How To Make A Lorry & HGV Accident Compensation Claim? View Our Online Guide

By Joanne Jeffries. Last Updated 20th July 2021. Welcome to our guide on lorry accident compensation claims and HGV accident compensation. Accidents involving heavy goods vehicles are scary for car drivers, with many people suffering serious, life-changing injuries. If you have been involved in an HGV accident and need advice, we can help you file a claim for compensation on a No Win No Fee basis.

HGV accident compensation and lorry accident compensation claims

HGV accident

Anyone who has been involved in an accident with a heavy goods vehicle, whether it’s a domestic or foreign vehicle appreciates how frightening a collision can be with such a large vehicle. In some instances, people are lucky to walk away from an HGV accident with their lives because, in many cases, the injuries sustained are extremely serious and could even be life-threatening.

If you have been injured in an HGV accident and need advice on whether to file for compensation, we can help you through the process. We would be happy to work with you on a No Win No Fee basis, which takes the pressure off having to find any upfront fees for us to provide legal services and begin work on your claim.

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A Guide To Lorry & HGV Accident Compensation Claims

Accidents involving heavy goods vehicles are frightening, and all too often, a tremendous amount of damage is incurred. Injuries sustained whether you were in a car, on a bike, or other mode of transport can be extremely severe given the size of an HGV. Whether an accident occurs due to driver error or negligence on the part of an operator and you have been injured in any way, you could be entitled to file a claim for compensation not only for your pain and suffering but also for any damages to your property too.

All too often, we are asked who would be held responsible for an HGV accident, whether it is the driver or the operator. The answer is that it depends on the circumstances surrounding the accident and whether it was due to driver error or because of a problem with the vehicle itself due to poor maintenance, bearing in mind that a court could rule that both an operator and driver could be held liable for the accident, more especially if a lorry sheds its load for which both have legal responsibility.

Another question we are often asked is whether you can file a personal injury claim against a foreign driver and/or a foreign operator for a road traffic accident. The answer is that yes, you can, and the claims process is very much the same as filing a claim against a British operator and/or driver.

To find out how to go about filing a claim for HGV accident compensation and how we can make the process a lot less stressful through our No Win No Fee structure, please contact us today. Or, if you’d like to find out more about lorry accident compensation claims before getting in touch with us, then read on; our guide will tell you all you need to know.

Who Is Liable For An Accident Involving A Heavy Goods Vehicle?

Establishing liability for an HGV accident is the first and most essential aspect of filing a claim for compensation. In the majority of instances, a claim involving an HGV is based on the “negligence” of a driver. However, an accident may happen for other reasons, which could mean that an operator could be held responsible.

A driver would be held liable for an accident involving a heavy goods vehicle if it can be proved they were negligent in the way they operated a vehicle and that Health and Safety regulations were ignored, which govern the way a driver should operate a heavy goods vehicle. An HGV driver may have ignored the fact they were tired and should have taken the mandatory “rest period” before continuing a journey. Should this be the case, a court would rule the driver was acting in a negligent manner.

Should an operator be negligent, they could be held liable for an HGV accident. An example of negligence would be when an operator fails to maintain a vehicle, so it is not roadworthy or if they fail to inform an HGV driver of all the Health and Safety regulations that govern the industry. If this is the case, the operation could be held responsible for any injuries you sustain in an HGV accident.

In some cases, both the operator and a driver may be held liable for an accident involving a heavy goods vehicle. An example is when a load is shed, causing you to be injured. The reason being that both an operator and a driver have a legal responsibility to ensure that loads are securely tied down. As such, a court may rule that both an operator and a driver were negligent.

To find out more on how we can help you file a personal injury claim, please phone us today for an initial free consultation with an expert personal injury solicitor.

Can I Make A Compensation Claim Against The Lorry & HGV Operator?

Anyone who suffers an injury because of an HGV accident may be able to file a claim against the operator, whether they are an employee or a member of the public. With this said, the process of filing personal injury claims differ in both instances, as detailed below:

  • As a member of the public, whether the accident occurred while you were a pedestrian or in a vehicle and you were injured, you may be entitled to file a personal injury claim against the HGV operator.
  • As an employee, when it comes to filing a claim after an HGV accident, the process is a lot more complicated. Most employee HGV  compensation claims involve negligence on the part of an operator more especially if they fail to set in place the correct Health and Safety guidelines or they fail to inform their drivers of the H & S regulations that govern the industry.

