A Guide to Claiming HGV Accident Compensation

In the following article we explain everything you must know about making a successful lorry or HGV accident compensation claim.

Introduction

According to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, almost 10,000 people were injured, seriously hurt or suffered fatally in HGV accidents in the UK in a single year.

Lorry and HGV accidents are often much more serious than incidences involving smaller vehicles. Collisions often occur after overtaking or changing lanes, and can involve several vehicles.

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Common causes of lorry and HGV accidents

Common causes of HGV accident claims include lane changes when a driver has failed to properly observe the presence of other road users, due to a blind spot.

Tiredness and being under the influence of alcohol or drugs can also increase the risk of HGV accidents occurring, and these factors may amount to negligence in the context of a claim.

Other causes of road traffic accident claims involving lorries include cases where drivers have failed to allow a safe breaking distance or the vehicle has been badly loaded.

Claiming against the lorry driver's employer

As a general road user

If you are a pedestrian or other road user, you may be able to make a claim against the employer of the lorry driver, due to the employer's vicarious liability. Your solicitor will be able to confirm the process, and will identify the defendant in your case, after reviewing the facts.

As an employee

If you were injured when driving an HGV in the course of your employment, you may be able to make a claim against your employer. Your employer may be negligent if they are responsible for the cause of the accident, such as requiring you to drive with an unstable load, without adequate rest between shifts, or where the accident is due to poor vehicle maintenance.

Proving liability

If you have not already done so, you should report the accident to police as soon as possible. This will help to create a verifiable record of what has happened.

There are several other ways to prove the accuracy of your account of events, including:

  • Obtaining the contact details of any witnesses. Witnesses can help to corroborate your version of events, and prove that someone else was at fault.
  • Taking photographs of the scene of the accident, if possible. If you are able to take photographs at the scene, they can be used as evidence in a claim for compensation.
  • Taking photographs of your injuries. These can be used by your solicitor in support of other medical evidence.

How much compensation can you get for lorry and HGV accidents?

The amount of compensation you could be awarded for lorry and HGV accidents is very much dependent on your circumstances and the severity of your injuries.

If you were injured in an accident that was partly your responsibility, it may still be possible to make a claim.

Use our personal injury claims calculator for a clearer idea about what you claim could be worth.

Do I have a hgv accident claim?

A hgv accident injury claim should be possible if the injury happened:

  • within the last three years and,
  • another person was to blame.

Even if these two points don't apply to you, you may still be able to make a claim.

To get impartial advice on whether you have a claim, speak to one of our experts on 0800 612 7456.

A short call will confirm whether you have a claim. You will never be pressured into making a claim.

Alternatively you can try our Online Claim Checker.

What if I was partly to blame?

If you think you were partly responsible for the accident or for your injury, it should still be possible to make a claim.

In these cases, claims are usually settled with a split liability agreement.

For example, if you were 50% responsible for your injuries, you would receive 50% less compensation.

Read more about when there is uncertainty as to who is to blame.

What if the driver was uninsured or untraceable?

If the driver responsible for the injury is either uninsured or untraceable, a claim can be pursued through the Motor Insurers' Bureau (MIB).

The MIB is an independent body that pays road accident compensation to the victims of uninsured or untraced (unidentified) drivers.

Read more

What if a child was injured?

The 3 year rule does not apply to minors.

A claim can be pursued for anyone under the age of 18 by a parent, guardian or litigation friend. The injured child has up to the age of 21 to start a hgv accident claim on their own behalf.

Read more about claiming injury compensation on behalf of a child.

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How much compensation can I claim for a hgv accident?

The amount of money you could claim for your hgv accident will depend on:

  • the extent of your injury, and
  • any financial losses or costs you have incurred.

At the start of your claim, your solicitor will consider the many ways your hgv accident has affected your life. Your solicitor will take all of these effects into account to calculate the correct compensation award for you.

This calculation will factor in general damages and special damages.

General damages

General damages are awarded for pain, suffering and loss of amenity (PSLA).

Awards for general damages are set by the Judicial College and published in their guidelines for personal injury awards.

Special damages

Special damages are for financial losses and expenses you have incurred as a result of the accident.

See a list of what you can claim for:

Examples of special damages include:

  • Lost earnings (including future earnings)
  • Medical treatment costs
  • Physiotherapy
  • Travel costs
  • Costs of care
  • Costs of adapting your home or car

Find out what your claim could be worth now

Assessing a claim's value at the outset can be complicated.

If you would like a FREE claim estimate with no obligation to start a claim, call 0800 612 7456.

