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HGV or Lorry Accident Claims – How Much Compensation Can I Claim?

By John Bowes. Updated 26th March 2021. Welcome to our guide to lorry and HGV accident compensation claims. Heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) are now a mainstay on British roads. These lorries and trucks are among the largest vehicles, measuring above 16.5 metres (in the case of an articulated vehicle) and 18.75 metres (in the case of rigid vehicles towing a trailer).

The Government has recently published statistics that found that in 2019/20, HGVs transported 1.3 billion tonnes of goods in the UK. This was a decrease on the previous year by 8%, but it should be noted that this was possibly down to the coronavirus pandemic.

If you have been involved in an accident with a heavy goods vehicle or lorry you may be entitled to compensation for any injuries or damage sustained. if you have any questions or would like to launch your case today, our personal injury claims team is standing by to offer you all the free legal advice you need.

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A Guide to lorry and HGV accident compensation claims

This guide exists to inform and assist you with your personal injury compensation claim for an accident with an HGV or lorry. It will provide you with comprehensive and accurate information regarding the potential issues that you will need to consider before making your claim and how to begin the process of making your claim in order to receive compensation for your injuries.

The guide will present you with the actions that you will need to take if you have been involved in a lorry or HGV accident. It will deal in matters of responsibility, the prospect of non-British vehicles being involved, the ways in which compensation claims are calculated, and advice on how to seek legal assistance. We’ll also take a look at an example of a compensation claim in order to better illustrate the legal complexities.


hgv accident compensation statistics graph

If you believe you may be owed lorry or HGV accident compensation, then this guide should be the best place to get started when making a claim. Statistics supporting the graph above may be found here.

Who is Responsible for an HGV or Lorry Accident?

When you are considering a compensation claim involving an HGV or lorry accident, one of the first things you must consider is who is responsible. Legally speaking, when considering such an accident, responsibility for the accident stems from the idea of ‘negligence’ and whether the accident occurred due to negligence on the part of the driver or the operating company itself:

  • The driver would be considered responsible for the accident if they have acted in a negligent way and ignored the health and safety standards that govern their operations. For example, if a driver continues their route regardless of factors such as fatigue or drunkenness then they would be considered responsible for an accident, as they were acting negligently.
  • The operator would be considered responsible for the accident if they acted in a negligent fashion. For example, if the operator either failed to inform the driver of health and safety regulations or failed to properly maintain the HGV/lorry, they would be considered responsible for an accident resulting from these issues.
  • However, both driver and operator might be considered responsible for an accident in certain circumstances. For example, if your accident occurred after materials fell from an HGV and caused an injury. This is because the legal responsibility for properly securing haulage is shared between both individual operators and the company as a whole, meaning that both parties may have acted in a negligent way.

Claiming Against the HGV or Lorry Operator

If you have suffered an injury as a result of an accident that involved an HGV or lorry then there is a good chance that you will have to make your HGV accident compensation claim against the operator of the vehicle. However, the process of making this claim changes depending upon whether you are making a claim as a member of the public or an employee of said operator:

  • If you were involved in an accident as a member of the public, regardless of whether you were in another vehicle or on foot, then you could need to make a claim against the operator. This is as a result of vicarious liability resulting in the operator taking responsibility for the actions of their drivers, especially if the accident occurred because of their negligence.
  • However, if your accident occurred whilst you were an employee of the operator, the claim becomes significantly more complicated. In cases such as this, your claim may only be valid if your accident occurred as a result of the negligence of the operator, especially if this negligence is down to working conditions.

What to Do If You Are Involved in an Accident with an HGV or Lorry?

If you are involved in an accident involving an HGV or lorry, you should first make sure you report your accident to the police and record the driver and operator’s information. Seeking urgent medical attention should be one of your primary concerns. Once you have done so, you can begin gathering evidence to support a possible compensation claim:

  • Firstly, you should gather witness statements from those who saw the accident. This could include pedestrians who were walking nearby or other drivers who may have seen the accident. This can help to ensure your claim can be corroborated and to verify the version of events that you state in your claim, such as the time and location of the accident.
  • Secondly, you could find evidence that your accident was down to negligence on the hand of either the driver or operator of the vehicle. This could include determining if the driver had a valid licence to drive an HGV at the time of the accident or getting a statement from the driver stating that they were not advised on the correct health and safety standards to follow.
  • Thirdly, you should ensure that you have evidence in support of the severity of your injury. For example, after your accident, if you believed that you were seriously injured you might have been taken to the hospital to receive an x-ray scan. This scan could then highlight the severity of your injury, such as whether you suffered from a simple or compound fracture in a limb, and be used as evidence for the amount of compensation that you deserve.