For a closer look at the kinds of accident that might lead to lorry accident compensation claims, read on to our next section. Or, if you’d like to get started with your own lorry or HGV accident compensation claim, you can get in touch with us today to get the process started.

What Types Of HGV Accidents Can You Claim Compensation For?

Accidents involving heavy goods vehicles occur for a variety of reasons. An incident might happen due to adverse weather, a badly maintained HGV or due to a load not being correctly strapped down. Driver error is another cause of an HGV accident which is mainly due to tiredness and lack of sleep. Accidents happen due to negligent driving, using a mobile phone or even driving when under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

No matter what the circumstances are surrounding HGV accidents, you may find you are entitled to file for compensation should you have the misfortune of being injured, whether as a pedestrian or other road user. Instances that could lead to filing a claim are detailed below:

  • Your parked car is hit by a heavy goods vehicle.
  • You had a collision with an HGV while you were driving your vehicle – caused by driver negligence on the part of the HGV or lorry driver.
  • Your vehicle was damaged as a result of a heavy goods vehicle reversing into it.
  • You suffered injuries when you were hit by an HGV while walking or riding a bike or motorcycle.

Lorry and HGV accident statistics

According to the Department of Transport, in recent years, goods vehicle traffic has seen an upwards trend, increasing by 2% to 73 billion vehicle miles between 2018 and 2019.

Despite this, the total number of casualties declined. In 2019, there were 4,985 casualties of all severities involving goods vehicles. This was a decrease of 2% from the previous year, as shown in the graph below.

lorry accident compensation claims statistics graph

However, in the same time period, there was an increase of 20% in goods vehicle occupant fatalities. Of the 66 goods vehicle occupants who were killed in accidents in 2019, 55 were drivers, and 11 were passengers. However, since 2009 there have been a number of fluctuations in the number of goods vehicle occupants killed on the road, so this increase may not be indicative of a wider change.

It’s worth noting that the statistics above are in relation to all goods vehicles, not just HGVs and lorries. Similarly, not all of those injured in these accidents will be able to make a claim, as the statistics released give no indication as to who was liable for these accidents.

What Should You Do After A Lorry Accident?

Accident scenes involving heavy goods vehicles tend to be confusing with so much going on, but it is important to remain calm. There are certain things that must be done as soon as it is feasibly possible. This includes assessing the damage to your vehicle and the injuries you sustained at the incident. Other steps that must be taken to strengthen an HGV accident compensation claim are detailed below:

  • Assessing your injuries: If you suffered severe injuries, which includes back injuries, you must seek medical attention as a matter of urgency.
  • Reporting the incident: It is crucial that you report an HGV accident to the police. It is also important not to move your vehicle until the police have recorded how the accident occurred, which involves taking photographs and measurements at the scene of the crash.
  • Getting witness contact details: It is essential to get the name and contact details of anyone who witnessed the accident, as these would be needed when filing an HGV compensation claim.
  • Obtaining the HGV’s driver’s details: You must take down the name and contact details of the HGV driver together with the registration of the heavy goods vehicle involved in the incident. You must also ask for the operator’s insurance details.
  • Taking photos: Most people have mobile phones with cameras which makes it that much easier to take photos of the incident, your injuries, the damage to your vehicle and the scene of the accident.

Am I Entitled To Make A Claim For An Accident Involving A Heavy Goods Vehicle?

As with most personal injury claims, the compensation for road accidents involving a heavy goods vehicle is assessed on the circumstances surrounding the incident together with the amount of damage a vehicle sustained and the level of injuries you suffered as a direct result of the accident. Having detailed records of the incident strengthens your case when filing for HGV accident compensation.

  • Written records: You must keep written records of the incident, which includes the time and the date the accident occurred, copies of all police and medical reports also help strengthen your case
  • Out of pocket expenses: It is also very important that you keep all your receipts which not only strengthens your case it would have a direct impact on the amount a court awards you. The receipts should include medical expenses, consultations with a doctor, X-rays, prescriptions and travel expenses to and from the place you are being treated. It is also important to keep a record of the cost of any vehicle repairs as well as any loss of earnings you incur because your injuries prevent you from working.
  • Modifications to the vehicle and home: If your injuries are so severe that you had to make modifications to both your home and your vehicle, the cost of having the modification carried out can be added to your claim

Personal injury claims are complicated affairs, and it’s best to seek the advice of an expert when seeking compensation for the injuries you sustained as a result of being involved in an HGV accident. We offer an initial free, no-obligation consultation with a personal injury solicitor who would listen to your case before advising on whether you have a strong case against an HGV driver or the operator.

