Any road traffic accident can cause injury and damage to property or our body, however incidents which involve heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) are even more likely to cause serious damage and injury because of the sheer size and weight of the vehicle involved and as such impacts involving HGVs normally involve multiple times more force, meaning that these impacts can be a lot more destructive. If you have been injured in a HGV accident, or if your property has been damaged in this type of accident, then you may be able to make a HGV accident claim.
You can make a claim for almost any accident involving a HGV so long as it can be shown that the accident was in part down to the negligence of another party. Examples of incidents which have been successfully claimed for in the past include:
- Bad weather incidents
- Incidents caused by driver error
- Incidents caused by the HGV driver’s lack of sleep
- Incidents caused by the driver using a mobile phone or handheld radio whilst driving
- The driver being under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Incidents which have been caused by the vehicle being loaded up in an unsafe way
As well as considering the factors which caused the incident, there are also several types of scenario which can be claimed for, including:
- Collisions between an HGV and a parked vehicle
- Damaged caused by and HGV reversing into your vehicle
- Collisions where both parties were in motion
- Collisions between an HGV and a cyclist or pedestrian.
What you should do if you have an accident with an HGV?
In the first moments after the accident you need to consider your own safety. If you are able to move, make sure that it is safe to exit the vehicle before stepping out of the vehicle. Collect evidence at the scene if you are not badly injured, such as the details of the lorry driver and the details of any eye witnesses who saw the collision. If you are injured, make sure that you get to the hospital or seek medical attention, either under your own steam or by phoning an ambulance.
Make sure that you report the collision to the police so that they have a formal record of the incident. They will let you know whether or not you should move your vehicle. They may want the vehicles to stay put so that they can obtain necessary information from the accident site. If you have your own mobile phone, you should also take your own pictures of the site for your own records if you’re safely able to do so.
Starting The HGV accident claim
In order to make a successful claim, you should get in contact with a solicitor. Although it is possible to pursue your own claims, most people choose to use a professional, because the claim is more likely to be taken seriously by the defendant. Once you have recounted the accident to your solicitor, they will be able to let you know whether or not in their expert opinion you have a valid claim. They will also be able to work out an estimated claim value, so that you will know how much you may be entitled to.
What your solicitor will need from you
In order to put together a successful claim, your solicitor may ask for certain documents and pieces of evidence to support your claim. These may include copies of the police reports and your medical records, and any photos that you may have taken of the incident. If your claim involves a medical aspect, you may be asked to submit to an independent medical examination to verify the information that has been supplied in the medical report. If your injuries were serious enough to prevent you from going in to work, then your solicitor may ask for financial statements and wage slips to show how your earning potential has been affected by the incident.
If you have had to repair or replace your vehicle, you should provide receipts to show the costs that you have incurred because of the accident. You may also want to include additional travel receipts that you have incurred because you no longer have access to a car.