Accidents Involving Heavy Goods Vehicles

Anyone who is involved in a road accident is lucky if they manage to get away with a few minor injuries. Most road accidents that involve four-wheelers result in serious injuries, no matter how small the vehicle, and if the accident involves an HGV, matters can escalate very quickly.

The sheer size and weight of HGVs make them a formidable threat on the road. An impact with any of these heavy goods vehicles tends to be several times more forceful, resulting in severe damage to the vehicles involved and more serious injuries may be a result to the drivers and passengers as well any pedestrians who may be in the vicinity. If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident with a HGV, you may be entitled to file an HGV accident claim.

What Kind Of HGV Accidents Can You Claim For?

HGV accidents may be caused by numerous reasons. These could range from bad weather conditions, poor maintenance of the vehicle or badly loaded vehicles to driver error caused by lack of sleep, poor driving skills, talking on the phone while driving and even alcohol or drugs.

Regardless of the exact factor or factors that were instrumental in causing the accident, there are several different scenarios that may entitle you to put in a claim for compensation:

  • Collision between an HGV and your parked vehicle
  • Collision between an HGV and your vehicle while both were in motion – usually caused by negligence or dangerous driving, where the HGV driver ignored lane disciple or the speed limit.
  • Damage caused by the HGV backing into your vehicle
  • Injuries sustained after being hit by an HGV while riding a 2-wheeler or walking

What You Need To Do Immediately After an HGV Accident

The scene at any HGV accident site is likely to be chaotic. Amidst all of the chaos however, it is most important to stay calm and assess the damage done, both to your person and to your vehicle. It is equally important to gather some evidence and eye witness contact details, which will help strengthen your HGV accident compensation claim.

Here are a few things that you should remember to do immediately after an HGV accident:

  • Assess the extent of the injuries you’ve sustained. If you are severely injured or bleeding profusely, getting medical help should be your first priority. If you cannot make it to the hospital on your own, call for an ambulance to the accident site.
  • Report the accident to the nearest police station so they have a record of the incident on file. Avoid moving your vehicle till after the police have arrived and surveyed the scene and taken the necessary measurements and photographs.
  • Obtain the name, contact details and vehicle registration details of the HGV as well as anyone else involved in the accident along with their insurance company details.
  • Try and get the contact details of any bystanders who may have witnessed the accident. They can corroborate the details of the accident when you file your claim for compensation.
  • If you are carrying your camera or cell phone, get some photographs of the scene of the accident using a newspaper in the background as proof of the date of the accident.

Your Compensation Entitlements In An HGV Accident Claim

The compensation awarded to victims of HGV accidents may differ depending on the circumstances of the accident as well as the extent of the damage done and injuries sustained. To succeed in getting the compensation you deserve it is important to maintain detailed records and keep all or any expense receipts pertaining to the accident.

The records from the day of the accident will help the court ascertain whether or not you are entitled to compensation. These records should include written details with date and time as well as photographs of the incident itself. Copies of the police records and medical reports should also be included.

Expense receipts will help the court assess the amount of compensation you should be entitled to. Expense receipts should include charges for doctors’ consultations, X-rays, medications and transportation to and from the doctor. You should also include the charges for the repair work done on your vehicle as well as loss of salary for the days that you had to stay away from work because of accident-related injuries.

If you’ve had to make any modifications to your home or vehicle because of accident-induced restricted mobility issues, those expenses should also be added on to your compensation claim.

When filing a claim for compensation in case of an HGV accident, it is always advisable to hire a personal injury solicitor who is experienced in this field. Experienced personal injury solicitors know how to present your case so you get the maximum compensation possible, and because they operate on a ‘No Win No Fee’ premise, you know you don’t have to pay a penny until after you’ve received your compensation.

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