If you’ve been in a lorry accident that wasn’t your fault, you could potentially claim compensation for your injuries. Usually, this will be against the other party’s insurance policy.
To make a successful road traffic accident personal injury claim, you would need to prove that your injuries were caused as a direct result of someone breaching their duty of care towards you. This guide will further explain what duty of care means and what desirable evidence types you could provide as proof.
Making a personal injury claim may sound complicated, which is why we recommend hiring a personal injury lawyer to help you with every step of the claims process. To do this, get in touch with our team of advisors today. They could connect you with an experienced solicitor from our panel if they think your claim has a good chance of success.
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- What Is A Lorry Accident?
- What Are The Main Causes Of Lorry Accidents?
- Lorry Accident Facts And Statistics
- Whiplash Reforms Explained
- Who Is Liable For A Lorry Accident?
- Lorry Accident Compensation Calculator
- Talk To A No Win No Fee Lawyer
- Related Articles
An HGV or lorry accident could have serious consequences. You could be left with life-changing and expensive injuries. If the accident was not your fault, you could potentially claim compensation for these injuries.
When on the road, all road users have a duty of care towards each other. This includes car drivers, cyclists, motorcyclists, pedestrians and lorry drivers. Owing a duty of care to another means taking all reasonably practicable steps to avoid others coming to harm. The Highway Code outlines how road users of all types should be behaving on the roads.
When road users neglect their duties, accidents can happen. You could then hold the at-fault party liable for compensation. You can collect evidence without a solicitor to prove that someone has breached their duty of care, but we recommended that you hire one. A solicitor could help you figure out the best steps to take and the most relevant evidence for your specific case.
Road traffic accidents, including lorry accidents, can occur in a variety of ways. Some common examples of causes could be:
- Tailgaiting. When a driver is too close behind another vehicle without leaving enough room to avoid a rear-end collision if the vehicle in front stops suddenly.
- Failing to observe the road correctly. If a driver isn’t paying enough attention to the road, they may miss important signs and signals that could lead to a collision.
- Sickness, drugs or alcohol. Driving under the influence is against the law and can lead to dangerous or careless driving and serious accidents.
- Being distracted. Holding a phone whilst driving is also against the law. It means drivers can be dangerously distracted from what is happening on the road.
- Failure to maintain vehicle correctly. If a vehicle has not been through proper repairs or checks, it could fail unexpectedly on the roads, causing collisions or other highway accidents.
However, this list is not exhaustive, so don’t worry if you can’t see your circumstances here. If you get in touch with our advisors today, they can help you figure out if you can make a valid claim.
The Department for Transport provides road casualty statistics on contributory factors to accidents occurring in Great Britain in 2020. However, it is important to note that these statistics are taken from reports of police officers who arrived at the scene after the incident. This means it may be difficult for them to identify the definitive facts of how an accident happened.
From these statistics, we can see that out of 2,572 reported accidents relating to Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs):
- Vehicle defects were the cause of 37 accidents, out of which 20 were caused by the lorry being overloaded or poorly loaded.
- Impairment or distraction caused 152 accidents.
- Behaviour or inexperience was the cause of 178 accidents. 139 of these were caused by the driver being reckless, careless or in a hurry.
- Injudicious action caused 231 accidents. Of these, 123 were caused by the HGV following another vehicle too closely.
- Driver error was the cause of 912 accidents, with 546 of these being the driver failing to look properly.
Some of these statistics show us that an HGV or lorry driver can be at fault for a lorry accident. Due to the large nature of HGV’s and other forms of lorries, it’s also possible that an accident could lead to injury and harm. If you’ve been harmed in a lorry accident, you could potentially claim compensation from the driver.
Whiplash is a common type of injury relating to road traffic accidents. The NHS describes it as a neck injury caused by a sudden head movement. You can claim compensation after a whiplash injury; however, recent changes in the law mean the process is now slightly different in certain circumstances.
These changes mean that whiplash injuries valued below £5,000 are now dealt with differently under the Whiplash Reform Program. According to recent changes, whiplash injuries valued under £5,000 should now be dealt with using an online portal.
However, even if you think this could be you, you may be undervaluing your injury, so it is always best to get in touch with us for more advice.
