By Marlon Wilkinson. Last Updated 14th July 2022. HGV and lorry trips are an essential part of the supply chain for the UK. They ensure goods arrive where they’re needed and on time every day but if one hits you, it may mean you need to make a lorry & HGV accident compensation claim for any injuries or damage caused.
Advice.co.uk deal with personal injury claims that have happened anywhere in the UK and can provide no win no fee solicitors for any case we work on.
If you’d like to begin a claim today, please call on 0161 696 9685 and speak with one of our fully trained advisers.
If you’d rather find out more first, then please carry on reading this helpful guide.
Select A Section
- A Guide To Lorry And HGV Accident Claims
- What Is A Lorry Or HGV Accident?
- Road Accident Claim – Calculating Compensation For A HGV Accident
- What Can LGV & HGV Accident Claims Include?
- Common Causes Of Lorry And HGV Accidents
- Lorry Accidents Caused By Drivers Using Mobile Phones
- HGV Accidents Caused By Illness, Fatigue, Or Intoxication
- Lorry And HGV Accidents Caused By Lack Of Maintenance
- HGV Accidents Caused By Driver Error
- Claims For Accidents Involving Foreign Lorry Drivers
- Liability For Lorry And HGV Accidents
- Can I Claim Compensation From The Vehicle Operator?
- How Long Do I Have To Make My Lorry Accident Claim?
- How You Start A Lorry Or HGV Accident Claim
- No Win No Fee Lorry And HGV Accident Claims
- How Our Road Traffic Accident Claims Team Can Help You
- How To Contact Our Experts
- Find Out More About Road Traffic Accidents
A Guide To Lorry And HGV Accident Claims
According to government statistics, there were 18.6 billion kilometres (around 11.5 billion miles) travelled by HGVs in 2017. That’s a lot of miles and, it would seem obvious that with that many miles travelled it is inevitable that there are going to be some HGV and LGV accidents.
Just because of the size of the vehicles involved and the weight of the goods they carry, some of the accidents can be very serious and cause significant damage. If you’re involved in an accident, which wasn’t your fault, you may be entitled to claim compensation for your injuries.
In this guide, we’re going to provide information about what accidents occur, how to prove liability, how much compensation you may receive, what evidence you need to support a claim and how no win no fee services work.
What Is A Lorry Or HGV Accident?
An accident involving a lorry or HGV can be terrifying because of the vast size of the vehicle. Not all colisions with HGVs would be suitable for claiming compensation though. This is mainly the case if it was you that caused the accident rather than the lorry driver.
To be eligible to make a claim, the driver of the HGV needs to responsible for the accident in some way. As a road user, any driver owes other road users a duty of care to drive carefully and minimise the risk of an accident. If the HGV driver fails in that duty of care, then compensation could be claimed by anybody hurt in an accident.
We’ll cover the types of accidents where the driver could be liable for the accident in another section of this guide. If you think you’ve got a valid claim, because an HGV driver caused an accident you were involved in, then please call one of our team for further advice.
Road Accident Claim – Calculating Compensation For A HGV Accident
Your compensation would depend on the injuries you suffered in the HGV accident. An injury that resulted in permanent issues could see a higher award in compensation.
Compensation in claims is assessed under two categories. The first is general damages, which is compensation intended for the pain and suffering caused by an injury.
This award will be in line with the type of injury you had suffered, and so we have created a table of potential injuries a person could sustain in a crash with an HGV, alongside examples of general damages. We are using injuries and compensation featured in the 2022 edition of the Judicial College Guidelines because this is the publication legal professionals typically use to calculate personal injury claims payouts.
