time of the act or omission which caused the injury through negligence.

A: At PK Simpson compensation lawyers we operate on a no-win, no-fee basis. However, for detailed information on the legal costs that can be charged for statutory benefits CTP Insurance car accident claims in NSW click on this link.