Start your free &
no obligation claim check

Main Murphy's Law Website Form Enquiry

"*" indicates required fields

1800 094 603

Table of contents

Are you a truck driver in Queensland who was injured in an accident as a result of the negligence of another driver or your employer?

You can receive professional legal advice to better understand your rights. We provide free, no-obligation initial advice. There are also no up-front expenses because all claims are handled on a no-win, no-fee basis.

For truck accidents that occurred anywhere in Queensland, including the Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Toowoomba, Townsville, and Cairns to mention a few, our team of Brisbane-based truck accident legal professionals can help. If you are in a rural area of Queensland, we can come to you or handle business over the phone, Zoom, and online. Our expert truck accident lawyers can also assist truck accident victims making a claim if you were injured while working with a truck, such as while loading or unloading a vehicle. 

Strict time limits apply; speak with our legal team today to learn more about your rights to fair compensation. The first consultation is always free, private, and you speak with a qualified personal injury lawyer directly. We operate on a no win no fee basis which means that you do not pay legal costs unless we successfully win your claim for compensation. 

Get advice from our Queensland truck accident injury experts now

Free & no obligation claims check

Truck and road train drivers are in charge of very powerful vehicles, and as a result there are often significant consequences when trucks are involved in accidents.

Truck accident injury icon

The figures show that in Australia in 2018, 159 people were killed in crashes where heavy trucks were involved. These figures were down 16.8% from fatalities in 2017, when 192 people were killed in accidents involving heavy trucks. In the period between 2016-2017, 190 people were killed, while 531 heavy truck occupants were hospitalised following a road accident. While these figures are sobering, we are seeing a decrease in fatalities of around 5.0% in the past ten years. Despite this, around 500 heavy truck occupants are hospitalised from accidents each year, with approximately 30 per cent categorised with high-threat-to-life injuries. It goes to show that truck driving is a high-risk industry with serious consequences. 

Common truck accident injuries

Truck crashing into a car

Truck drivers and passengers are at risk of suffering serious injury when involved in road accidents. Common truck accident injuries include: 

  • Whiplash injuries: Injuries from truck accidents sometimes involve whiplash, which happens when the head and neck are violently pulled backwards and forwards. This type of injury is frequently brought on by the quick impact of a collision.
  • Traumatic brain injuries can have long-lasting impacts on a person's life and range in severity from minor concussions to serious brain damage.
  • Spinal cord injuries: These conditions can cause partial or total paralysis and may call for a lot of medical care and rehabilitation.
  • Broken bones: Leg, arm, and rib fractures are among the common broken bones sustained in truck accidents.
  • Internal wounds: Since trucks are large, heavy vehicles, they are capable of inflicting severe internal wounds such as lung punctures, spleen ruptures, and internal haemorrhage.
  • Burn injuries: Severe burn injuries can result from trucks catching fire or colliding with other vehicles transporting combustible products.

Truck drivers are under immense pressure from Australian businesses and suppliers to keep moving. As a result, truck drivers sometimes take risks for their trucking company and drive in unsafe conditions to meet deadlines and keep their jobs.

Other trucking injuries

Truck accident while offloading at warehouse icon

A study by Monash University was performed over a 12-year period, examining over 120,000 truck crash insurance claims.

  • It was found that commercial truck drivers have one of the most dangerous jobs in the world, not just due to road accidents but also due to working conditions. 
  • The study showed that truck drivers suffered injury relating to slips, trips, falls, traffic accidents, and musculoskeletal injuries - among other injuries. 
  • Truck driver injuries were related to sedentary work, poor work hours, shift work, and fatigue. 

Truck drivers are also at risk of injury when loading or unloading a truck, or when performing maintenance on their truck such as when changing a tyre or topping up engine fluids on the side of the road. The claims process for people injured in a trucking accident while working is to claim through WorkCover via your employer. You can speak to a personal injury lawyer about how to claim through your employer.

Common causes of truck accidents

Checklist icon

Truck accidents have a number of causes, but driver fatigue plays a huge role in many truck accidents. There are very strict rules around driver rest breaks and about how far and for how long a driver is permitted to travel before a rest break is mandatory. Despite this, drivers sometimes turn to stimulant drugs or speeding as a means to meet these targets. 

Common causes of truck accidents include:

  • High speed
  • Poor weather/road conditions
  • Poor vehicle maintenance
  • Accident involving other inexperienced drivers
  • Other driver fault
  • Unsecured load
  • Livestock on the road

There are myriad other causes of accidents, with many truck drivers suffering serious and permanent injury. An injury lawyer who specialises in truck driver crash compensation can assist you in navigating through this difficult time.

Common types of truck accidents causing injuries

The following are types of trucking accidents that have commonly resulted in injuries.