We offer a No Win No Fee structure, which allows us to start working on your claim without you having to pay any upfront fees. You only pay if your case is successful, whether a court rules in your favour or the operator’s insurance company offers to settle out of court.

If you’ve been involved in an accident with a driver from overseas and you’d like to know more about lorry accident compensation claims against a foreign driver, then please read on to the next section.

Can I Make A Compensation Claim Against A Foreign Driver?

A study carried out by the Accident Exchange established that 1000+ accidents involving foreign HGV drivers occur every year, and the number of accidents is rising significantly. If you are involved in an HGV accident where the vehicle is owned by a foreign operator, you may still be entitled to claim compensation for damages and injuries you sustain, providing you can prove negligence on the part of the foreign driver and/or operator.

Filing a claim against a foreign driver is much the same as lodging a claim for compensation against a UK operator/driver. The most important part of the process is to get the driver’s details, and this must include the operator’s details. You should make a record of how the accident occurred and report the incident to the police. Following this, you can then contact a personal injury solicitor who would assess whether you have a strong case to file a claim for HGV accident compensation.

One of the main differences between claims filed against a UK heavy goods driver and/or operator is that where foreign HGV’s are concerned, your case would be handled by the Motor Insurance Bureau due to the fact that a foreign operator would not have UK insurance.

It is worth noting that even though a foreign-owned HGV does not have UK insurance, it does not mean your case would not be successful or that the process of filing a claim for compensation would be in any way different or more difficult than filing a claim against a UK-based HGV driver and/or operator.

How To Start A Lorry Accident Compensation Claim

Filing for compensation following an HGV accident is made a lot easier when an experienced personal injury solicitor takes up the case on your behalf. We offer a free initial no-obligation consultation which allows us to assess your case while at the same time offering you the opportunity to ask any questions you may have about your case.

Having gathered enough information about the incident, which includes witness statements, photographic evidence, medical/hospital reports together with the driver’s details, registration number and the operator’s contact details, we would access whether you have a strong case and how we can help you go about processing your claim against a foreign HGV driver/operator.

You may like to take advantage of our No Win No Fee service, which allows us to start work on your case without receiving any upfront fees taking the financial burden off the table. You only have to pay an agreed fee once a court has ruled in your favour or if the defendant chooses to settle out of court.

Our next section will give some insight into what can be included in lorry accident compensation claims; continue reading if this is of interest to you. 

What Can I Include In My Lorry Accident Compensation Claim?

If you have suffered an injury as a result of an HGV accident and choose to file a claim for compensation, there are certain things that can be factored into your claim, which are detailed below:

  • General damages: These are awarded for pain and suffering you experienced as a direct result of an HGV accident and how it negatively impacts your day-to-day life.
  • Special damages: These are awarded for loss of earnings, care expenses incurred as well as damage to your vehicle.
  • Medical expenses: These are awarded to cover out of pocket expenses incurred for prescriptions and any other treatments that the NHS does not cover.
  • Travel expenses: These are awarded for out of pocket expenses incurred for travelling to and from the place you are being treated for your injuries which includes if you need to travel abroad.

It is worth noting that each case is different, and as such, the amount you may be awarded would depend on the severity of the injuries you sustained as a result of an HGV accident.

HGV Accident Compensation Claims Calculator – Updated July 2021

The compensation amounts you could receive for injuries sustained following an HGV accident is based on two factors. The first being the level of injuries you suffered in the accident and the damage to your property.

The table below provides an estimate of the amount a court might award. The figures are based on past cases we worked on for clients and the amounts that are typically awarded to people who have been injured in an HGV accident.

