What Happens When a Truck Driver Has an Accident?

If you are wondering what happens when a truck driver has an accident, our truck accident lawyers are here to answer your questions.
Main Blog What Happens When a Truck Driver Has an Accident?

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Truck drivers are professionals, and go through extensive training to obtain their commercial driving license. Some may even take separate exams to drive certain types of trucks or carry hazardous materials. Truck drivers must also pass certain medical and other criteria for operating their vehicles. However, despite their efforts to maintain spotless driving records, truck accidents happen regularly in Texas.

If you are suffering from injuries after a truck wreck, it’s time to bring in the muscle of DFW Injury Lawyers. Our team of qualified and experienced Texas truck accident attorneys can help ensure you get the compensation you are owed if you’re a truck driver who is suffering from the consequences of a truck accident.

Key Takeaways

  • Truck accidents are more serious than other types of crashes due to the size and weight of large commercial trucks.
  • Texas is notorious for having the most truck accidents in the nation.
  • Hiring an experienced truck accident attorney is the best way to ensure you get the compensation you need from your truck accident.

Causes of Truck Accidents

Truck accidents, unfortunately, are common in Texas. In 2021, the state saw the highest number of large truck crashes resulting in the death of 806 people. Truck accidents are mostly preventable and happen due to several reasons, some of which include:

  1. Driving while fatigued: Despite regulations in place, truck drivers often have to drive long hours without rest. Drivers who are fatigued while driving have an impaired ability to act quickly and make safe decisions.
  2. Driving while distracted: If a driver is distracted by their GPS, phones, radios, or from eating at the wheel, their reaction time might slow down and cause them to pay less attention to any changing road condition.
  3. Hazardous roadway conditions: Hard rain, snow, sleet, ice, and poor visibility are all problems that can lead to truck collisions. This happens because it takes trucks a longer time to stop or maneuver in these conditions.
  4. Driving under the influence: Intoxicated drivers have impaired perception and can cause truck wrecks.
  5. Equipment failure: Mechanical failure may also account for truck-related accidents, especially if a driver’s truck is not well maintained.
  6. Improper training: A driver who has not received adequate training may not know how to handle an impending threat, which could result in a truck crash.
  7. Cargo overload: Trucks have specific recommendations they must adhere to for weight and balance. A road accident could occur if their cargo is not within the scope of these limits.

How Many Truck Accidents Happen In a Year?

Truck accidents are more common than one may assume, with roughly 32% of truck wrecks resulting in injuries and 3% leading to fatalities in 2022. In Texas, over 38,000 commercial vehicle crashes occurred in 2022, with the state witnessing more truck-related crashes in the year than any other state in our country.

Out of 168, 3280 truck related accidents in the nation in 2022, close to 5,000 were fatal. Approximately 600 of those fatal truck accidents occurred in Texas.

Where Do Most Accidents Happen On The Road?

Generally, truck accidents happen on highways where trucks traverse for long hours at high speeds. However, they can also occur in busy urban streets where traffic converges from multiple directions. Certain streets in Dallas, for example, are notorious for road accidents, such as North Hampton Road intersections with Singleton Boulevard and Jefferson Boulevard, and Mockingbird Lane intersection with US Route 75.

What To Do After a Truck Accident

Here are some of the steps you should take after a truck accident in Texas:

  • Relocate yourself to a safe area away: If you are able to move your vehicle so that it does not impede traffic, relocate it so it’s away from traffic or a dangerous area.
  • Check for visible injuries and damage: Even if you don’t think you are injured, pay close attention to any injury symptoms like dizziness, disorientation, headaches, and other body pain. Check your truck for damages and examine if there’s any visible damage to the cargo.
  • Contact law enforcement or emergency services: If you need a fire truck and/or urgent medical services, request them. It’s important to contact the local police so you can file an accident report.
  • Collect necessary information from other drivers and witnesses: It is crucial to collect the other drivers’ contact information and their insurance carrier details. However, refrain from discussing any settlement amounts or accepting any part of the liability for the accident.
  • Perform an internal investigation: Take pictures of the accident scene, collect statements and contact information of witnesses, and write down/record a summary of the incident while the details are fresh in your mind.
  • Go to a nearby hospital for a head-to-toe assessment: This is very important even if you do not think you are injured as adrenaline could be masking aches and pains. It’s vital to have an ER doctor conduct a head-to-toe assessment and keep your medical records/receipts.
  • Hire a truck accident injury lawyer: A truck accident can become complicated very fast. You may face issues with your employer or their insurance, or the other party may try to get you to settle for an amount that is well below what you are owed. Hiring an experienced and reputable lawyer can help ensure you are getting the help and support you need.
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How Long Does a Driver Have To Report a Crash

