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Not Just Semis and Tractor-Trailers: Accidents Involving Other Types of Commercial Trucks

| Category: Truck Accidents | July 31, 2023

When it comes to truck accidents, the most attention is given to semi-trucks and tractor-trailers. This is for good reason, as they are the heaviest and largest trucks on the roads, therefore posing the greatest dangers to other motorists in the event of an accident. However, other types of trucks can be almost as dangerous and require special consideration. For those who have been injured in an accident with a commercial truck, they need a truck accident lawyer who has experience in handling these types of claims. 

Other Types of Commercial Trucks

Some specific examples of the types of trucks we are discussing may be helpful:

  • Box trucks
  • Delivery vans and trucks
  • Pick-up trucks
  • Flatbed trucks
  • Refrigerator or “reefer” trucks
  • Septic trucks

Regardless of the type of commercial truck, the principle involved is always the same: the owner of the truck may be held liable for the negligence of the driver or failure to properly maintain the truck. That said, many businesses will rent trucks for commercial purposes, which can complicate the situation. No matter what type of truck caused your accident, the best thing to do is to contact a truck accident lawyer as soon as possible to discuss your options. 

Many Commercial Trucks Do Not Require a Commercial Drivers License

Federal law requires that drivers have a commercial driver’s license (CDL) to operate any vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of more than 26,000 pounds. As a result, many of the commercial trucks on the road do not require any special license to drive. 

This means, in turn, that many of the commercial vehicles on the road do not require a special license or any special training. This is despite the fact that many of these trucks are significantly larger than your average passenger vehicle and can often carry much larger, heavier loads. They have less visibility, larger turning radiuses, require greater stopping distances, and generally handle quite differently than the average passenger vehicle. 

While many employers will take steps to ensure that their employees are driving safely, many do not. In fact, employees with little experience in driving these vehicles may be put behind the wheel with little or no training or supervision. This lack of experience, training, and supervision can quickly lead to a very serious accident that results in catastrophic injuries for other drivers. If you have been seriously injured in a commercial truck accident, you should contact a truck accident lawyer as soon as possible. 

Commercial Trucks Have Intense Maintenance Needs

Semi-trucks and tractor-trailers spend thousands of hours on the road each year, and trucking companies are under stringent regulations to ensure that their fleets are properly maintained. And since trucking is their core business, they are arguably incentivized to keep up with their trucks’ maintenance needs. 

Many other types of commercial trucks are not as well maintained. A delivery truck may be driven for several hours every day in stop-and-go traffic. As a result, it may wear through brakes and tires quickly and need engine and transmission work frequently. But because the truck owner’s business is in selling goods, maintenance is not a priority. Unfortunately, a brake failure or other mechanical issue can result in a very serious accident. 

Fortunately, the owner of the truck can still be held liable for any accidents caused by negligence even if they are not a trucking company. A knowledgeable truck accident lawyer will know what steps need to be taken in order to get the compensation you deserve. 

What to Do if You Are Injured in a Truck Accident

The moments following your truck accident can be important in the event that you subsequently need to pursue a claim. As a result, and to the extent possible, you should try to take the following steps following your accident: 

  1. Call the police. They can secure the scene of the accident in order to keep you safe. They will also generate an accident report that could be used as evidence later on. 
  2. Get the truck driver’s information. You want to get their name and contact information, as well as the name of their employer. 
  3. Take pictures. Take pictures of the truck’s license plate and any identifying numbers on the door or body that look like serial numbers. Take pictures of the damage to your vehicle, your injuries, and the scene of the accident. 
  4. Seek medical attention. If you think you are injured but are not entirely sure, do not hesitate to go to the ER via an ambulance. Otherwise, schedule an appointment with your doctor for a thorough medical examination as soon as possible. 
  5. Do not admit liability. Anything you say may later be against you, so do not say anything that could be construed as an admission of liability. In fact, the less you say, the better. 

Contact Truck Accident Lawyer Thomas E. Pyles

The best thing you can do to protect yourself is to get an experienced truck accident attorney on your side. Contact the Law Offices of Thomas E. Pyles by calling 301-705-5006 to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case and your options.