How do HGV and Lorry Accidents Happen?

Accidents involving heavy goods vehicles and lorries occur relatively often in the UK. These accidents can occur for a number of different reasons, both as a result of the driver’s and operator’s actions. HGV accident compensation could be made where accidents happened because;

  • Reasons for HGV and lorry accidents that are the fault of the driver can include tailgating, in which the driver leaves too little space in front of the vehicle to break efficiently; fatigue, if the driver has not taken regular enough breaks; and poor reaction times, which can be worsened by poor weather or inebriation.
  • However, HGV and lorry accidents can happen because of the operator’s negligence. This can occur due to factors such as poorly loaded/overloading vehicles, neglecting to inform drivers about health and safety standards, and providing poor equipment/maintenance to the vehicle before setting off.

How to Begin an HGV or Lorry Accident Compensation Claim

When you want to begin a lorry or HGV accident compensation claim, the process is made much simpler through the use of our company’s Claims Service. We will provide you with the support necessary to get you through this stressful time and ensure that you receive the maximum possible compensation for your accident and the attendant costs.

hgv accident compensation

HGV accident compensation

As previously mentioned, the first step should involve gathering the necessary evidence to support your claim. This could include almost anything, such as witness statements, medical reports, and photographic evidence. Particularly in the cases of accidents that involve either an HGV or lorry, you will also need to record the name of the driver, the number plate or the vehicle and the operating company.

The next step you should take is to contact legal representation. If, for example, you choose to work with our law firm, we can offer a free consultancy session to help you navigate the initial stages of your claim. In this consultation session, we will assess how valid we believe your compensation claim to be and honestly evaluate its chances of being a success. A large portion of this will depend on the evidence you are able to provide, which should give an indication of why it is so important.

If, after this session, you choose us as your Claims Service, we can proceed with your compensation claim. This will include completing further fact-finding by looking at CCTV or arranging local medical assessments to evaluate the severity of your injury.

Then we will take your claim to court and, thanks to our ‘No Win, No Fee’ policy, we won’t charge you legal fees until we are successful in arguing your case.

Can I Claim Against Foreign Drivers?

Even if your accident with an HGV or lorry involves a non-British driver, you might still be eligible for compensation in cases where negligence can be proven.

The process for making a claim against a non-British driver is effectively identical to making a claim against a native driver: simply get their details, including name and operator; record the details of the accident; report the accident to the police, and you could then seek legal advice.

The only real difference between making a claim against a non-British driver is that these cases will be represented by the Motor Insurers Bureau should the defendant have no native-based insurance. However, this does not have any significant effect on the potential success of your compensation claim and is unlikely to alter the process in any significant fashion.

For more information on these types of HGV accident compensation claims, please get in touch with our personal injury advisers.

What Can Be Claimed for After An Accident With An HGV or Lorry?

When you have been injured as the result of an accident, the extent of the damages you can claim depends heavily on what expenses you have incurred. Most people who make compensation claims underestimate the number of different expenses that can be claimed, normally focusing solely on medical costs. However, you could claim compensation for a number of costs. These include (but are not limited to):

  • General damages – these include unspecified damages such as pain and suffering endured as a result of the injury, effect upon day-to-day life, and loss of reputation stemming from the injury.
  • Special damages – these include measurable damages, such as direct loss of earnings, cost of home-care required by your injury, and damage to property such as your vehicle.
    • Medical costs – these include the cost of medical tests and treatment which is not covered by the NHS or which is sought from either private or overseas healthcare providers.
    • Travel costs – these include the cost of travelling between your home and hospital appointments and potentially travel to foreign countries if treatment is sought overseas.
    • Loss of earnings – this could relate to earnings already lost and those yet to come if you can’t return to work.

