Hit By A Company Van: Solicitor explains how to claim compensation for injury and vehicle damage if your car is hit by a works vehicle
Hit by a company van compensation claim: Find out how a car driver and passenger can claim compensation for injury following a rear-end collision; who you claim from, how long you have to claim and the process of calculating compensation amounts for your injuries.
Please note this information is given in an answer to an online question.
Online Question – Company Van Ran Into The Back Of My Car At A Junction
I was stopped in my car at a junction in Leeds waiting to turn right. My wife was a front seat passenger. I was signalling to turn with my indicators on and was waiting for the traffic to clear on the main road for about 30 seconds.
A gap in the traffic eventually appeared and I started to pull out when a company van ran in to the back of my car at around 30 mph. We were pushed across the main road and onto the pavement on the other side of the road.
The police and ambulance arrived at the scene and my wife and I were taken to hospital.
The van driver admitted to using a works mobile phone at the time, which had distracted him and he had not seen our car or the junction. We believe a prosecution is being considered.
At hospital I was found to have suffered a fractured wrist and a fractured vertebra in my cervical spine. My wife has some fractured ribs from the seat belt, she banged her head causing her to lose consciousness, later she experienced concussion and whiplash types injuries to her neck and shoulder.
My car was very badly damaged and my insurers tell me it is too severe to fix and will be written off.
Can I claim for being hit by a company van, as my wife was a passenger in the car with me is she entitled to compensation too, who do we claim from, how long do claims normally take to be settled and what compensation payout are we entitled to?
Motor Vehicle Accident Solicitor Response
To answer your questions in turn
1. Both you and your passenger are entitled to claim compensation for all the injuries you have set out (fractured wrist, fractured cervical spine vertebra, fractured ribs, whiplash, head injuries, concussion) when you are hit by a company van or by another motor vehicle. These however were diagnosed from the initial symptoms that you experienced and it is likely that after leaving hospital, other symptoms and injuries become apparent – for example psychological injury.
2. As you were hit by a company van – it is likely that your claim would be made against the employer of the driver who are considered to be vicariously liable for errors made by their employees. It does however depend on the type of employment and who is responsible for the insurance of the company van. In certain instances a claim against the driver would be considered, especially if the motor insurance was held in his name and not that of the company who employs him.
3. The duration of a claim depends on many factors and could be very different in length for you and your wife despite the fact that you were in the same accident.
From your description – it seems that driver fault could be readily proved, but a dispute may arise over whether it is the company employer or the individual who bears the responsibility.
Even if liability is accepted from the outset from the relevant motor insurer – there could be delays & disputes in determining compensation amounts.
For example – the injuries may be complicated and need some surgical intervention or an extended time period is necessary to see how recovery is getting on, it might be your own solicitor who would need to delay settlement of your claim so as to prevent settling your claim at too low a figure. Your solicitor instructs a medical expert to produce a report and this expert needs to be able to produce a final report setting out all the injuries and the lengthy time period for recovery.
If however liability is accepted and recovery from injuries is swift – a claim could be resolved within 6 months. If liability is not accepted or your injuries are persisting your claim might last a year or two to settle.
4. Given the array of injuries both you and your wife have suffered determining compensation before independent medical reports are obtained and knowing the true severity and duration of symptoms it would not be possible to accurately determine compensation amounts.
Instead a solicitor acting on your behalf when your car is hit by a company van will commence a process to prove your injuries and financial losses (often the biggest financial loss is lost income and you have not provided details of this in your question).
Once the evidence is complete – you can draw comparisons to the injuries as described by the medical experts with the articles I have set out below:
Free Help From Specialist Solicitors When You Are Hit By A Company Van
We offer direct dial & online specialist solicitor free help if you have been hit by a company van or been injured in a road accident – this includes direct dial calls to a specialist solicitor, online assessments & access to our claim guides.