If you’re injured in a truck crash, you should report it as soon as possible. Your immediate report can help a law enforcement officer start their investigation and collect relevant information and evidence. In Texas, a law enforcement officer has ten days to record the report if it:

  • Involved more than $1,000 in damage; or
  • Involved in the injury or death of a person.

Remember, you may not always understand the exact cause of the truck crash at the time of the accident, so it’s best to let the police do their job while you focus on your recovery and look up truck accident lawyers in your area.

Truck Accident Investigation

Investigations after a truck accident are common. The local police conduct the primary investigation and file a crash report. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) may also investigate the accident, especially where the driver of the truck has had repeated offenses. As a truck driver, it is in your interests to fully cooperate with the investigating officer and provide them with relevant information, as deemed necessary.

Who is Liable In a Truck Accident?

A truck accident lawyer typically looks into the following:

  • Liability: In Texas, anybody who’s less than 51% at fault for a truck accident can recover compensation from the other party for their losses. However, it is not easy to determine who is at fault and to what degree, as multiple factors may have contributed to the truck crash.
  • Injuries: The severity of injuries is a decisive element for calculating the settlement amount. For instance, if your truck accident injury was so severe that it led to temporary disability, you may be able to seek damages for disability, loss of earnings, medical assistive devices, and long-term/nursing care, in addition to other damages.
  • Insurance: Certain insurance carriers may have lower limits covering their drivers. Or you may find yourself in a battle against an unethical insurance provider. In such cases, you’ll need an attorney to fight for your compensation with the insurance company.

Truck Accident Lawsuit Settlements

Every case is different, and as such, settlement amounts involving truck accidents also vary in terms of the total compensation. Due to the sheer size and weight of commercial trucks, damages and injuries are often worse than those involving other vehicles.

Truck accident lawsuits can often get complicated due to several reasons. For example, there may be a bias against drivers of large trucks who are expected to exercise a lot more caution than other drivers. Similarly, there may be situations where a car cut in front of the truck but the truck driver was unable to timely maneuver the vehicle due to the weight of the cargo or the size of the truck.

When a truck driver loses control due to the negligent actions of another driver and contributes to the accident, an experienced local attorney who’s successfully handled similar cases can understand the complete picture and successfully represent the injured truck driver. At DFW Injury Lawyers, we have helped many truck drivers get the money they deserve after an accident, including a 1 million settlement offer in a trucking accident case.

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Can a Lawyer Help With My Trucking Accident?

A truck accident lawyer can definitely help with your case, and it is imperative you hire one. After an accident, you might naturally be shaken up, and possibly severely injured. While your focus should be on getting better and rebuilding your life, an experienced attorney can help ensure you get compensated for the injuries you’ve sustained due to someone else’s negligence.

A qualified truck wreck attorney will typically do the following:

  • Gather witness statements and record interviews: Your lawyer knows the right questions to ask the opposite party and other witnesses.
  • Collect evidence regarding the accident: An attorney can put together medical reports, subpoena driving records, and also request additional information to build a compelling case.
  • Negotiate with relevant parties: Your attorney will handle all communications with the responsible party, their lawyers, and their employers/insurance providers.
  • Initiate a truck accident injury lawsuit and defend against counterclaims (if necessary): If your case goes to trial, you need a legal expert with trial experience who knows how to come up with the best pre-trial and trial strategies so you have the maximum chance of winning a lawsuit.