Alternatively, our compensation calculator will give you an instant estimate of what your claim is worth.

Calculate my injury claim

Caring and sensitive support

Your solicitor will handle your hgv accident case from the initial consultation through to the financial settlement. In addition, your solicitor will work with other specialists to help you with:

  • Financial support: interim payments while you are unable to work.
  • Advice: on personal injury trusts, tax and welfare benefits.
  • Coordination: with rehabilitation providers and therapists.
  • Access: to treatment and therapies not always available on the NHS.

How does no win, no fee work?

No win, no fee removes the risk from making a hgv accident claim. If your claim is unsuccessful, you won't have to pay your solicitor any legal fees.

Our no win, no fee guarantee

If you have been injured and someone else was to blame (even partially), our no win, no fee guarantee takes the risk out of making a hgv accident injury compensation claim.

What do I pay if I win my hgv accident claim?

Your injury solicitor will receive a success fee which is deducted from your compensation, after your compensation is awarded. The solicitor's success fee can be up to 25%. Your solicitor will agree a success fee with you before you start your claim.

What do I pay if I do not win my hgv accident claim?

If your hgv accident claim is not successful then you do not have to pay any legal fees .

Read more about how no win, no fee works

How can Quittance help?

Our highly experienced panel of solicitors have an excellent track record of winning road accident claims. Your solicitor will fight for the best possible compensation settlement for you.

If you have any questions, or would like to start a No Win No Fee claim, we are open 8am to 9pm weekdays, 9am to 6pm on Saturday, and 9.30am to 5pm on Sunday.

Call us FREE 0800 612 7456 or arrange a callback:

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Hgv Accident FAQ's

Can I claim for someone else?

Yes. In certain circumstances, it is possible to claim compensation on behalf of another person in the capacity of a 'litigation friend'.

If an injured person is either too young or vulnerable, too injured or otherwise unable to claim on their own behalf, their litigation friend can handle the claim process on behalf of the injured person.

The litigation friend will be responsible for communicating with the solicitors, and for making decisions in respect of the claim.

Read more about claiming on behalf of another person.

Can I claim if I was partly responsible for an accident?

You may still be able to claim compensation even if you contributed to your accident or to your injuries.

However, if you were partly to blame (known as contributory negligence), your compensation may be reduced and it may be more difficult to prove liability.

Read more about claiming compensation if you were partly responsible for an accident.

How long will my claim take?

The length of time needed to secure compensation can vary considerably.

For example, straightforward car accident claims can settle in a matter of weeks, whereas complex medical negligence cases can take years.

Injury claims can also take longer if it is not clear who is responsible for your injury, or if liability is denied by the defendant.

Taken from average case times, this table sets out approximately how long personal injury claims take to settle:

Personal injury claim type

Estimated claim duration*

Road accident claims

4 to 9 months

Work accident claims

6 to 9 months

Medical negligence claims

12 to 36 months

Industrial disease claims

12 to 18 months

Public place or occupiers’ liability claims

6 to 9 months

MIB claims (uninsured drivers)

3 to 4 months**

CICA claims (criminal assault)

12 to 18 months**

*RTA and other claims processed through the Ministry of Justice portal can settle faster.
**Official Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) Government agency and Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB) figures.

Read more about how long personal injury claims take.

Will I have to go to court?

Highly unlikely. The vast majority of claims that are settled by Quittance’s solicitor panel are settled out of court.

Only a very small percentage (approx. 5%) of personal injury claims go to court. Generally, only very complex cases, or those where liability cannot be resolved, end up in court.

Cases that do ultimately go to court are held in front of a judge, not a jury.

Read more: Will my injury claim go to court and what if it does?

Will I have to go to a solicitor's office?

No. You will not need visit a solicitor's office. As with most professional services, it is no longer necessary to meet face to face with your solicitor. Personal injury claims are dealt with via email, post and telephone.

Should you need to have a medical, this will be arranged at a medical centre near you or at your GP's surgery.

Read more: Will I have to visit a solicitor's office?

Can I get an interim compensation payment?

If you suffer financial hardship as a result of an injury, you may be able to claim interim compensation payments.

An interim payment is a partial settlement of your claim which is paid before your claim is concluded. The amount you receive in interim payments would then be deducted from your final compensation settlement or award.

Read more about interim compensation payments.

Gaynor Haliday, Legal researcher

About the author

Gaynor Haliday is an experienced legal researcher and published author. She has had numerous articles published in the press and is a legal industry commentator.

Read more about this Quittance Legal Expert