Truck Accident Lawyers

We are expert compensation lawyers with offices across Queensland including Brisbane, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast and major regional centres. Free initial advice and 100% risk-free claims with no upfront costs and our No Win, No Fee, No Catch® promise.


If you, or someone close to you, has suffered a truck accident injury in Queensland due to the negligence or fault of another party, you might wonder if you're entitled to truck accident injury compensation.

This straightforward guide aims to help you understand the intricacies of claiming compensation, including your rights to compensation, common causes of such injuries, an overview of the claims process, frequently asked questions, and time limits for making a claim specific to Queensland. 

Smith's Lawyers team of personal injury claim experts offers free initial advice and no-obligation appointments at home, in the hospital, in-office, or via phone. All claims have no upfront costs or risks of being left out of pocket under our No Win, No Fee, No Catch® promise. We operate Queensland-wide.

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Understanding Your Rights After a Truck Accident Injury in Queensland

If you've suffered a truck accident in Queensland due to the negligence of someone else, you have the right to seek compensation. Depending on the nature of the accident and where it happened, you might be eligible for: 

  • Car and road accidents: The Compulsory Third Party (CTP) Claims Scheme can provide compensation if you were injured on the road and it wasn't your fault. This includes other drivers, cyclists, pedestrians or even passengers in your own vehicle.
  • Work accidents: Statutory claims can be made via WorkCover Queensland or your employer's workers' compensation scheme, regardless of who was at fault. If your employer was negligent, you can also pursue a common law claim.
  • Public place accidents: If you're injured in a public place, such as a service station or a loading bay, you may have grounds for a common law claim against the public liability insurer of the area.

Remember, each of these compensation schemes has its own requirements and time limits. It’s essential to seek advice from a truck accident lawyer as soon as possible to understand your rights and options.

Smith's Lawyers provides a free case review to help you understand your claim.

Common Causes of Truck Accident Injuries

Driving can be perilous and getting injured in a truck isn't unheard of. Heavy trucks were involved in 17% of road fatalities in Australia in 2020

Queensland is famed for its beauty and diversity, but that can be a challenge for all road users due to its unpredictability. It's likely why over 60% of truck accidents in the state occur in regional and remote areas.

 Some of the most common causes for truck accidents are: 

  • Driver fatigue: Due to the long hours and strenuous schedules, fatigue is a prevalent issue amongst truck drivers. This exhaustion can lead to lowered alertness and slower reaction times, often resulting in accidents.
  • Poor vehicle maintenance: Trucks are complex machines that require regular upkeep to function correctly. Skipped maintenance can lead to malfunctions, like brake failures or tyre blowouts.
  • Unfamiliarity with route: Queensland's landscape is vast and varied. Drivers unfamiliar with their routes can encounter unexpected obstacles or conditions, increasing the risk of accidents.
  • Load shifts: During loading and unloading or even while moving, improper load balancing can cause a truck to topple or become uncontrollable, leading to accidents.
  • Adverse weather conditions: Queensland's weather can be unpredictable, with sudden rainstorms or dense fog reducing visibility and making roads slippery, increasing the chances of accident.
Common Types of Truck Accident Injuries

Queensland is a big state, and for truck drivers, that can mean hours on the road. With that comes a range of potential hazards that could all lead to truck accidents. 

In fact, the hour-to-hour duties involved in trucking can lead to a variety of injuries, which may vary significantly in nature and severity. Including: 

  • Whiplash injuries: Commonly caused by sudden, abrupt vehicle stoppage in collisions, whiplash injuries can result in significant neck pain and restricted mobility. It may take some time for symptoms to appear, making it crucial for drivers to seek prompt medical checkups after any incident.
  • Back and spinal injuries: These can occur during traumatic accidents on the road or from the strain of consistently lifting heavy freight during loading and unloading operations. The associated pain and any resulting paralysis may severely limit a driver's ability to work.
  • Crush injuries: Often the result of rollovers or vehicle impacts, these can lead to both external and internal trauma. Immediate medical attention is imperative to prevent any further complications.
  • Repetitive strain injuries (RSIs): Usually less immediate but potentially just as debilitating, long-term strain from repetitive tasks, such as the constant act of shifting gears, can lead to chronic pain and various musculoskeletal disorders.

You may be eligible to seek truck accident compensation depending on the circumstances of your case. Smith's Lawyers are experts in personal injury claims and can help you understand if you have a claim with a free case review.

