What Happens if a Truck Driver Gets in an Accident?

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What Happens if a Truck Driver Gets in an Accident?

By Steven Jensen
August 31, 2022

Trucks are enormous vehicles known to wreak havoc where it crashes. In some unfortunate cases, a truck could directly collide against a loaded car, injuring or even killing the person inside.

Even if the responsible truck driver is insured, the insurance company may try to give you little or nothing to fix your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and disability. Who to call in case of emergency?

Suppose you’re injured on the road as a passenger, pedestrian, or cyclist. In that case, it’s best to immediately contact an experienced truck accident attorney because you only have a limited time to file a claim.

In this blog post, we’ll help you understand what happens after a truck accident and what you must do to protect your case value and ensure maximum damage recovery.

How Common Are Truck Accidents?


In 2019, the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) stated that heavy truck collisions resulted in more than 5,000 fatalities, and over 159,000 people were severely wounded. Commercial trucks make up a substantial portion of large trucks, including tanker trucks, big rigs, delivery trucks, and 18-wheelers.

Different Types of Truck Accidents


There are various types of truck mishaps that you should be aware of. If you have been injured in a truck accident, knowing what kind of accident you were in is essential to proceed with your case.

Jackknife Accidents

When a big truck starts to fold in half, the cab and the trailer make a 90-degree angle. This is known as jackknifing. Jackknifing is often caused by abrupt braking, and it has the potential to be fatal. A truck that jackknifes may wander into lanes of traffic where other moving cars are. Additionally, it can close off a section of the road, which might cause more collisions.

T-bone Accidents

T-bone collisions occur when one motorist fails to yield at an intersection or runs a red light, resulting in the side of one vehicle colliding with the side of another and forming a “T” shape.

T-bone collisions may occur with any vehicle, but it’s exceptionally hazardous in truck accidents. Truck drivers need to be cautious not to blow through red lights. Otherwise, their size and length make them more likely to be involved in t-bone crashes.

Tire Blowouts

Blowouts may occur if truck drivers are not vigilant about monitoring their tires before they start driving. When a truck tire blows out, it may push the vehicle in directions that significantly increase the danger of collision with other drivers.

Rear-end and Head-on Collisions

Rear-end crashes, often known as front-to-rear collisions, happen frequently. These mishaps generally take place when:

  • A motorist follows too closely
  • The driver slams on the brakes, or
  • A vehicle strikes a stopped car after miscalculating its stopping distance.

What Should You Do Following a Truck Accident?


You must know what steps to take afterward when you’re involved in truck driving accidents. After the accident, you may be concerned about your health and getting enough medical attention if you sustained injuries.

If you’re the victim of a distracted driver, the aftermath can be even more stressful as you deal with the complicated legal process and the hefty financial burden. No matter your situation, it’s wise to know how to proceed following an accident involving a large truck.

Contact the Emergency Services and Law Enforcement

This is important because it gives the truck accident a legal record (in the form of a police report) and helps start the investigation into what happened. If the truck driver attempts to blame you or another party for the accident, here is where the truth will be revealed.

Even if the truck driver attempts to convince you not to contact the police, you must insist on doing so. This is also where you call other emergency services if you need them.

Gather as Much Information as You Can

To make sure that everyone who was engaged in a truck driving accident is identified, everyone involved has to share contact information. In addition, it makes it possible to locate the persons involved if legal action is taken against them or if some other action is needed.

You may believe that noting the name of the trucking firm is sufficient, but this is often not the case since they might be challenging to locate. So, ensure you get the following information from everyone else in the truck accident.

  • Numbers of the drivers involved and any other commercial driver’s license.
  • Name of the other driver’s insurance company and policy number.
  • Name of the trucking industry and how to contact them directly.
  • Full name, address, email address, and phone number of the driver.

Source for a Witness and Get Their Contact Information

Many times, witnesses will be found on the site after an accident occurred, and you may either get their contact information in case they need to be called to testify about what they saw in the truck accident, or you can gather a written statement from them.

Another approach for seeking witnesses of an accident scene is to consult the police report, which will generally include the names of witnesses who submitted statements to law enforcement. A skilled truck accident lawyer will go to great lengths to locate witnesses if there are significant injuries.

Retain a Personal Injury Lawyer for Help

A personal injury lawyer may help you after a truck accident. The sooner you have a lawyer on your side after accidents, the better. By retaining a lawyer from the beginning of the process, they’ll be able to gather evidence and witnesses for your case, making it easier for you to get the compensation you deserve.

In most cases, getting defendants to admit responsibility can still be challenging even when they are clearly at fault for the accident. If you were rear-ended by a truck, it’s unlikely that they’ll admit that they were driving too close behind you or at high speed.

This is why it’s crucial to retain legal representation as soon as possible. You can’t sit around expecting the insurance company or the trucking company would do what’s right; this isn’t going to happen.

Initiate a Personal Injury Claim

When you’re in a mishap with a truck, it’s crucial to not only think about your own safety but also to file a personal injury claim as soon as possible so that you can get compensation for your injuries.