|Severe neck injury (ii)||Severe disability caused by disc damage and fractures||£61,710 to £122,860|
|Moderate neck injury (i)||Injuries such as fractures or dislocations which cause severe immediate symptoms and which may necessitate spinal fusion.||£23,460 to £36,120|
|Moderate back injury (i)||Fractures of vertebrae causing osteoarthritis and chronic pain||£26,050 to £36,390|
|Minor back injury (i)||Soft tissue injuries with recovery expected within about two to five years.||£7,410 to £11,730|
|Moderate shoulder injury||Soft tissue injuries lasting 2 years.||£7,410 to £11,980|
|Serious leg injury (iii)||Serious compound or comminuted fractures or injuries to joints or ligaments resulting in instability, prolonged treatment.||£36,790 to £51,460|
|Less serious leg injuries||Fractures from which an incomplete recovery is made||£16,860 to £26,050|
|Moderately severe brain damage||Brain damage causing permanent disability||£205,580 to £264,650|
|Less severe brain damage||Altered cognitive function||£14,380 to £40,410|
|Rib fractures and similar injuries||Rib fracture or soft tissue injury||Up to £3,710|
|Less severe injuries||Wrist injury that results in permanent injury due to persistent pain and stiffness||£11,820 to £22,990|
|Forearm fracture||Simple fracture of the forearm||£6,190 to £18,020|
The second category examined in your compensation is the financial effects of the injury and we provide more information about this in the section below. If you have suffered injuries in an accident with an HGV, due to another driver’s negligent actions, please speak to one of our advisors to discuss your claim.
What Can LGV & HGV Accident Claims Include?
Any personal injury solicitor has a number of ‘Heads of Loss’ or elements that they can use to build a claim. They use whichever losses are relevant, so not all are used in all cases. For your information, some of the more commonly used elements are:
These are paid out for the pain and suffering caused by your injuries (see the table above for some example amounts). Your solicitor needs to prove how severe your injuries were by using medical records and other evidence. This will ensure you receive the right level of compensation.
This element of a claim is designed to ensure that, once settled, you are not financially worse off than you were prior to the accident. There are a number of special damages available, including:
If you require any form of professional care while you’re recovering from your injuries, you could claim the costs back.
You may need to pay for a lot of prescriptions, depending on the severity of your injuries, or you may even have to pay for private medical treatment. It is possible for these costs to be claimed back.
Following your accident, if you have to make alternative travel arrangements such as using public transport instead of driving, you could submit a claim for any additional costs incurred.
Any Loss of Income
There may be lost income incurred if you have to take time off of work to recover or to attend doctors’ appointments. If your employer only pays statutory sick pay (SSP), then you may lose out financially so it’s only right that you should claim these losses back. You could also claim for future losses if the injuries are likely to impact on your employment in the future.
Damage to Personal Property
If you have any personal property damaged during a lorry accident, such as torn clothing or broken spectacles after banging your head, you can ask for the cost to replace or repair the damaged items.
You should contact us as soon as possible, following a lorry accident to check whether you’re likely to be able to claim any expense back, especially large value transactions like private medical care.
Common Causes Of Lorry And HGV Accidents
As promised earlier, we’ll now cover the most common types of accidents involving HGVs and lorries. Don’t worry if yours isn’t listed, we can still help so long as the lorry driver was to blame in some way.
Lorry Accidents Caused By Drivers Using Mobile Phones
Using a mobile phone while driving is illegal in the UK. This is because it is distracting and vastly increases the chance of an accident occurring. It is completely irresponsible to use a mobile while driving such a huge vehicle.
It goes without saying that driving a HGV and using a mobile phone would be negligent, so claiming compensation would be possible.
HGV Accidents Caused By Illness, Fatigue, Or Intoxication
Drivers of HGVs and lorries are professional drivers and have a duty of care to ensure the safety of other road users. This means that they should take the rest periods that legally they are supposed to, to avoid fatigue.
Also, if they’re ill, they should not drive if taking medication which will make them drowsy, which is usually clearly labelled on medicine bottles. This can be the case for simple cold and flu remedies, so the driver should be aware at all time of any risks.
Finally, and possibly most importantly, a driver of an HGV is not only committing a criminal act if above the legal drink drive limit, they are potentially turning their vehicle in to a death trap. This is of course true for anybody who drives while over the legal limit.