Workers Most at Risk of Truck Accident Injuries

Did you know that in 2020, one in five work-related fatalities in Queensland were transport, postal and warehousing workers?

Some jobs naturally have a higher risk of injury than others. When it comes to trucking, among those most at risk are:

  • Long-distance truck drivers: These drivers are particularly vulnerable to fatigue-related accidents due to lengthy hours on the road and irregular rest periods. The risk of sustaining injuries from accidents is heightened by conditions such as driving at night and coping with unpredictable road behaviour from other drivers.
  • Loaders and offloaders: These workers often interact with heavy goods and equipment. The chances of getting injured increase due to mishandling of machinery, incorrect manual handling, or incidents during the loading or unloading process.
  • Warehouse workers: This group of workers is constantly at risk as they operate in a fast-paced environment. The pressure to load and unload goods swiftly can lead to accidents, especially when operating forklifts or other machinery.
  • Road construction workers: Workers in road construction are exposed to passing traffic, including heavy trucks, and have a higher risk of getting hit by a truck or vehicle. If there aren't appropriate traffic control measures in place, this only makes it more dangerous.

If you've been injured at work and are starting to think about a truck accident claim, starting the process may seem daunting. We've broken the process down into some of the steps you may go through in your truck accident injury claim. 

Remember, your health is paramount. Always seek immediate medical attention following an accident before embarking on the claims process. 

Investigation And Gathering Evidence.
Attend An Informal Settlement Meeting.
Case Settled or Court Proceedings

To check your compensation entitlements, request a free case review with our expert car accident lawyers.

Understanding the Compensation Claims Process

If you've been injured at work and are starting to think about a truck accident claim, starting the process may seem daunting. We've broken the process down into some of the steps you may go through in your truck accident injury claim. 

Remember, your health is paramount. Always seek immediate medical attention following an accident before embarking on the claims process. 

Below is an outline of the steps involved: 

1. Seek Free Initial Legal Advice

The first step is to get in touch with a law firm that specialises in compensation claims for injuries. Such a firm will have the necessary expertise and understanding of the complexities of Queensland law and can confirm your legal options, including eligibility to make a claim.

2. Engage A Personal Injury Lawyer

After an initial phone assessment, the next stage is a no-obligation consultation to explain the process and client agreement in more detail and to gather initial key information relating to your accident and injury to help assess your case and your injury and identify the liable party. The client agreement will also be explained so you can understand the terms under which the personal injury law operates. Smith’s Lawyers runs all claims risk-free with no upfront costs.

3. Gather Evidence To Build Your Case

Once your compensation matter is opened, you will be allocated a personal injury lawyer who will start gathering the required evidence to build a strong case and to determine liability. This may include medical reports, accident reports, witness statements, CCTV or dashcam footage or documentation of any loss of earnings due to your injury. Further down the track, when your injuries have settled, your law firm may arrange for independent medical assessments such as occupational therapy assessment to assess your ability to work, long-term recovery prospects and so on.

4. File Your Claim

Your personal injury solicitor will lodge a notice of claim and negotiate on your behalf with the liable parties, typically with their insurance companies (or their legal representatives), such as the CTP insurer of the at-fault party for car and road accidents or WorkCover Qld for workplace accidents. 

5. Negotiate With The At-Fault Party's Insurer

Negotiations with the insurance company aim to reach a fair settlement that covers your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages.

Most cases are settled out of court in a compulsory conference, an office-based meeting involving yourself, your personal injury solicitor and a barrister they have engaged in leading the negotiations along with the legal representatives of the at-fault party's insurer. 

In the unlikely event that a settlement cannot be negotiated out of court, proceedings can proceed to court. In most ‘no win, no fee’ agreements, you could be liable for the other side's legal costs if your case is unsuccessful in court. Smith’s Lawyers No Win, No Fee, No Catch® promise protects you from this risk and means you can not be out of pocket.

6. Settlement Payment

If your claim is successful, you will receive a lump-sum tax-free compensation settlement. The amount received will depend on different factors, including the severity of your injury, any impact on your earning capacity, and any medical expenses incurred. Legal fees are charged for the work completed only if there is a successful outcome.

Seek expert advice ASAP: Remember, each case is unique, and the process can vary based on the specifics. It's suggested to seek professional legal advice and have your case reviewed by an expert team to guide you in this journey. Smith's Lawyers are experts in personal injury claims and offer a Queensland-wide service with free initial advice to get you started in your claim process.