You are likely to suffer from some kind of injury, whether physical or emotional. Commercial vehicle damage can range from minor bumps and bruises to life-threatening injuries.

This is why it’s essential to contact an attorney as soon as possible following the accident so they can begin working on your lawsuit. Your attorney will investigate what happened during the accident and help you decide if you have grounds for a personal injury claim.

What Are the Different Liable Parties in a Truck Accident Case?

The Commercial Driver

The liability for an accident involving a large truck may fall on the driver for various reasons. It’s possible the driver breached the law, encountered a truck-related problem, was intoxicated, or was distracted.

Long trips, nighttime driving, fatigue driving, and medical issues are among the variables that may make an accident more likely to occur. The truck driver is often held accountable for the injury or property damage without any other party or organization at fault.

The Trucking Company

A trucking company hires drivers or makes deals with drivers who work independently. In either case, the victim’s party can blame the trucking company for hiring a careless driver who caused an accident.

Also, they may have cut corners on safety by not having their trucks inspected or making necessary repairs. They may also have unrealistic or against-the-law policies that force their drivers to meet impossible deadlines.

The Truck Manufacturer

The part or truck manufacturer or vehicle assemblers are sometimes to blame. A faulty system, such as brakes or steering, might cause a truck to lose control. Truck accidents may also result from defective tires.

What Are the Available Damages to Victims of Truck Accidents?

Economic Damages

Your actual losses due to the injuries you experienced in the collision and the future losses you may reasonably be expected to suffer make up for your economic damages. The two most commonly encountered economic damages are medical expenses and income loss.

  • Medical Expenses: Some examples of recoverable medical expenditures are the cost of accident medical transport, diagnostic testing, prescription drugs, rehabilitation expenditures, future medical costs, and continuing physiotherapy.
  • Income Loss: Your income loss includes the earnings or salary you miss while in the hospital recovering from your injuries and those you may reasonably anticipate if your injuries prevent you from returning to your present job.

Non-economic Damages

Your non-economic damages comprise intangible losses caused by your injuries, such as the following:

  • Physical, mental, and emotional pain and suffering;
  • Loss of your previous rate of productivity as a result of your injuries;
  • Public embarrassment due to disfiguring scars left by your injuries or because you must now use a wheelchair, prosthesis, or white cane to go out; and
  • Loss of your previous delight in life.

Punitive Damages

In rare cases, you may also be able to get punitive damages in addition to the kinds of damages we’ve already talked about. You and your lawyer must establish that the defendant’s acts or inaction were severe to earn this jury award.

Is There a Deadline When You Can File a Personal Injury Claim?

If you have a personal injury lawsuit, you have a limited time to file. We’ve all heard the term “statute of limitations” used to discuss various lawsuits and other legal actions. It’s important to know that this also applies to filing a claim for a personal injury.

If you were hurt in a vehicle accident and want to file a personal injury claim, you must do so before the time limit runs out.

Can a Driver Lose His Driver’s License or CDL Following an Accident?


When commercial truck drivers cause accidents because they are careless, they will probably lose their commercial driving license or CDLs and won’t be able to find work as professional drivers in the future. Some things that can lead to a CDL driver losing their license are:

  • Driving under the influence of alcohol or other drugs, including prescription drugs that can make you sleepy, disoriented, or confused;
  • Driving too fast, usually at least 15 miles per hour faster than the speed limit;
  • Leaving the scene of an accident too quickly or leaving an accident the CDL driver caused is termed a “hit and run.”;
  • Doing something illegal with a commercial vehicle; and
  • Using a commercial vehicle to purposely hurt another driver.

What Help Can a Truck Accident Lawyer Offer in This Situation?


Truck accidents can be catastrophic and traumatic. Even if you’re not seriously injured, you’ll experience a frightening, upsetting, and even traumatic event.

You’ll probably have to deal with the aftermath of a truck accident, too—including dealing with insurance companies, which are notoriously hard to work with. That’s why knowing what help a commercial truck accident lawyer can offer is exemplary.

A truck accident lawyer can ensure you obtain the compensation you deserve for your injuries. Trucking companies will try to downplay your injuries and pay out as little money as possible, but they have a lot of money on the line—they have deep pockets that they need to protect.

An attorney can also make sure you have a strong case against the trucking company if they were at fault for the accident. Their driver may have been speeding, or they may have been distracted and caused the accident, and they may even have received inadequate safety training from their employers.

A truck accident attorney knows how to prove these types of cases so that you get the maximum compensation for your injuries.

Take a Step and Call for Legal Help


It’s common for those involved in an accident to be confused about what they should do next and whether they need to speak with a lawyer. But your first step should always be to contact an experienced truck accident attorney.

At Parker + McConkie, we help truck victims navigate the complicated process of dealing with insurance companies and medical bills. Our extensive expertise in personal injury law established our reputation as one of the best legal assistance providers in Utah.

Our legal team at Parker + McConkie has the knowledge and skill to positively impact your life after your accident, so don’t hesitate to call us as soon as possible. To schedule a free consultation, call us at (801) 616-3080 or fill out our online form.

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Schedule a Free Consultation Now By Contacting Our Team at (801) 980-9708