Lorry And HGV Accidents Caused By Lack Of Maintenance
As with all vehicles on the road, HGVs must have an MOT safety test annually. Unlike cars, lorries have to be tested after the first year (whereas cars are exempt for the first 3 years).
Drivers should check their tyres, lights and other safety features regularly and if they notice a fault, should get it fixed at the earliest opportunity or not drive if the fault makes it dangerous to do so. The haulage company will also have responsibility of making regular checks on the vehicle, it’s not just the driver’s responsibility.
If a lorry hits your car and it’s in a bad state of repair, photograph as much evidence of this to support your claim and, if the police attend the scene of the accident, ensure you get the officers details.
HGV Accidents Caused By Driver Error
You may think that if a driver makes a simple mistake, you wouldn’t be able to claim compensation but that’s not always the case.
The same as a car driver, if a lorry hits you from behind because they mis-judge breaking distances, aren’t paying attention or change lane at the last minute, they will probably be liable for the accident and compensation could be claimed.
If you suspect an accident has occurred because of driver error, try to gather evidence, especially witness statements or dashcam evidence, and contact one of our specially trained advisers. We’ll assess the reason for the accident and provide you with our opinion as to whether you can claim or not.
Claims For Accidents Involving Foreign Lorry Drivers
A large percentage of lorries on British roads are operated by European haulage firms and employ European drivers but while driving on British roads you’re protected in the same way as if a British lorry had hit you.
The process of claiming will be the same and you should make the same steps if you’re involved in an HGV accident involving a foreign driver. That means you should get their name, address, licence plate number, telephone number and insurance details.
If the driver has no insurance details available or isn’t insured, you can still make a claim. We can use the Motor Insurer Bureau when no insurance is present but you will need to provide the vehicle licence plate as evidence and it may be a good idea to get a crime reference number.
It can be straightforward to claim against a foreign HGV driver or it could be quite complex! Let us deal with the claim on your behalf as we have the experience and knowledge to make the claim process much easier.
Liability For Lorry And HGV Accidents
When you’re involved in a lorry accident, it may not be clear who is responsible and who the claim needs to be made against. There are generally 3 options:
- The haulage company would likely be responsible if they failed to maintain the lorry properly and this was the cause of the accident. They could also be responsible if they hadn’t advised the driver of any specific regulations that they should have been aware of.
- The driver would be to blame, and therefore liable, for an accident if they caused the accident through negligence in some of the ways we’ve dealt with already in this guide. Namely, driving while tired, intoxicated, careless driving, speeding or other driver errors.
- In some circumstances, both the haulage company and driver could be held responsible such as when the goods being transported fall from the vehicle on to your vehicle. Both the driver and the company employing them share responsibility for securing cargo properly within the vehicle.
Can I Claim Compensation From The Vehicle Operator?
As described above, if the vehicle operator can be proven to be responsible for the accident because they’ve not maintained the vehicle properly or stored goods within the vehicle correctly, then the claim may be made against them rather than the driver.
How Long Do I Have To Make My Lorry Accident Claim?
If you’ve been hit by a lorry and want to make a compensation claim, then you must do it within the allowed timescales. The current limits are:
|Type of Claim||Time Limit|
|Accident At work||3 years from the date of the accident or the knowledge of the injury.|
|Personal injury claim (accident in public place)||3 years from the date of the accident or the knowledge of the injury.|
|Personal injury claim for a child (under 18)||3 years from their 18th birthday if they claim themselves.|
How You Start A Lorry Or HGV Accident Claim
Simply pick up the phone and call us using the details at the end of this guide. Before you do though, there is some evidence you could gather which will make the claim easier to handle. This includes:
- If you visited a doctor following your accident to treat your injuries, ask for a copy of any medical records. We can use to support your claim and provide evidence of the injuries sustained.
- Provide us with any photographs you took at the scene.