These costs highlight the number of different ways in which you can claim compensation in relation to your accident. However, the key factor behind how much HGV accident compensation you are determined to receive stems heavily from the severity of your injury.

How Much Compensation will I get for an Accident with an HGV or Lorry? (Updated March 2021)

How is compensation calculated by personal injury solicitors? The amount of compensation that you could receive for an accident involving an HGV or lorry varies upon two main factors, namely the type and severity of any injuries that you have suffered and the damage to property that has been caused by the accident.

Here are the average lorry and HGV accident compensation amounts that you could receive as part of your claim, organised by type and severity of your injury:

InjurySeverityInjury NotesAmount
Toe InjuryModerateRelatively straight forward injuries such as a fracture or the acceleration of an existing injury.Up to £9,010
Foot InjuryModerateDisplaced fractures which do cause a degree of ongoing symptoms and issues. £12,900 to £23,460
Ankle InjuryModerateFractures and soft tissue injuries, such as a torn ligament, which cause less serious disabilities. £12,900 to £24,950
Knee InjuryModerate (1)Dislocation injuries, meniscus tears or torn cartilage. £13,920 to £24,58
Leg InjuryModerateComplicated fractues or multiple fractures which affect just one leg. £26,050 to £36,790
Finger InjuryAmputation of Ring and Little FingersThe amputation of the little and ring fingersIn the region of £20,480
Wrist Injury(d)Fractures and soft tissues injuries which may take longer to recover from but where recovery does happen. Rarely exceed £9,620
Hand InjuryLess seriousCrush injuries could be included here if the person is left with a reduced function in the hand. £13,570 to £27,220
Elbow InjuryLess severeWhilst the person does not need surgery nor have a serious disability they will havve reduuced function.£14,690 to £30,050
Arm InjuryInjuries Resulting in Permanent and Substantial DisablementThis may present as a serious fracture in both forearms and where the person is left with significant and permanent disability£36,770 to £56,180
Shoulder InjuryFracture of ClavicleThe compensation will be based on the extent of the fracture suffered. £4,830 to £11,490

As you can clearly see from the table above, the type and severity of your injury have a massive impact on the amount of compensation that you could receive.

This is why our company places so much focus upon properly evaluating the extent of your injuries, even offering to arrange a medical assessment local to you. We want to ensure that you are not losing out on the compensation that you deserve as a result of underrepresenting your injuries to the court and maximise the amount of compensation that you receive.

An HGV Accident Case Study

If you still believe that there is no point in filing a compensation claim for your accident involving an HGV or lorry then simply read on to learn about a real example of someone who has already gone through the process.

HGV accident claims

HGV accident claims

In 2007 this claimant was involved in an accident with another HGV while on the motorway, leaving them with permanent injuries and medical treatment that continued over the course of two years. The claimant then attempted to claim compensation in 2009 for the accident, citing that the other party failed to leave enough braking room.

The claimant was successful in their claim, receive a truly astounding £875,000 total compensation for future loss of earnings, past loss of earnings, future care and treatment costs, and pain and suffering.

This shows you the possible outcomes of your HGV accident compensation claim. Although this can obviously be seen to be an outlier for compensation amounts, if you never make your initial claim then you will never know how much compensation you could receive.

No Win No Fee HGV and Lorry Injury Claims

The worst part of making a personal injury claim for an accident involving an HGV or lorry will be the potential legal fees that you could be charged for attempting to get compensation.

These legal fees may be charged against you by your Claims Agency and can cause incredible damage to your finances and mental health. If you are already experiencing financial issues as a result of your accident then such fees can appear excessive and extortionate, hurting you when you are at your most vulnerable. Even worse, your fees may even exceed your compensation and leave you at a loss.

However, our company will ensure you experience none of this stress during the claims process. If you choose our company to represent you, we will ensure your claim will succeed without exploiting our relationship for money. Our No Win No Fee Policy guarantees your financial stability throughout the claims process.

Conditional fee agreement HGV accident compensation claims

This policy also called a ‘Conditional Fee Agreement,’ ensures that we will do our best to win your case, rather than bleeding you dry while trying to extend the case for as long as is possible. We promise to only charge for our services on the condition that we win your compensation claim in court; if your claim fails, you won’t have any legal fees or debt to add to your worries.