What Evidence Do I Need to Support My Truck Accident Claim?

If you've been involved in an incident and sustained injuries in Queensland, providing robust evidence is an essential step in making a successful truck accident compensation claim. Gathering and presenting credible and compelling evidence can help establish liability and accurately quantify your claim for damages.

Below are some examples of evidence that can help with truck accident claims: 

  • Medical Reports: Medical records, including diagnosis, treatment details and your prognosis are crucial. They can substantiate your injury claims and help establish a clear link between the accident and how you've suffered.
  • Witness Testimonies: Where possible, you want to interview all potential witnesses to ensure their account of the accident is accurately recorded. These testimonies can reinforce your version of events and support your claim.
  • Proof of Accident: This could include accident scene photos, vehicle damage, skid marks and any other tangible evidence that supports your claim.
  • Details of Expenses: Keep track of all accident-related expenses. This includes medical bills, repair costs for damage to your truck and any other expenses you've incurred as a direct result of the accident.
  • Proof of Lost Earnings: If you've missed work due to your injuries, ensure you have evidence of your loss of earnings. This can be payslips, a letter from your employer, tax returns, or any other proof of missed wage opportunities.

Remember, all truck accident compensation claims are unique, and the evidence required can vary. Smith’s Lawyers have experience handling personal injury claims and can guide you through the evidence-gathering process.

Calculating Your Compensation Amount

You're a truck driver in Queensland who's been injured on the job. You believe you're entitled to claim compensation but don't know how much you'll receive.

Compensation payments mainly aim to cover expenses and losses you've encountered due to the injury. This includes: 

  • Past and Future Loss of Earnings: If the injury prevents you from working temporarily or permanently, you can claim for lost income. This includes lost superannuation contributions and ensuring your retirement funds don't suffer due to your accident.
  • Hospital and Medical Expenses: Any costs related to immediate and ongoing treatments, surgeries, medication, appointments, or hospital stays can be included in your claim. These are often a significant expense post-injury.
  • Rehabilitation Costs: This covers the costs to help you regain your skills or health, like a physio or occupational therapist. Rehabilitation costs help you back to work quicker.
  • Pain and Suffering: This recognises that injuries have both physical and psychological impacts which can significantly impact your quality of life.

It's essential to note that a particular injury doesn't automatically result in a set payout amount. Each claim is evaluated on a case-by-case basis, considering the following factors: 

  • Severity of the Injury: More serious injuries, particularly those leading to permanent impairment, often result in more substantial compensation.
  • Recovery Potential: If your potential recovery is limited or prolonged, it could increase your compensation as you may need long-term care and cannot return to work.
  • Occupational Impact: How the injury affects your ability to perform your work tasks and earn an income is a significant factor in determining your compensation.
  • Age: Your age at the time of injury might influence the compensation amount. The younger you are, the more likely it is that you receive a higher payout.

Remember, claiming compensation is more than just covering immediate costs. It's about ensuring your quality of life and securing your financial future following your accident.

How Can a Truck Accident Injury Impact Your Ability to Work?

A truck accident injury may prevent you from resuming work in the short term. This can range from a few weeks to several months, depending on the severity of the injuries.

Physical traumas like fractures, back and neck injuries and severe lacerations can limit your mobility and cause debilitating pain, making it impossible for you to operate a truck while those injuries heal. 

Long-term consequences can be even more profound. Some injuries may never fully heal, substantially impacting your ability to perform your job in the future. Serious head traumas, long-term psychological issues and permanent physical disabilities can ruin any hope of returning to the driver's seat.

You may require ongoing medical treatment, therapy or alterations in your lifestyle and career plans. An unfortunate consequence may be you'll have to seek employment outside of truck driving, perhaps at a considerably reduced income. It's also possible that you may not be able to work at all. 

Remember, your entitlement to compensation is heavily influenced by these injuries and their effect on your ability to earn income. Speaking to truck accident lawyers can help you assess your claim and understand how much compensation you might be entitled to.

Time Limits for Truck Accident Injuries

If you've been injured in a truck accident in Queensland, it's crucial to remember that you generally have three years from the date of the accident to make a claim. However, depending on the specifics of your accident and injury, there can be variations to this rule.

For work-related injuries in Queensland:

  • You have six months to lodge your claim with WorkCover. The six-month period begins whenever the incident takes place, either when you are injured or after a doctor has made their assessment.
  • You have three years to commence legal proceedings for a common law claim. If your employer or a third party caused or contributed to your injury, this can be run alongside a standard WorkCover claim.