- Let us have the driver’s details including contact details, company details, insurance details and number plate.
- Ask any witnesses for their contact details and any witness statements they prepared at the time.
- If the accident was reported to the police, and there was a reference number, please provide it or the officers details.
- If you took photographs of your injuries following the accident, provide these as well.
No Win No Fee Lorry And HGV Accident Claims
Many people are put off of making a compensation claim because of stories they’ve heard about large legal bills. We understand this so we only use no win no fee solicitors. The major benefit of no win no fee is that you never have to send the solicitor any of your own funds, win or lose, as you’ll see below.
Use a no win no fee service. Although you don’t pay them any fees yourself, if they win the case, they keep some of your compensation (limited to a maximum of 25%) as a success fee. They then send you the rest of the compensation. The main benefit here is, if they lose the case, you won’t have to pay them anything for their services.
As mentioned above, we’ll only ever work with no win no fee solicitors to help reduce the stress involved in claiming and to enable more people to begin a claim without having to find the funds to pay for it.
How Our Road Traffic Accident Claims Team Can Help You
Advice.co.uk are personal injury specialists with the desire to ensure that all of our clients are compensated fully for their injuries. Our professional team of advisers use their skills to ensure the right questions are asked and the correct evidence collected to make a complete and thorough claim.
When you contact us, we’ll happily answer any questions and provide free legal advice about what steps you can take next if you’re not quite ready to begin a claim.
When you do want to make a claim, we’ll follow this process:
|You get in touch with the details||We'll assess the merits of the claim||When we agree you have a valid claim and If you're happy to proceed, we'll begin the claims process|
How To Contact Our Experts
Advice.co.uk are able to help with lorry & HGV accident compensation claims that have happened anywhere in the UK. We are personal injury specialists who only work with no win no fee solicitors to make your claim stress free.
If you’d like to begin a claim today, you can contact us by:
- Calling us directly on 0161 696 9685 and one of our team will take the details of your claim straight away.
- Filling in a simple online form to submit your claim details.
- Or by sending details of your claim in an email to email@example.com
However you choose to get in touch, one of our advisers will listen to the details of your accident, your injuries and how they have impacted you during a free initial consultation. We’ll answer any questions you may have and provide free legal advice about your next steps.
Find Out More About Road Traffic Accidents
That is the end of this guide, so we hope you’ve received all of the information you require to begin your own lorry & HGV accident compensation claim. For your information, we’ve included further useful guides below:
Whiplash Information – a guide from the NHS about the symptoms and treatment of whiplash injuries.
Road Freight Statistics 2017 – information about road haulage activity during 2017.
Other Car Accident Claim Guides
- Car Accident Claims
- Claim Compensation As A Passenger In A Car Accident
- Snow And Ice Car Accidents
- Taxi And Minicab Accident Claim
- Learner Driver Car Accident
- What To Do After A Car Accident?
- Time Limit For A Car Accident Claim
- Proving A Car Accident Wasn’t Your Fault
- Time Limit On Car Accident Claims
- How To Report A Car Accident
- Car Insurance Excess Fees After An Accident
- Rights In A Car Accident
- What Should I Do If I’m Injured In A Car Accident?
- Who Pays The Excess Fees In A Rear End Car Accident?
- How Long Do You Have To Report A Car Accident?
- How Do You Prove Injuries Sustained In A Car Accident?
- Symptoms To Watch Out For After A Car Accident
- Can You Sue For A Car Accident With No Injuries?
- What Happens If You Get Injured In A Car Accident?
- Car Accident Injury Payouts
- Who Is Liable In A Multi Car Pile Up?
- Emergency Braking Bus Accident
- Can I Claim If A Car Accident Aggravated A Pre-existing Condition?
- Claim For Anxiety After A Car Accident
- Mud On The Road Car Accident
- How To Claim For An Accident During A Driving Lesson
If you require any more information to help you begin your claim, please get in touch.
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