Lakhani & McGrath

Your Guide to Managing the Fallout of Commercial Vehicle Accidents

commercial vehicle accident

The aftermath of a vehicle accident can be overwhelming. Whether you are the driver, a fleet manager, or a business owner, you need to know the immediate responses right after the accident and the long-term solutions.

This comprehensive guide equips you with the knowledge and practical steps necessary for effectively managing the fallout of commercial vehicle accidents.

What Is a CMV Accident?

A CMV (Commercial Motor Vehicle) accident refers to a collision involving vehicles used for business purposes, such as trucks, buses, or delivery vans. These incidents often differ from typical traffic accidents due to the size, weight, and specialized operation of commercial vehicles.

CMV accidents can have severe consequences, leading to extensive property damage, injuries, and even fatalities.

Types of Commercial Motor Vehicles 

Truck accident

CMVs come in various forms, each serving distinct purposes in the business and transportation sectors. 

Here are the different forms of CMVs:

  • Tractor-Trailers: These large trucks consist of a tractor unit and a trailer, commonly used for transporting goods over long distances. Their considerable size and weight contribute to unique challenges in navigation and braking, requiring specialized attention in accident management.
  • Delivery Trucks: Typically smaller than tractor-trailers, delivery trucks transport goods locally. Despite their size, they can pose significant risks in urban environments due to frequent stops and starts, demanding a detailed approach to accident prevention and response.
  • Buses: Ranging from school buses to intercity coaches, buses are crucial for public transportation. Their frequent stops, passenger capacity, and specific operational requirements necessitate a personalized understanding of accident dynamics for effective management.
  • Tanker Trucks: Designed for transporting liquids or gasses, tanker trucks present distinctive challenges due to the potential for cargo spills and the increased risk of rollovers. Safely handling accidents involving tanker trucks requires specialized knowledge and procedures.
  • Construction Vehicles: Heavy equipment used in construction, such as dump trucks and cement mixers, falls under the category of commercial motor vehicles. Accidents involving construction vehicles demand a unique set of considerations, considering both on-road and on-site safety measures.

Why are Commercial Vehicles at Risk for Accidents?

Commercial vehicles play a vital role in the global economy, but their size, weight, and unique operational demands make them inherently susceptible to accidents. 

Here are the various reasons why commercial vehicles face an increased risk of accidents.

Distracted Driving

Distracted driving poses a significant threat to commercial vehicle safety. From directing complex routes to dealing with in-cab distractions, drivers must manage various factors that divert attention, increasing the risk of accidents. 

Large Blind Spots

The sheer size of commercial vehicles results in extensive blind spots, hindering drivers’ visibility of surrounding traffic. These blind spots pose a significant challenge for both commercial drivers and other road users.

Driver Fatigue

Long hours on the road, tight schedules, and demanding delivery timelines contribute to driver fatigue, a leading cause of commercial vehicle accidents.

Speeding and Aggressive Driving

Commercial vehicles, covering extensive distances, are susceptible to speeding and aggressive driving behaviors. These actions not only increase the likelihood of accidents but also escalate the severity of collisions. 

Driver Impairment:

The impairment of commercial vehicle drivers due to alcohol, drugs, or prescription medication poses a significant risk on the roads. There must be rigorous testing protocols, education programs, and comprehensive substance abuse policies because these are essential to prevent and address impairment-related incidents.

Mechanical Defects

Commercial vehicles, subjected to extensive use, are prone to mechanical defects that can lead to catastrophic accidents. Regular maintenance, thorough inspection protocols, and adherence to safety standards are needed to minimize the risk of accidents caused by mechanical failures. 

Cargo Shifts and Spills

Improperly secured cargo can lead to hazardous situations on the road, causing accidents and environmental damage. Emphasizing proper loading procedures, securement protocols, and ongoing monitoring is essential to prevent accidents stemming from cargo-related issues.

Who Is Liable for Damages in a Commercial Vehicle Accident?

It is essential to establish responsibility for damages, considering the unique aspects of commercial operations. Typically, the liable party may include the commercial driver, the company employing the driver, vehicle manufacturers, maintenance providers, or even cargo loaders. 

What Is a Commercial Vehicle Accident Personal Injury Lawsuit?

Injured employee visiting lawyer for advice on insurance

A Commercial Vehicle Accident Personal Injury Lawsuit refers to legal action taken by individuals who have sustained injuries in accidents involving commercial vehicles.

These lawsuits aim to seek compensation for damages, including medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other losses resulting from the negligence or misconduct of the commercial vehicle operator, the company, or other parties involved.

These legal proceedings often involve complex investigations, evidence gathering, and negotiations to establish liability and secure fair compensation for the victims.

What are the recoverable damages in an insurance claim or civil suit for a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) accident?

These are the various types of damages that can be pursued in the legal and insurance processes following a CMV driving accident.

