Although you might find slow-moving Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs) annoying if you’re stuck behind one, there is no doubt that they provide a valuable service. Without them, supermarket shelves would be empty and fresh food would be a lot more difficult to find. While HGV drivers are professionally trained, they can make mistakes that result in road traffic accidents (RTAs) as any other driver could. The problem here is that the sheer size and weight of these HGVs and LGVs (Large Goods Vehicles) make accidents involving lorries particularly dangerous.
As we continue through this guide to claiming compensation for an accident involving an HGV, we’ll look at some scenarios that could allow you to claim compensation. We’ll also look at what you should do if you’re hit by an HGV/LGV. Finally, we’ll look at the time limits for making an RTA claim and calculating how much compensation you might receive.
To help you claim compensation for an accident with a lorry, we offer a no-obligation telephone consultation and free legal advice. If there are grounds to proceed, we could appoint one of our personal injury solicitors to process your claim. Importantly, they provide a No Win No Fee service for claims they take on to make everything a little less stressful.
When you have completed this guide, please let us know if you’ve got any questions or whether you would like to start the claims process by calling 0800 6524 881.
When Might Accidents Involving Heavy Goods Vehicles Lead To A Claim?
If you would like to seek compensation following a collision with an HGV, you’ll need to be able to demonstrate that:
- The lorry/truck driver owed you a duty of care; and
- They caused an accident because they were negligent; and
- You sustained injuries during the accident.
Proving duty of care is quite straightforward. That’s because all drivers of Heavy Goods Vehicles should look after all road users safety according to the Road Traffic Act 1988. Proving negligence and the extent of your injuries is what we’ll discuss throughout the rest of this guide.
What To Do After A Road Traffic Accident Involving An HGV
To put you in a better position to claim compensation (and deal with any insurance claims), there are a number of steps you can take after the HGV/LGV accident. They include:
- Swapping details with the HGV driver. You should get their name, vehicle registration number, and details of their insurance policy. You should not apologise or say anything that might be perceived as an admission of guilt.
- Where it is safe to do so, photograph/video the accident scene before vehicles are moved.
- Ask any witnesses for their details. Also, if their vehicle has a dashcam, ask for a copy of their footage to be sent to you.
- Report the accident to the emergency services if there are any injuries, or if you’re blocking the road.
- Visit A&E or a minor injuries unit to have your injuries assessed and treated.
By taking these steps, you could improve your chances of being compensated. That’s because if the lorry driver denies liability, witness statements or police reports could help to prove otherwise. Similarly, medical records from a hospital could help prove the extent of your injuries.
Types Of Negligence In Accidents Involving HGVs
We are now going to look at scenarios where you might be able to seek damages following an HGV accident. Some examples include:
- Where your car was hit by a lorry while you were stationary in queuing traffic.
- If a lorry mounted a pavement and hit and injured a pedestrian.
- Where the lorry driver caused the collision because they were under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- Where a lorry changed lanes, hitting and injuring a cyclist because they failed to check their mirrors.
- If the accident was caused because the lorry driver was speeding, driving aggressively, or not paying attention to the road.
- Where a HGV/LGV driver caused death by careless driving.
This sample of road accidents should give you some idea of when a claim might be possible. If you’re not sure whether you have the grounds to proceed, why not call our team today?
How Much Compensation For An Accident With A Lorry?
Each road traffic accident claim will vary in compensation payouts as they are based mainly on the level of suffering caused. This can include both physical and psychological suffering. As a result, it is not possible to determine how much compensation you could receive for your accident with the lorry until after your case has been reviewed. Instead, we’ve listed the main elements that make up a claim below:
- Your injuries. You could receive compensation for any pain, suffering or loss of amenity that resulted from the accident.
- Financial losses. If you pay for medical expenses, care costs or travel costs as a result of your injuries, these could be claimed back. You could also include any lost income.
- Property damage. You could also request the cost of replacing or repairing any personal property that was damaged in the HGV accident.
To help prove your level of suffering, you might need a medical assessment from an independent medical professional. If so, this can be arranged locally by our personal injury solicitors. After your appointment, they will detail your injuries and offer a prognosis in a report for your solicitor.
Calculating Compensation For A HGV Accident
In this section, we have added a compensation calculator listing some possible compensation ranges for certain injuries you may have suffered in the lorry accident. We have used figures advised by the Judicial College to populate the calculator as this is where legal professionals turn to when calculating compensation settlements.
As mentioned in the previous section, your injuries form one part of your claim so compensation amounts may differ if your claim is successful. Also, the amount paid will be based on what injuries you’ve already sustained in the HGV/LGV accident, plus any future suffering. This might be the case if you’ve sustained long-term injuries or permanent disabilities.
If you call 0800 6524 881 to have your claim assessed, we should be able to provide a more accurate compensation estimate for you once our solicitors have all relevant details.
Time Limits In Road Traffic Accidents Involving HGVs
As with any compensation claim, there is a time limit for road traffic accident claims involving HGVs and LGVs. This is a 3-year period starting from the date of your accident.
In cases involving children or adults who don’t have the mental capacity to begin a claim, the time limit does not apply. Instead, the litigation friend process can be used to make a claim on behalf of the victim. Our solicitors are able to help with this process and our advisors can provide more details about it when you call.
Claims for children injured in a lorry accident can be made at any point before their 18th birthday. If you decide not to claim, the victim will have a 3-year limitation period to claim themselves starting from when they turn 18.
Where somebody dies from a fatal accident involving a Heavy Goods Vehicle within 3-years of the accident, their family will have 3-years from the date of death to begin a claim themselves. Please call today if you’d like further information on time limits in these circumstances.
HGV Accident Claims Personal Injury Solicitors
If you claim following an accident involving an HGV, you’ll have to deal with an insurance company. In most cases, they will only be concerned with limiting the amount of compensation they pay (if any). That means you’ll need strong evidence to show how their client (the defendant) caused the accident in which you were injured to happen.
It is likely that dealing with an insurer will involve technical or complex medical or legal questioning. To avoid having to deal with that yourself, we’d suggest talking to us to see if a specialist solicitor can help you. If your claim is taken on, your solicitor will shield you from the insurance company’s questions. That said, they will keep you updated about how the case is progressing and you can ask any questions if they crop up.
Your solicitor will use their legal acumen to fight your corner. They’ll try to counter any arguments raised over liability for the accident with the HGV by supplying additional evidence. Furthermore, they won’t typically settle on the first compensation offer they receive. If it appears to be too low and undervalues the level of your suffering, your solicitor will negotiate to try and achieve the maximum level of compensation possible.
If you would like to talk to us about claiming for an accident involving an HGV, please call our team on 0800 6524 881. We’ll review your claim for free and could begin working on it right away.
Considerations Relating To Whiplash Claims
Finally, we’d like to point out the government has introduced the Whiplash Reform Programme. It is designed to make claims valued at less than £5,000 “easier”. In such cases, you typically won’t use a solicitor to claim as everything is done through a government portal. When you call our team, we’ll let you know which method of claiming is right for you.
Thanks for reading our guide on claiming compensation for accidents involving Heavy Goods Vehicles.
Updated 18th September 2021.