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What Happens When a Truck Driver Gets in an Accident?

What happens when a truck driver gets in an accident?

Truck drivers are crucial in the transportation industry, delivering goods and products nationwide. However, accidents can happen with the job’s long hours and demanding nature.


We will explore the consequences that truck drivers may face when they get into an accident, including insurance claims and legal repercussions.

Insurance Claims for Truck Drivers

Understanding Commercial Truck Insurance

Commercial truck insurance is a type of insurance specifically designed for trucking companies and their drivers. It provides coverage for accidents, injuries, and property damage that may occur while operating a commercial truck.


Truck drivers typically have insurance coverage, including liability, physical damage, and cargo insurance. Liability insurance covers damages to other vehicles or property in an accident, while physical damage insurance covers damages to the truck itself. Cargo insurance covers any damage to the goods being transported.

Some policies may include benefits such as PIP coverage or Med Pay, which can help pay medical bills and more if the driver is hurt in the crash, depending on the coverage.

Filing an Insurance Claim

In an accident, the truck driver should immediately report the incident to their employer and insurance company. The insurance company will then investigate the accident’s cause and the extent of the damages.


If the truck driver is found at fault for the accident, their insurance company should cover the damages up to the policy limits.

If the truck driver is injured in an accident and feels they are not to blame for the crash, consulting a trucking accident lawyer should be on the to-do list, except for the most minor injuries.

Legal Consequences for Truck Drivers

Traffic Violations

Truck drivers are subject to the same traffic laws as any other driver on the road. If they are found to violate any federal safety rules or state traffic laws, they may face fines, points on their license, or even license suspension.


Common traffic violations for truck drivers include speeding, reckless driving, failure to yield, and driving under the influence. These violations put the truck driver at risk and endanger other drivers on the road.

If a professional driver gets a ticket, they should consider hiring a local attorney to contest the citation. If you successfully fight the ticket, it protects your CDL and prevents the ticket from being used against you in a civil case.

Civil Lawsuits

If the accident results in injuries or property damage to other parties, the truck driver may face a civil lawsuit. Claims can be made even if the police do not find the truck driver at fault for the accident.


In a civil lawsuit, the injured party may seek compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages. The truck driver’s insurance company may cover these costs and provide an attorney to resolve the case.

Criminal Charges

A truck driver may sometimes face criminal charges for reckless or grossly negligent actions. Charges are more likely if the accident results in serious injuries or fatalities.


Criminal charges can range from misdemeanors to felonies, depending on the accident’s severity and the driver’s alleged conduct. If found guilty, the truck driver may face fines, jail time, or even a permanent revocation of their commercial driver’s license.

What to Do After an Accident

Seek Medical Attention

The priority after an accident is to seek medical attention for any injuries. Even if you feel fine, getting checked out by a medical professional to ensure no underlying injuries is important.

If you cannot seek medical attention immediately, document any injuries and seek medical attention as soon as possible.

Report the Accident

As mentioned earlier, reporting the accident to your employer and insurance company as soon as possible is crucial. Reporting the collision will ensure proper steps are taken to handle the situation and protect your interests.

Follow the Policies of the Motor Carrier Regarding Accidents

Many trucking companies have written policies for what to do after an accident. Refer to those requirements after an accident and follow them step by step.

Do Not Admit Fault

Be accurate with what you say to the officers at the scene, but do not admit fault. Limit your communications with others involved in their medical condition and the exchange of identities and insurance information.

Gather Evidence

If possible, gather evidence at the scene of the accident. Vital proof can include taking photos or videos of the damage, the scene, or other important facts, obtaining witness statements, and collecting relevant information such as contact information.

This evidence can be crucial in determining fault and can help protect you in the event of a lawsuit or insurance claim.

Consult with a Lawyer

If you are facing legal consequences or a civil lawsuit, it is important to consult with a lawyer who specializes in trucking accidents. They can help protect your rights and ensure that you receive fair treatment.

How Dash Cams Can Help with an Accident

Motor carriers use dash cams much more often these days. Not only can dash cams enable the trucking company to monitor safety, but the video may also prevent a claim from being made by providing irrefutable evidence of fault.

Reviewing the dashcam video can help assess liability in almost every accident.

Camera Mirrors and ADAS Systems

Relatively new to the scene are camera mirrors and ADAS systems, which, according to the FMCSA, can save fuel and reduce crashes. The new driver assistance technology is rapidly evolving and is expected to be widely adopted in the coming years.

Preventing Accidents as a Truck Driver

Follow Safety Rules

Trucking companies have strict safety protocols in place to prevent accidents. As a truck driver, it is important to follow safety regulations. Ensuring compliance includes regular vehicle maintenance, adhering to speed limits, and taking breaks when necessary. In short, follow the rules, and don’t fudge.

Double Check Your Blind Spots

Many accidents happen because the truck driver did not see the other vehicle. Checking the blind spots twice and always signaling your intention goes a long way to prevent a blind spot accident.

Avoid Distractions

Distracted driving is a leading cause of accidents for all drivers, including truck drivers. Avoid using your phone, eating, or other distracting activities while driving.

Get Enough Rest

Truck drivers are often on the road for long hours, which can lead to fatigue and drowsy driving. Getting enough rest and taking breaks when needed is important to avoid accidents caused by fatigue.

Drive Safely and Follow the Rules

Accidents can happen to even the most experienced and cautious truck drivers. However, by understanding the consequences and taking preventative measures, truck drivers can minimize the risk of accidents and protect themselves in the event of an accident.


If you are a truck driver, follow safety regulations, avoid distractions, and get enough rest to ensure your safety and that of others on the road. In the event of an accident, report it immediately and seek legal advice if necessary.


Contact Our Truck Accident Lawyer if You Were Injured in an Accident

Since 1985, our truck accident lawyers in Houston, TX, have represented truck drivers and others injured in trucking crashes. We have obtained millions of dollars for our clients and offer free injury case consultations. Call (281) 893-0760.


Related Resources:

5 tactics Used by adjusters after a Truck Wreck

Oversize Loads in Texas

About Greg Baumgartner

Truck accident lawyer Greg Baumgartner
Greg Baumgartner is a preeminent rated personal injury lawyer based in Houston, Texas, with over three decades of experience representing severely injured clients in truck accidents. He founded Baumgartner Law Firm, in 1985, with a mission to provide excellent legal representation and personalized attention to every client.