Medical Expenses

Victims of CMV accidents are entitled to seek compensation for medical expenses incurred due to injuries sustained in the collision. This includes hospital bills, surgeries, rehabilitation costs, prescription medications, and any other necessary medical treatments directly related to the accident.

Lost Wages and Future Earnings

Individuals injured in CMV accidents may pursue compensation for lost wages during their recovery period. Additionally, if the injuries result in long-term or permanent disability affecting future earning capacity, victims can seek damages to cover the financial impact of diminished income.

Pain and Suffering

Beyond economic losses, victims of CMV accidents can seek compensation for intangible damages, such as pain and suffering. This includes physical pain, emotional distress, and a diminished quality of life resulting from the accident. Calculating these damages often involves subjective assessments.

Property Damage

Recoverable damages in a CMV accident also extend to property damage, covering the costs of repairing or replacing the damaged vehicle and any other personal property affected in the collision. There must be a thorough assessment of property damage and accurate estimates obtained for a comprehensive claim.

The Statute of Limitations for CMV Accident Lawsuits in Houston

In Houston, there are specific guidelines when it comes to CMV accident lawsuits. The statute of limitations for Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) accident lawsuits in Houston dictates the timeframe within which individuals must file a legal claim following such incidents. 

In Texas, including Houston, the general statute of limitations for personal injury cases, including those arising from CMV accidents, is typically two years from the date of the accident

This means that individuals seeking legal recourse must initiate their lawsuit within this specified period to preserve their right to compensation.

It is crucial for those involved in CMV accidents in Houston to be aware of and adhere to these time constraints, as failing to file within the statute of limitations may result in the forfeiture of their right to pursue a legal claim for damages.

How can one protect their rights following a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) accident in Houston?

Following a CMV accident in Houston, safeguarding one’s rights is a top priority so that there is a smooth compensation and legal process.

Seek Immediate Medical Attention

Promptly seek medical attention after a CMV accident, even if injuries seem minor. This not only prioritizes your health but also establishes a crucial link between the accident and your injuries, providing essential documentation for potential legal claims.

Document the Scene

Gather evidence at the accident scene by taking photographs of vehicle damage, road conditions, and any visible injuries.

Collect contact information from involved parties and witnesses. Such documentation serves as valuable evidence in supporting your account of the events leading to the CMV accident.

Contact Law Enforcement

Report the accident to the police, ensuring that an official report is filed. Law enforcement documentation can provide an unbiased account of the incident. This serves as a critical piece of evidence in legal proceedings and insurance claims.

Preserve Evidence

Preserve any evidence related to the CMV accident, including medical records, repair estimates, and communication with insurance companies.

Retain all relevant documents to strengthen your case, as a well-documented trail enhances your credibility and bolsters the foundation for potential legal actions.

Hiring a Houston Personal Injury Attorney

Judge's gavel and miniature car as symbols of auction or court action against driver who got into an accident

When facing the aftermath of a personal injury, especially for a CMV accident in Houston, the assistance of a qualified personal injury attorney becomes invaluable. Here are the factors to consider when hiring a Houston personal injury attorney.

Reputation & Success Rate

Investigate client testimonials, online reviews, and the attorney’s history of handling personal injury cases, particularly those involving CMV accidents.

A stellar reputation and a high success rate signify an attorney’s ability to navigate the complexities of the legal system and secure favorable outcomes for their clients.

Relevant Experience

Assess the attorney’s background and make sure they have a proven history of successfully litigating or settling cases related to commercial vehicle accidents.

Specialized knowledge in this field equips the attorney to navigate the unique challenges posed by CMV accidents. This enhances the likelihood of a successful resolution.


Confirm that the commercial vehicle accident attorney has access to investigative resources, expert witnesses, and the necessary financial means to build a robust case.

Having comprehensive resources at their disposal allows the attorney to conduct thorough investigations, present compelling evidence, and effectively advocate for your rights in negotiations or court proceedings.

Compassion, Commitment & Listening Skills

A compassionate attorney who is committed to understanding your situation and actively listens to your concerns can provide not only legal expertise but also emotional support throughout the challenging process.

Choose an attorney who knows how to help you get at least average settlement for commercial vehicle accident, values your well-being, communicates clearly, and demonstrates a genuine commitment to achieving the best possible outcome for your CMV accident case.

Managing CMV Accidents with Confidence

In the aftermath of a CMV accident in Houston, securing the services of a skilled Houston personal injury attorney is crucial for a fair and successful resolution. 

Among the leading advocates in Houston, Lakhani & McGrath PLLC stands out as a dedicated and accomplished commercial vehicle accident lawyer. With a great reputation, a history of successful outcomes, specialized experience, and a commitment to client well-being, Lakhani & McGrath PLLC is here to guide you through the legal process so that you receive the compensation you deserve.

Ready to assert your rights and secure the compensation you deserve after a CMV accident? 

Contact Lakhani & McGrath PLLC today for a personalized consultation. Our experienced team is dedicated to advocating for you and guiding you through the legal process.


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