What Happens When a Truck Driver Has an Accident: FAQs

1. Which State Has The Most Trucking Accidents?

Texas is known to have the most trucking accidents in the country, followed by California. Texas also has the most fatal truck accidents in the U.S. This is likely because of a multitude of factors, including freeway congestion from commercial vehicles and an increasingly overwhelming infrastructure.

2. What is SAFER For Trucking?

SAFER (Safety and Fitness Electronic Records System) is a web-based application that keeps track of trucking company information like driver stats and insurance carrier information, and enables users to search databases, pay fines online, and report incidents.

3. Why Are Trucking Accidents a Serious Issue?

Trucking accidents are rarely limited to the crash site. The size and weight disparity between trucks and other vehicles can make them more serious and/or fatal. Trucking accidents can also lead to severe economic and environmental losses, and disrupt our transportation networks.

4. What Happens When a Vehicle is Overloaded?

An overloaded vehicle can make it very difficult to maneuver it, making it harder to brake, or turn and change lanes. This increases the risk of road accidents. When an overloaded truck is involved in a crash, it may be more severe because of the weight and a higher force of impact.

5. Who is More At Risk During a Large Truck Collision?

Occupants of passenger vehicles involved in crashes with large trucks are more at risk than the drivers and occupants of the trucks themselves.

6. What is the Most Common Injury For Truck Drivers?

Back pain is the most common injury that truck drivers experience. After a truck accident, many drivers suffer from serious injuries, such as brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, paralysis, and more.

7. Do Truck Drivers Get Fired for Accidents?

A truck driver may or may not be fired for an accident involving their truck. The circumstances of the crash, including whether or not they are found to be at fault, road conditions, and the severity of the crash, all play a role in whether or not they are fired from their job.

8. How Much Are Most Truck Accident Settlements?

There is no one-size-fits-all formula for calculating settlement amounts for truck accidents. The amount of damage done and the injuries sustained play a major role in how much settlement an injured truck driver may receive after a truck wreck.

“When a truck/18-wheeler is involved in an accident, the trucking company is immediately notified by electronic signal or by a call from the truck driver advising of the accident. As soon as the company receives this notice, a company representative/risk manager is sent to secure the scene, shield the driver, speak with the first responders, and often times destroy/hide evidence… all in an effort to limit liability and avoid paying for the accident and injuries their driver caused.

Knowing this, after signing a client injured in a trucking accident, DFW Injury Lawyers hires its own experts to gather evidence and verify the true facts of what happened. It is imperative to move quick so that the trucking company doesn’t destroy or hide evidence that is critical to the case.” — Founding Partner Kevin L. Edwards

9. How Do I Get the Most Money for a Truck Accident?

You’ll need an experienced personal injury attorney to help maximize payout after a crash. This is because it’s extremely difficult to navigate a truck accident case alone, especially if you’ve been injured and need to focus on recovery. It’s also easy for non-practicing attorneys to miss out on nuances that can help build a robust case.

10. How Much Does a Truck Accident Lawyer Cost?

Many personal injury lawyers, like our truck wreck attorneys at DFW Injury Lawyers, work on a contingency fee basis. That means you don’t pay them anything until they win your case. Not all truck accident lawyers can afford to sustain a drawn-out legal case without client fees, so it’s important you do your research before hiring a lawyer.

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We Bring the Muscle When Fighting For Truck Accident Compensation: Contact DFW Injury Lawyers Today

At DFW Injury Lawyers, our award-winning team has ample resources and experience to fight the Goliaths of the world for as long as it takes to get you fairly compensated. We employ aggressive trial tactics and ensure full client transparency so you always know what’s happening with your case and what you can expect.

Contact us today to get started and receive the compensation you deserve.

Article Sources

  1. Large Trucks
  2. Annual Texas motor vehicle crash statistics
  3. Texas Administrative Code
  4. FMCSA: Improving the Safety of Commercial Motor Vehicles
  5. FMCSA: Welcome to SAFER
  6. Large Trucks

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