If you’ve been injured in an HGV or lorry accident, through no fault of your own, you could be eligible to claim for compensation.
Perhaps the most severe type of road traffic accident involves collisions between large goods vehicles (LGV) (or heavy goods vehicles (HGV)) – and cars, motorbikes, cyclists, and other road users.
The weight, height, and force of impact of an LGV or HGV on a typical car, for instance, can have catastrophic results for car drivers and passengers – whilst the driver of the lorry can escape with minor injuries.
Accidents involving LGVs and HGVs can cause serious, life-changing personal injuries and even death. If not appropriately driven, LGVs, HGVs, other lorries, and long-haul trucks are lethal weapons on the road and can cause multiple vehicle accidents.
These accidents often involve lorry drivers overtaking cars and pulling in too quickly, tailgating, attempting a low bridge, or taking calculated risks because the sheer size of their LGV relatively protects them. Yet all drivers have a duty of care towards other road users.
Both large and heavy goods vehicles can cause extensive damage in an accident, as the transportation carries a lot of weight. If you’re in an HGV or LGV accident that wasn’t your fault, you could be entitled to compensation.
Making a claim can help you recover lost earnings and return to life after a potentially devastating event. If you’d like to discuss your eligibility for compensation, call 0800 234 6438 free, or fill in the form and get a callback.
The Road Traffic Act (1988) states that all road users have a duty of care to one another and must act safely and responsibly at all times. Lorry drivers and operators of any heavy goods vehicles have a lot of responsibility, but training ensures they know what to do and how to manage their vehicles.
So, there’s no excuse when an accident occurs, and the driver is at fault. You’ll have the right to claim compensation because not only did the driver fail to fulfil their responsibility, but it’s essential to make sure it doesn’t happen again.
Lorry drivers need special training and a professional driving qualification called the Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) before driving LGVs or HGVs on public roads. Drivers must pass four tests before being awarded a CPC (they must also have a full driving licence and be at least 18 years of age). Depending on their circumstances, they may also need a specific operator’s licence.
Yet human error cannot be avoided entirely, even with all the required training and licences. In addition, mechanical faults in lorries can lead to serious road accidents. Sometimes, this reflects inadequate safety checks making the LGV dangerous even before its journey begins.
Some road accidents involving LGVs are entirely avoidable. LGV and long haul drivers who continue to drive whilst tired may momentarily lose their concentration or even fall asleep at the wheel – causing a severe accident.
Commercial LGV and other long-distance drivers are regularly advised to ensure they take breaks when required and to stop if they feel tired. There are also strict rules in the UK on the maximum number of hours a commercial driver is permitted to drive. For instance, they must drive no more than 9 hours a day or 56 hours per week; and take a break (or breaks) totalling at least 45 minutes after no more than 4 hours 30 minutes driving.
Failure to comply with these rest requirements can lead to a DVLA fine and, in serious cases, prosecution.
If a rest break is not possible, it could mean that the lorry’s route needed to be sufficiently planned or the work schedule needed to be correctly thought through beforehand. These factors can also contribute to an accident and mean the haulage company is liable for any resulting injury.
Although there has been a crackdown on drivers using their mobile phones, some still persist in using them whilst driving. Lorry drivers using their mobile phones or SatNavs pose a potentially greater risk to other road users because of the nature of their vehicles. Drink and drug use by lorry drivers are also highly likely to raise the accident risk.
Other causes include badly loaded vehicles, meaning cargo is not secure or stable, raising the risk of tipping over or losing control.
A lorry or HGV driver must be aware of their surroundings and behave responsibly on the road. Overtaking and tailgating are significant causes of road traffic accidents – and even more so for LGV and HGV drivers.
These drivers have limited visibility on the road, and less opportunity to spot other users, so acting carelessly can create a lot of danger for people.
Whatever the cause of the accident you’re involved in, you should speak to a qualified personal injury lawyer about your claim. They will be able to determine your likelihood of success and advise you on your next steps.
Numerous injuries can occur due to a lorry accident, and the extent entirely depends on how the accident occurred.
It goes without saying that HGV drivers are less likely to suffer severe injuries, especially when compared to car users or pedestrians, but serious incidents can result in fatalities.
However, an HGV accident has many potential dangers, and many people claim compensation because these injuries can be life-changing.
Your claim will usually be against the employer of the LGV/HGV driver, not the driver personally. This is because the employer will be held ‘vicariously liable for the driver’s actions. In reality, the claim will be against the employer’s insurance company.
If you are the LGV/HGV driver and want to make a compensation claim following an accident caused by your vehicle, you will also make your claim against your employer. For instance, your employer may not have made it possible for you to take your required rest breaks, or your vehicle was not sufficiently roadworthy.
It is important to report the accident to the police, the company concerned and, if appropriate, the Health and Safety Executive. The formal records kept will be crucial evidence in support of your claim.
It is vital to have the details of any witnesses to the accident and any available photographs and drawings to help your claim. Pictures of your injuries and a diary of your recovery and any rehabilitation are helpful. The vehicle’s tachograph will provide vital information about the driver’s driving time, speed and distance.
To prove your compensation claim, you will need to demonstrate that the lorry driver was negligent or driving dangerously – and that your injuries were caused as a direct result. Even if you were partly to blame for the accident, you should still be able to recover some compensation.