Type of injuryAverage payoutsNotes
Elbow injuriesUp to £51,460From simple fractures and soft tissue injuries that don't result in permanent loss of function to injuries that are severely disabling
Neck injuriesUp to £122,860From minor soft tissue injuries to very severe injuries including serious fractures or damage to the discs of the spine resulting in, for example, substantial loss of movement in the neck or the loss of function in one or more limbs.
Back injuriesUp to £151,070From minor injuries to very severe injuries that negatively impact the spine
Shoulder injuriesUp to £45,070From minor soft tissue shoulder injuries with considerable pain but a near complete recovery, to severe injuries associated with neck injuries and involving damage to the brachial plexus, resulting in significant disability.
Arm injuriesUp to £122,860From minor
fractures between elbow and wrist to very severe permanent injuries which leave the injured person little better off than if the arm had been lost completely
Arm amputation Up to £281,520For the amputation of one or both arms above or below the elbow.
Ankle injuriesUp to £65,420From minor injuries including minor fractures and sprains to very severe permanent damage to the ankle with the risk that any further trauma might necessitate a below-knee amputation.
Psychiatric damageUp to £108,620Injuries at the top of this bracket will leave the injured person with marked problems with life, relationship, work and education, and the prognosis will be poor. Injuries to the bottom of this bracket will include cases where the injured person has a good prognosis for recovery.
Injuries involving paralysis tetraplegia£304,630 to £379,100Awards at the top end of this bracket will be appropriate where the injured person is in pain and the senses or ability to communicate is affected.
Injuries that result in death (full awareness)£11,770 to £22,350Injuries in this level will include where there are fluctuating levels of awareness for between four and five weeks combined with intrusive treatment and death within a couple of weeks to three months.
Brain damage Up to £379,100Ranging from minor injuries where there will be some impact on memory, mood and concentration but where the injured person will have made a good recovery, to cases at the top of the bracket where there will be little to no evidence of meaningful environmental response and a need for full-time care.
Leg injuries Up to £127,530Injuries in this bracket will range from minor fractures and soft tissue injuries to the most serious injuries short of amputation.
Leg amputation Up to £264,650The amputation above or below the knee of one or both legs.

Our next section will take a closer look at No Win No Fee lorry accident compensation claims; if you’d like to know more about how a conditional fee agreement could help you claim, this will be of use to you.

No Win No Fee HGV Accident Compensation Claims

Finding the funds to pay a solicitor so they can act on your behalf following an HGV accident that left you injured and your property damaged puts extra strain on an already stressful situation. Your injuries may prevent you from working, adding to the financial burden.

Choosing to work with us on a No Win No Fee basis takes the financial pressure off the table. We would begin work on your case without the need for any upfront payment. The agreement between a No Win No Fee solicitor is known as a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA), and it ensures that you would only have to pay an agreed fee when the court rules in your favour or the defendant chooses to pay an acceptable amount of compensation without the need of going to court.

Should your case be unsuccessful, you would have nothing to pay because we agreed to take on the risks involved in filing a claim for HGV accident compensation on your behalf.

Our No Win No Fee structure takes all the financial worry and anxiety out of filing a claim having suffered injuries in an HGV accident or any other road traffic accident. We would ensure you receive the right level of compensation for your injuries, damage and out of pocket expenses incurred as a direct result of the accident.

If you’re wondering why we’re the best choice in making lorry accident compensation claims, then read on as our next section will tell you all you need to know.

How Can Accident Claims UK Help You Make A HGV Accident Claim

At Accident Claims, we work hard to ensure that you receive the level of compensation you rightly deserve following an HGV accident. We offer an initial free, no-obligation consultation which gives you the opportunity of asking any questions you may have about your accident and the possibility of filing a claim. We take the worry out of having to find enough money to pay for legal advice by offering to work with you on a No Win No Fee basis.

Once we have thoroughly assessed your case, we would recommend the best way to proceed in filing your HGV accident compensation claim. You would need to provide as much evidence as you can on the accident, your injuries and any out of pocket expenses you incurred as a direct result of the accident.

We would then act on your behalf by contacting the relevant insurers, informing them of the impending claim for compensation. We take the worry out of you having to handle what can often be complex negotiations, bearing in mind that personal injury claims are often defended.

With this said, many personal injury claims are settled out of court, and we would be in the best position to negotiate an amount with the defendant’s insurers. This ensures you receive a suitable level of compensation for the injuries you sustained as well as any damages and pain and suffering you experience as a result of the HGV accident.

Contact Accident Claims UK Today

To speak to one of our personal injury lawyers about lorry accident compensation claims, you can call us on 0800 073 8801 for professional advice on filing a personal injury claim.