This provides a safe and stable base for you to successfully claim lorry accident compensation or truck accident compensation for your accident. As a company, we promise to support you throughout the claims process, regardless of your initial position and ensure that you receive the maximum possible compensation that you deserve for your injury.

Why Choose Us as Your Claims Service after an HGV or Lorry Accident?

Why choose us when claiming HGV accident compensation? When you decide to make your personal injury claim after your accident involving an HGV or lorry, you need the strong support of our company as your legal representative.

Our years of experience in dealing with personal injury claims places us as one of the most capable companies for dealing with claims for accidents involving an HGV or lorry. It has enabled us to gain a deep understanding of how to maximise your chance of being successful in your compensation claim and your potential compensation amount.

Our team of legal experts will ensure that your personal injury claims dealt with efficiently and professionally both in and out of court. They can assist you in your claim along every step of the process, and give you premium advice on how to proceed and receive justice for your accident.

Our desire to see justice done in the world is highlighted by our No Win No Fee policy. This emphasises our company’s commitment to justice, especially for those who believe that cannot receive it due to their financial status and limits the amount of stress that you will face throughout the claims process. We can even arrange for a local medical evaluation to strengthen the evidence you have in support of your claim.

In short, we are by far the best company for dealing with personal injury claims and you should choose us as your Claims Service.

Call for Free Advice and To Start a Claim

Thank you for reading our guide to HGV accident compensation. You can begin the process of your claim through either the contact form provided or by calling the number below and then we can begin the process of getting you justice and compensation for the accident you suffered.

Call 0800 073 8804 now, and our company is able to provide you with free advice on how to proceed with your claim and how much compensation you could receive.

Helpful Links

In this section, we’ve included links to some other guides and resources on road traffic accidents you may find useful.

Staying Legal – HGV Drivers

A guide from the UK government about staying compliant with the law if you’re a lorry driver.

How To Become A Lorry Driver

A government guide on what’s needed to become an HGV driver.

Moving On – The Government’s Blog On HGVs and Lorries

The latest news relating to HGVs and lorries from the UK government.

Whiplash Compensation Claims

If you’ve suffered a neck injury in a road traffic accident involving an HGV, this guide will help.

How Much Compensation For Car Accident Claims?

If you’d like to know how much compensation you could be awarded following a car accident, this will help.

How Much Compensation For a Cycling Accident Claim?

If you’ve been knocked off your bike by an HGV or lorry, this guide will talk you through the personal injury claims process.

HGV Accident Compensation FAQ’s

In this final section, we’ve provided answers to some questions we often get asked in relation to lorry accident claims.

Is there a time limit on road traffic accident claims?

In most cases, there is a three-year time limit on making a road traffic accident claim. There are instances in which time limits may vary from this and where time limits could be longer or shorter.

How long should road traffic accident claims take?

It is difficult to estimate how long your claim will take without discussing the details of your claim with you, We can say in general claims may take around 6 – 12 months. However, this could be shorter or longer in particular cases.

Should I accept the first compensation offer?

We do not always accept the first offer from a defendant’s insurance provider. If you have not had your claim assessed by a solicitor, you may find that you settle for a lower amount than was possible.

Causes of HGV accidents

Possible causes of accidents involving lorry drivers and HGV drivers could include, poorly maintained vehicles, badly loaded vehicles. Tailgating, tiredness and other causes. These factors may affect lorry drivers or other road users.

Can I claim against a lorry drivers employer?

If if it is shown that the lorry drivers employer was responsible for the accident taking place (such as through lack of vehicle maintenance) you could make a claim against them.

Do I have a valid claim?

In general, there are three criteria to meet to have a valid claim. Your accident happened in the last 3 years, someone else was to blame for the accident and that this person owed you a duty of care.

Can I claim against an untraced driver?

You could make a claim through the MIB for accidents involving untraced or uninsured drivers. This can apply to HGV accident claims too if the driver happened to drive off after the accident.

Can I claim if I caused the accident?

If you were fully responsible for the accident, you will not be able to make a personal injury claim.

We hope our guide to lorry and HGV accident compensation has helped you.

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