  • Jackknife accidents: Jackknife incidents happen when a truck's trailer slides at a severe angle, forming a "V" with the truck's cab.
  • Rollover accidents:  Accidents that involve a truck rolling over on its side or roof are called rollovers.
  • Underride accidents: Accidents known as "underrides" happen when a smaller car slides beneath a truck's trailer during a collision.
  • Rear-end collisions take place when a car or truck collides with the back of a smaller vehicle.
  • Head-on crashes take place when a car or truck collides head-on with a smaller vehicle.
  • Lost load: When a truck's load is not securely fastened and detaches from the vehicle, accidents and injuries may result.
  • T-bone collisions take place when a truck slams into the side of a smaller car.
  • Driver fatigue: When a truck driver is too exhausted to operate the vehicle properly, accidents and injuries may result.
  • Distracted driving: A distracted truck driver increases the risk of accidents and injury.
  • Improper Truck Maintenance: A poorly maintained truck increases the risk of accidents and injuries.
  • Falling from truck cab: Significant injuries are common when drivers fall from their cabs. Employers may be negligent if steps and hand holds for example are not installed correctly or maintained.
  • Injured in truck loading bay: Many injuries can occur while reversing trucks into loading docks, while opening the back of the truck and while loading or offloading.
  • Injured at roadside: Severe injuries have occurred at the roadside such as changing a tyre due to tyres exploding or someone changing a tyre at the roadside being struck.

Queensland's Truck Accident Hotspots and Significant Roads

  • Queensland's Bruce Highway which connects towns and cities on Queensland's East Coast is a major highway that frequently sees truck accidents.
  • The Warrego Highway, which connects Brisbane to western Queensland, is infamous for having a high rate of truck accidents.
  • Pacific Freeway: There have been a lot of truck incidents on this motorway, which connects Brisbane and the Gold Coast.
  • The Gateway Motorway, which connects Brisbane with the Sunshine Coast, sees a lot of truck traffic, which leads to a lot of truck accidents.
  • The Ipswich Motorway, which connects Brisbane and Ipswich, also has a lot of truck accidents.

Can I claim if I was deemed at fault? 

Personal injury questions

As we have mentioned, truck drivers sometimes work against difficult conditions and engage in behaviour such as speeding or skipping rest breaks to meet deadlines. If an accident happens, such negligent behaviour may result in you being deemed responsible for the accident which means you cannot claim for compensation.

You may be able to argue against this presumption so long as you can demonstrate that there were other factors at play which forced you to take the action that contributed to your accident. 

Example: Jess is a truck driver working the Melbourne to Perth route. She is under a lot of pressure to get a load to Perth in a short time frame. Her boss has said that he will ignore any logbook entries (or lack thereof) so long as Jess gets the load there on time. Jess decides to drive straight through - stopping only for a one hour nap here and there when she is exhausted. On the last leg of her journey she falls asleep at the wheel and crashes. While Jess is responsible for the crash, her employer would likely be liable as it was their actions that resulted in Jess choosing unsafe behaviour. 

Example: Ricky wants to get home early for his son’s birthday and decides to take some speed to help him stay awake. He does not notice a car in the next lane over and clips it, forcing the driver off the road and running off the road himself. He would likely not be able to claim any compensation for any injuries and would be liable for any injuries or damage. 

Our accident lawyers can help with your truck accidents compensation claim - even where you believe you may have contributed to the accident. Speak to our law firm today about claiming for compensation.

I was injured while loading/unloading a truck, can I claim?

Yes, you can - provided you were operating safely and in line with any work health and safety guidelines. Injuries while unloading a truck, whether it is a tractor trailer full of hay or an independent contractor unloading pallets, are all too common. You can make a claim for compensation through your employer - but it is best to speak to a personal injury lawyer first for guidance on how to proceed.

Fatal truck accident claims 

When someone is killed in a truck accident it is traumatic for the relatives of the deceased. You may also have lost a primary source of income for your family. As a result, following a fatal road accident, you are eligible to make a wrongful death claim which covers you for medical and funeral expenses, as well as  for loss of income. Our truck accident lawyers can help you make a claim for wrongful death, as well as for nervous shock (which is a claim for psychiatric injury suffered after the death of a relative or loved one).

Example: Grace is killed in a two-vehicle truck accident where the other driver was at fault. Grace was the sole income earner for her family, as well as part time carer for her husband Brad and their son Dylan. Brad would be able to claim for funeral and medical expenses as well as for the loss of Grace’s income and care. 

Example: Mick was killed in a fatal crash which took place in front of his wife Denise as she was waiting to pick him up from the depot. As a result of witnessing the accident, Denise developed a psychiatric injury and had to spend some time in a psychiatric hospital. She has flashbacks and can no longer work. Denise would be able to make a claim for nervous shock from Mick’s employer or the party responsible.  

What are the time limits to make a truck injury claim?

Personal injury time limits

The usual time limit for truck accident claims to commence is within three years of the date of the accident. This time limit is dictated by statute and is strictly enforced. It is important that you speak to a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after your accident has taken place so that you can commence the process of making a claim for compensation. The team at Murphy's Law Brisbane can explain your limits for a claim in Queensland.

What can I claim for?