An expert claims lawyer will use all the information you provide to build the strongest possible case against any party who can be held liable for your injuries and loss.
Making a compensation claim can help you to recover any lost finances due to a road traffic accident and hold the negligent party accountable. The best thing to do is contact a free advice service to determine whether you can make a claim.
Going straight to a lawyer can sometimes mean you have to pay the fees upfront, and there’s no guarantee of winning.
Get free legal advice by calling 0800 234 6438 or fill out the form for a callback. Once you know whether you’re eligible, the advisor will be able to pass you onto a no win no fee solicitor to get the ball rolling.
When you claim compensation, your lawyer will look at your case and choose to take it on if they think you’ll be successful. This is because no win no fee lawyers work differently from other solicitors.
Your solicitor won’t get paid any fees unless they win your claim, so there’s a lot of incentive for the solicitor to work hard to secure compensation for each client.
Also, you won’t have to worry about any financial risks, which makes no win no fee claims a more secure option than working with a lawyer than requires outright payments.
If a lawyer decides to take on your case, they’ll gather evidence on your behalf. However, as we mentioned previously, it’s also a good idea for you to gather evidence at the accident scene.
A successful HGV accident claim will depend on whether you can prove the other party was negligent, and it can be challenging to do this without the proper evidence.
You’ll also probably have to attend an assessment to verify the extent of your injuries and list your medical treatment.
Once your lawyer has all the evidence, they’ll put together an HGV accident compensation claim and present it to the negligent party.
You’ll usually claim against the company, and lorry and HGV drivers are also eligible to claim against their employer if there’s an accident the employer could have avoided.
HGV accident claims are usually easy to negotiate, but it ultimately depends on how the accident occurred. Your no win no fee solicitor will try to secure you the largest compensation amount possible, but if both parties cannot reach an agreement, the case might go to court.
When your personal injury claim is settled, your lawyer will take their fee out of the awarded amount, and you’ll receive the rest of the money. Road traffic accident claims might seem like a drawn-out process, but they’re also necessary – especially if you have a life-changing injury.
If you’d like to see whether you may be entitled to compensation, it’s best to get free legal advice from a specialist team of advisors. If you are eligible, you’ll receive access to a no win no fee lawyer regulated by the Solicitors Regulation authority.
Call 0800 234 6438 now, or fill out the form for a free callback.
The UK handles a lot of imports and exports each year, and there are many international lorry drivers on the roads. You can still make a road traffic accident claim if an international driver injures you.
All lorry drivers on UK roads must have licenses and vehicle information so all international lorry accidents are traceable.
However, some will take more time to track down than others, so it’s always a good idea to ask the driver to provide their employer’s information.
The system is in place to protect road users, so try to ensure you get the driver’s details or the vehicle’s license plate; this information will help your claim.
If you’ve been in a road traffic accident involving a lorry, HGV or LGV, you’ll probably want to know how much compensation you’ll receive. Unfortunately, there’s no concrete amount, as it depends on the extent of your injuries and how they’ll impact your life.
An HGV and lorry accident can be potentially devastating to a person’s life, and in severe cases – it might even be fatal.
Here’s a general idea of the potential compensation amounts:
These numbers are just a guideline, and your compensation depends on your unique circumstances. If you’d like a better idea of what you could claim, use a personal injury claims calculator for an estimate.
Many people worry about getting in touch with personal injury solicitors after they’re involved in a road traffic accident, but it’s always a good idea to make a claim – even if you feel bad about it.
Every responsible road user has the right to demand the same of others, and while we’d like to think everyone respects one another – this isn’t always the case.
Initiating the claims process after a road accident means you’re taking an important step to protect others in the future.
If an HGV is faulty or employers don’t provide their drivers with the proper training, they should be held accountable.
When you make a claim, you’re highlighting a very real issue that could cause fatalities later on. It’s also important to remember that all employers have insurance to cover them for this type of thing, so you won’t need to worry about putting a company out of business.
There’s no set time as it ultimately depends on how receptive the other party is to negotiations. Your solicitor will try to secure the maximum compensation, which can take some time, but you’ll receive support throughout the process.
Most people don’t want to go to court, so the negligent party will usually try to avoid this by ensuring they pay the right compensation.
No, you can also claim for any emotional trauma after the incident because road traffic accidents can cause PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder).
Your lawyer will also look at how the injuries have impacted your life and will factor the following into the claim:
In some cases, you might be able to make an HGV accident compensation claim for a family member, depending on the circumstances. For example, if a person dies from one of these accidents, the next of kin can file on their behalf.
Parents can claim for their child, but the child can also claim when they turn 18. In most cases, the time limit for compensation is up to three years after the accident.
To find out more about claiming HGV accident compensation, call free on 0800 234 6438 or fill out the form for a callback, and speak with a trained legal advisor. If they believe you have a claim, they’ll partner you with a personal injury lawyer who will work with you on a no win no fee basis. If your claim fails, you have no legal fees to pay. You have nothing to lose.
Nicola is a dual qualified journalist and non-practising solicitor. She is a legal journalist, editor and author with more than 20 years' experience writing about the law.
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