HGV Accident Compensation Claims

If your life, or the life of a loved one, has been affected by a commercial vehicle accident we can help.

The purpose of this guide is to help anyone who has suffered a commercial vehicle accident and is considering a legal claim for compensation. If you are looking for medical advice, please see the NHS website.

In our guide to claiming hgv accident compensation:

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.

Looking for help with a car accident claim?

Lorry hgv accident

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.

Do I have a hgv accident claim?

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

  • within the last three years, and;
  • another person was to blame, and;
  • that person owed you a duty of care.
Check my claim

Do I have a claim? - Common questions

What if the road accident was my fault?

If you think you were partly responsible for the road 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.

What if I didn't seek medical attention?

If you did not seek medical attention to have your injuries diagnosed after an incident may make proving liability more difficult, but a claim may still be possible. This will depend on the circumstances of your case and on the other evidence available.

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.

What can I claim for after a hgv accident? (see list)

Examples of special damages (losses you can claim for) include:

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

How is compensation calculated if I have multiple injuries?

If you have sustained multiple injuries, the compensation amounts are not simply added together.

The upper bracket of the most serious injury may be considered as a starting point, with a reduced amount applied for the other less severe injuries.

For example:

General damages for a serious internal injury can be £43,000

For a less severe scarring, in isolation, you would typically receive £3,500.

However, if you have a serious internal injury and a less severe scarring, you would typically receive £43,000 + a reduced percentage of £3,500.

Special damages, such as loss of earnings are not usually increased if you have multiple injuries. Read more about multiple injury claims.

What is the average injury compensation for a hgv accident claim?

The Judicial College injury tables give a approximate idea of the ranges awarded for different injuries.

However, the money you would receive following a hgv accident will depend entirely on your specific circumstances.

Your hgv accident compensation will be calculated based on the unique impact your injuries have had on your life, your ability to work, and the actual financial losses you have incurred as a result of your injuries.

Can I get an interim payment?

Interim payments are effectively an advance on a probable compensation award. An interim payment may be awarded if the claimant is in immediate financial hardship.

Can I claim for an existing hgv accident that has got worse?

Yes, it is possible to pursue a claim in the event that a pre-existing medical condition, illness or injury is made worse or aggravated by an accident or someone else's negligence.

Hgv accident compensation

Calculating how much compensation you can claim for a hgv accident injury can be complicated.

Our injury compensation calculator tells you if you may have a claim, how much compensation you could claim, and what you can claim for.

Find out what your hgv accident claim could be worth now:

Calculate compensation

How long does a commercial vehicle injury claim take?

How long it can take to settle a commercial vehicle accident claim can vary significantly.

For example, a simple uncontested road accident claim could be completed in a couple of months. However, if liability is denied a compensation claim can take considerably longer. On average a road accident claim will take 4 to 9 months. See: How long will my claim take?

Caring and sensitive support

Your solicitor will handle your hgv accident claim 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.

Will I get advice on treatment options?

As part of the hgv accident claims process, your solicitor can arrange a thorough and independent needs assessment. The assessment may offer advice on treatment, access to treatments and therapies not always available on the NHS and co-ordination with rehabilitation providers, occupational therapists, physiotherapists etc

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. Read more about making a No win, no fee 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 . Your solicitor may take out insurance to ensure there will be nothing to pay.

Is there a penalty if I withdraw?

Under a No Win, No Fee Agreement (CFA), fees may apply if a claimant refuses to cooperate, or abandons their claim after the legal work has started, or if the claim is fraudulent.

Why do most solicitors charge 25%?

25% success fees are charged by most law firms as this is the maximum fee that the Ministry of Justice allows them to charge. hgv accident claims can take a solicitor hundreds of hours work and they receive nothing if the case is lost. The success fee will be subject to your individual circumstances and the actual fee may vary. Call us for more information.

How can Quittance help?

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

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 do I have to make a hgv accident claim?

In general, you have a time limit of up to 3 years from the date of the hgv accident to make an injury claim.

The last date you can make a claim is known as the claim limitation date - after which your hgv accident claim becomes 'statute barred'.

Can I claim for a hgv accident after 3 years?

Possibly. The general rule for adults is that a claim must be started within three years.

However, the three-year countdown starts on the day you learned of your injury or illness. This will usually be the date of the accident, but could be the date your doctor gave you a diagnosis.

If you were injured as a child, you do have up until your 21st birthday to make a claim.

There other circumstances that can also impact the limitation date. Call us now on 0800 612 7456 to find out if you are still able to claim hgv accident compensation.

In reality, there are a number of factors that can affect whether a car accident claim will be taken on by a solicitor.

Calculate your claim limitation date

Will I have to go to court?

Highly unlikely. The vast majority of claims that are settled by the 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 early compensation payment?

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

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.

Howard Willis, Personal injury solicitor

About the author

Howard qualified as a solicitor in 1984 and has specialised in personal injury for over 25 years. He is a member of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) and is a recognised Law Society Personal Injury Panel expert.

Read more about this Quittance Legal Expert