There could be a number of people who could be held liable for a lorry accident. Depending on who was at fault for the accident, you could claim against them for compensation. Some examples of people who could be held liable could be:
- The driver of the lorry or HGV
- The driver of another vehicle, such as a car
- The owner/party responsible for the maintenance of the vehicle
For example, since HGVs are most often used for business purposes, the employer could be the one in charge of the maintenance of the vehicle. If an employer was aware of a disrepair issue with a lorry but did not take action to fix it, that issue could then cause an accident and harm. If this occurs, you could then hold the employer liable for compensation.
This section will look at potential compensation amounts for successful lorry accident claims. The figures in the compensation table below are taken from the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) and are calculated using previous case studies. Legal professionals use the JCG to help calculate compensation amounts for claims.
Injury Severity Amount Notes
Neck Moderate (i) £23,460 to £36,120 Compensation could be awarded here when severe symptoms may lead to long-lasting conditions or a severe soft tissue injury. There may also be functionality impairment or a worsening of a condition the claimant already had.
Wrist Less Severe £11,820 to £22,990 Compensation could be awarded here for lasting pain and where there could be permanent disability.
Pelvis & Hip Moderate (i) £24,950 to £36,770 Compensation could be awarded here for injuries that have caused permanent but not major disabilities and future risk is not great.
Teeth (i) £8,200 to £10,710 Compensation could be awarded here for the loss or serious damage to several front teeth.
Back Moderate (ii) £11,730 to £26,050 Compensation could be awarded here for a ligament or muscle disturbance that has caused backache or an exacerbation of a pre-existing condition.
Shoulder Serious £11,980 to £18,020 Compensation could be awarded here for damage may have led to dislocation. There could be pain in the shoulder, neck, elbow and hand regions with a weakness of grip and restricted shoulder movement.
When making a personal injury claim, you could also claim special damages as part of your compensation. This covers any financial loss that may have occurred as a result of your accident and injuries. This could include:
- Travel costs (to and from the hospital, for example)
- Adjustments to the home if you suffered a disability
- Loss of past and future earnings
- Medical expenses not covered by the NHS
Special damages can also cover future financial losses.
To claim special damages, you need to provide evidence of your incurred costs. This could include payslips to show loss of earnings or receipts to show travel costs.
If you’ve suffered after an HGV or lorry accident, going through the process of a claim can seem intimidating and stressful. You may also be concerned about your finances if you’ve had to take time off work, for example. However, you should know that the solicitors on our panel can offer you their services on a No Win No Fee basis.
No Win No Fee agreements are a means of funding your solicitor’s services and can be appealing if you’ve already suffered financially. It means you will not be required to pay any upfront or ongoing fees to your solicitor.
If your claim does not succeed, your solicitor would not require you to pay any solicitor fees. This is why our advisors will only connect you to a solicitor from our panel if they think your claim may have a good chance for success. They always have to consider the risk when taking on cases. On the other hand, this does mean that if your claim is taken on, they have high hopes for success.
Before taking on your case, your solicitor will discuss their success fee with you. The success fee is only deducted from your compensation amount once it is fully paid. So you don’t need to worry about being surprised by outgoings during the case. The success fee is also legally capped, meaning you should get to keep the majority of the compensation you’re awarded.
To find out more about how No Win No Fee agreements could benefit you or to potentially start a claim, get in touch with us today. Our team of advisors is available 24/7 to offer free legal advice.
- Call us on 0800 408 7825
- Use the contact form on our site
- Use our live chat to get instant responses
Thank you for reading our guide on how you could potentially make an HGV or lorry accident claim. We hope it answered any questions you may have had. Please see below for more relevant links.
Below-Knee Amputation of Both Legs Compensation Guide – This is a guide to how you could make a claim after an amputation injury.
Bicycle Accident Claims Guide – An article explaining how to make a bicycle accident claim.
Local Council Personal Injury Claims Guide – A guide on claiming compensation from your local council.
Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents – A charity that provides advice and guidance on reducing the number of accidental injuries.
Road Traffic Act 1988 – The legislation covering driving and road offences.
Statutory Sick Pay – The government page on how you could claim SSP if you’ve needed to take time off work after an accident.
Thank you for reading our guide on HGV and lorry accident claims.
Article by AO