When you are entitled to compensation following a truck accident you will be able to claim for:

  • Medical costs: These cover the price of any necessary rehabilitation such as physio, medical bills, and treatment for any injuries sustained in the accident. It will also take into account predicted ongoing treatment costs.
  • Lost wages (past and future): If your injuries prevent you from working, you may be entitled to file a claim for compensation for loss of earnings, including Superannuation and projected future income loss.
  • Pain and suffering: Compensation for physical and mental pain and suffering brought on by the injuries received in the accident is included under the category of "pain and suffering."
  • Psychological injuries: You can potentially claim for psychological injuries such as PTSD caused by the emotional distress, trauma and shock of the accident impacting ability to drive a truck again.
  • Loss of consortium: If the accident has left your spouse or other family members without your companionship or financial assistance, you may be entitled to make a claim for this loss.
  • Out-of-pocket costs: These include any costs incurred as a result of the accident, including travel fees, medication costs, and costs associated with house modifications.

The amount of compensation you will receive depends on your age, your earning capacity, the severity of your injuries and whether any injuries are permanent.  

Can I claim workers compensation for a truck accident?

If you were injured while working as a truck driver, you may be eligible for workers' compensation. This type of compensation covers medical expenses, lost wages, and other expenses related to your injuries. A claim through WorkCover Queensland or your employers workers compensation insurance should be possible regardless of who was at fault.

Further compensation may be available to you through a legal claim if the negligence of another party caused or contributed to the accident and/or injuries such as:

Employer negligence:

Commercial trucking companies have strict trucking industry guidelines they need to follow and a duty of care to provide a safe working environment for their drivers. Potential negligence resulting in trucking injuries can include:

  • Poor vehicle maintanance - this could lead to blown tyres, brake failure and so on.
  • Poor training - this could lead to incidents such as loss of load
  • Driver fatigue - if drivers are being pressured to work beyond what is legal and safe

If the accident was caused by another driver then we may be able to assist you make a claim against the CTP insurance (compulsory third party) policy of the at-fault party.

How long will it take to get compensation?

A claim for compensation usually takes between 12-18 months, but it can be longer or shorter depending on the complexity of your matter and how your injuries are progressing. Motor vehicle accident claims are a complex process and requires assessment of your injuries as well as an examination of how much loss you have suffered due to the accident. 

Can a truck driver be fired for an accident?

A truck driver who has been involved in an accident cannot be dismissed unless the truck driver was wilfully negligent or if their conduct breached conditions of their employment. It it best to speak to a lawyer who specialises in employee relations if your matter relates to potential unfair dismissal. 

What should you do after a truck accident?

  1. Seek medical attention: Even if you don't think you've been injured, it's essential to seek medical attention as soon as possible after a truck accident. Some injuries, such as whiplash, may not present symptoms until hours or even days later.
  2. Report the accident: It's essential to report the accident to the relevant authorities, including the police and the trucking company.
  3. Gather evidence: Collect as much information as possible at the accident scene, including the contact and insurance information of the truck driver and any other parties involved, as well as photographs of the scene and any damage. If you believe another driver was responsible, try to gather as much of negligent parties details as possible such as name, address and drivers licence photograph. Take notes on the accident circumstances such as weather, order of events while they are fresh in your mind.
  4. Contact a trucking accident claim lawyer: An experienced truck accident lawyer can help you navigate the complex claims process and ensure that your rights are protected.

What is the process for a truck accident injury claim?

Our team will guide you through each step of the legal process.

  • Gather evidence: To establish liability, identify the responsible party and gather data, a careful investigation into the accident will be carried out.
  • Filing a claim:  There will be a compensation claim made with the insurance provider of the accountable party.
  • Negotiations: To get a fair settlement for your injuries, losses, and expenses, your truck accident lawyer will negotiate with the insurance company of the party at fault, such as the driver of another vehicle or a careless employee. Prior to the matter going to court, agreements are usually reached via so-called "compulsory conferences."

Litigation: Your matter may go to court if a settlement cannot be reached.

Why do trucks contribute to a relatively high percentage of accidents?

Trucks are commonly involved in motor vehicle accidents because trucks are common on Australian roads. Trucks drive thousands of kilometres every year and drivers are often under stressful and unsafe working conditions. As a result, a truck accident compensation claim is all too common. A recent study has shown that truck driver fatalities are on the rise, with driver distraction and insufficient fatigue management a huge contributor to truck driver accidents and fatalities. 

Get expert advice now

Our personal injury claim experts led by Queensland Law Society Accredited Specialists can help you understand your rights. Get in touch for a free chat today.

Posted by Kirk Watterston Principal (Non-Director)

How helpful was this article

Not at all
Sort of
Not Sure
It helped
Very Much

Thank you for your feedback!

Disclaimer: Please note, this content is designed as general information only and does not constitute legal advice. While we make every effort to fact check and keep items up to date, legislation may change from time to time. For advice on your specific situation then please contact us.
hello world!
envelopemap-markercrossmenu linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram