Claiming Compensation for a HGV Accident

The number of accidents involving Heavy-Goods Vehicles is truly shocking.  In 2003 2,474 pedestrians were hit by HGVs, of which 650 were killed or seriously injured.  Every year there are up to 25,000 accidents in the UK involving lorries, and lorry crashes make up over 25% of all vehicle accidents.

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Employer’s obligations to its drivers

If you are a lorry driver then your employer has a duty of care to ensure the lorry is safe to drive.  He must make sure you have adequate breaks and do not drive more than the legal number of hours.  Furthermore, he must ensure the vehicle is checked regularly for any irregularities. If your employer fails to do this and you have an accident whilst driving a lorry, you may be able to claim compensation from your employer

However, if you have an accident whilst under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or by tailgating or by reckless driving, you may be deemed to be responsible for the accident.  Not only will you not be able to claim compensation, but anyone else injured, and even your employer, may have the right to claim damages from you.

What if I have an accident involving an HGV?

If you are driving a car which has an accident with a lorry and it is the lorry driver’s fault, then you may be able to claim compensation against the company which employs the driver.  The company will have insurance which will compensate you for any damage caused and any expenses incurred, such as hospital fees.  If you are seriously injured you will need to instruct an expert to assess the financial effect the injuries will have on the rest of your life.  For example, you may need to change jobs or even give up the job you have.  You may need a carer for some years, or have to make adjustments to your home.  You may have to give up your hobbies, such as playing rugby.

When you are forced to suffer as a result of someone else’s negligence, you should not have to pay for it – they should.

What should I do if I have an accident involving an HGV?

  • Call the police.  They will make an accident report and take details of the lorry driver, the vehicle and any witnesses.  Their testimony will also be helpful if you need to go to court to claim damages.  They will also take photographs of the accident scene.  If the police aren’t called, make sure you do all these things yourself!
  • Call an ambulance or a doctor.  Not only will they give you immediate medical assistance, they will be able to assess the extent and severity of your injuries which will make it easier to make a claim for compensation.

The compensation process can be complicated and expensive, but it need not always be.  Contact us  at Manners Pimblett and we can take the stress out of getting what you deserve.

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