If you prefer, you can email us, and a personal injury solicitor will get back to you the same day: office@accidentclaims.co.uk

To request a call-back, please fill out the form above

Helpful Resources

Health & Safety Executive – Lorries

The link above takes you to the government Health and Safety website that provides details of lorries in the workplace.

Domestic Road Freight Statistics 2019

Government statistics show fleet sizes are up by 39% since the beginning of the recession in 2008/2009. Read their 2019 report for more statistics.

Workplace Transport

The Health and Safety Executive’s guidance for employers and employees on using vehicles safely at work.

Road Traffic Accident Claims

Take a look at our guide to road traffic accident claims if you’d like to know more. 

Motorcycle Accident Claims Guide

Were you hit while on your motorcycle? We have a guide that could help answer your questions.

How Much Compensation Can I Claim for a Pedestrian Accident?

Pedestrian accidents can be anxiety-inducing. Read about your rights as a pedestrian and find out whether you could claim.

Lorry Accident Compensation Claims and HGV Accident Compensation FAQs

What is the average payout for a personal injury claim in the UK?

The average payout for personal injury claims varies depending on the injury. For example, a finger injury could be compensated for less than, say, a head injury. Speak to our advisors for free to get a sound estimate.

How is personal injury compensation calculated?

Injury claims are calculated by how serious your injury is, whether it has affected your mental health and how it impacted you financially. Medical evidence and proof of financial loss are essential to valuing the claim. The financial losses part of your claim is known as special damages. 

What can be included in special damages?

Special damages will cover financial losses that you’ve experienced that you wouldn’t have if you hadn’t been injured. This can include things like travel costs if you’re no longer able to drive, the cost of medication and any lost earnings for the time you’ve had to take off work.

How long does a claim for compensation take?

There are many factors that will influence the length of time it takes to settle your claim, including the severity of your injuries and whether liability is clear or in dispute.

Can I make a personal injury claim myself?

While you can make a claim for personal injury compensation yourself without the representation of a solicitor, it’s not advised. Having an expert personal injury solicitor on your side when pursuing a claim will increase your chances of success, as personal injury law is a complex field.

Can I claim for anxiety after a car accident?

You could claim for anxiety as part of your claim after a road traffic accident if you’ve also been injured. If you weren’t injured physically and are looking to claim for anxiety alone, speak with one of our advisors, who can determine if you have a strong enough case to claim.

Can I claim for an accident that was my fault?

If your accident is deemed to be a split liability or contributory negligence, accident then you may be able to make a claim. Your compensation will be reduced to reflect the role that you had in the accident and subsequent injuries. You can’t make a claim if you’re completely at fault for the accident.

How long do I have to make a personal claim? 

The time limit for making a claim for personal injury claims following an accident in a lorry or HGV is three years.

Can I claim for a child who was injured in an HGV accident? 

Yes, you can. You can claim up until your child turns 18 for their injuries. You’ll claim on their behalf as a litigation friend. Once they turn 18, they have 3 years to make their own claim if one hasn’t already been made.

Could I make lorry accident compensation claims if the driver can’t be traced?

While motorists who are involved in accidents causing damage or injury are required by law to stop at the scene, sometimes this might not happen. Or, perhaps the driver did stop but is not insured. If this has happened to you, you might be worried that you’d be unable to claim. However, this may not be the case. It could be possible for you to make lorry accident compensation claims via the Motor Insurers’ Bureau. This is a body that investigates claims for accidents caused by untraceable or uninsured drivers as well as those with foreign vehicles involved. It could pay compensation to victims of a road traffic accident where the at fault party fled the scene, or gave the wrong details, for example.

Is it difficult to claim through the MIB?

While it could be possible for you to claim without using a personal injury lawyer, in many cases claimants prefer to use a lawyer when making a claim through the MIB. They might find it beneficial to have a lawyer complete all the paperwork for them, so that they could concentrate on their own recovery. In addition to this, a lawyer could make sure all paperwork was put together properly so that their compensation would not be delayed because the MIB were waiting for additional evidence, for example. In addition to this, your lawyer would also be able to ascertain what level of compensation you could receive for such claims, and could fight for the maximum possible for your claim.

Thank you for reading our guide to HGV accident compensation and lorry accident compensation claims.