For motor vehicle-related injuries in Queensland:

  • You have nine months from the date of the accident or when injuries first became apparent to lodge a Notice of Accident Claim Form (known as a 'NOAC') with the Compulsory Third Party Insurer (CTP Insurer). A “reasonable excuse for delay” can be provided outside the nine months but must be within three years of the accident or you will be barred from making a claim.
  • Or, you have one month from when you first consult with a lawyer about the possibility of making a claim to lodge the form. When running a claim with Smith’s Lawyers, your appointed solicitor will help you complete and submit this form.  Note: This time limit is the earlier of the two (one month vs nine months), so if you have spoken to a lawyer about your potential claim, you must lodge the NOAC within 1 month.
  • Where the motor vehicle at fault cannot be identified (such as in a hit and run), or the vehicle was unregistered, you have three months from the date of the accident to lodge a Notice of Accident Claim form with the Nominal Defendant. For these claims, if you have missed the three-month period, a reasonable excuse can be provided, but it must be provided within the standard nine-month limit; otherwise, you will be barred from making a claim.
  • After the Notice of Claim Form is lodged, you have three years from the date of the accident/injury to start legal proceedings.

These limits can fluctuate based on specific circumstances, such as exceptional delays in discovering the injury or if the injured party was under 18 at the time of the accident. For those under 18, the time limit begins when they reach adulthood.

At Smith's Lawyers, we offer free and no-obligation case reviews to aid you in understanding your legal rights after an injury. Operating on a No Win, No Fee, No Catch® basis, we aim to provide risk-free legal assistance and advocate for your right to proper compensation.

To check your compensation entitlements, request a free case review with our expert car accident lawyers.

Frequently Asked Questions

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I was loading/unloading my truck when injured – am I still covered?

Generally, yes. If the injury occurred during the course of your employment duties, including actions directly related to the truck like loading, unloading, or securing cargo, you should be eligible for workers' compensation coverage. Contact a lawyer specializing in workplace injuries to clarify your specific entitlements.

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My injuries mean I can't drive trucks anymore – what are my options?

Serious injuries that prevent you from returning to truck driving can have devastating consequences. However, options exist:

  • Vocational Rehabilitation: Workers' compensation may cover retraining into a new type of work that accommodates your physical limitations. This, along with therapy, aims to help you re-enter the workforce.
  • Compensation for Loss of Future Earnings: If your earning potential is severely diminished due to changing careers or if you're unable to work at all, compensation calculations will include a significant amount for lost future income.
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Can I sue anyone else besides making a WorkCover claim?

Potentially, yes. While WorkCover often forms the basis for compensation, your lawyer may investigate:

  • At-Fault Driver: In accidents involving other vehicles, you might have grounds to sue the responsible driver's insurance company for additional compensation. This could provide payouts surpassing those available through workers' compensation.
  • Third-Party Negligence: In cases where other entities contributed to the accident – for example, poor road maintenance or faulty truck components – additional claims to manufacturers or government entities might be explored.
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Can I still claim if it was a single-vehicle accident?

Yes, workers' compensation is a no-fault scheme. For workplace injuries, you typically retain your right to compensation even if the accident stemmed from your own actions, a blown tire, an animal strike, or reasons tied to fatigue.

However, it's key to note: if your employer's negligence contributed to the accident (such as forced overtime leading to fatigue, overloaded truck, or inadequate maintenance), then there's potential for an additional common law claim with the help of a personal injury lawyer. This route could secure substantially higher compensation to address pain, suffering, and long-term effects beyond a standard WorkCover claim.

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Are there any upfront costs or risks?

No; our No Win, No Fee, No Catch® promise at Smith’s Lawyers means there are no upfront costs, and you can never be left out of pocket as a result of the claim. Typically with ‘no win, no fee’ agreements, you could still be liable for the other side's legal costs if your case goes to court and is unsuccessful. In the unlikely event that your case goes to court and you are unsuccessful, we'll cover the costs - so you won't pay a cent to us or anyone else.

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Get expert advice today

To check your compensation entitlements, request a free case review with our expert car accident lawyers. We can explain your options to road accident injury claims so you are clear on your rights during this difficult time.

Take our 2-minute free claim check

Fill in the form below to find out if you have a claim.

Last updated:
March 8, 2024

Disclaimer: This information is designed for general information in relation to Queensland compensation law. It does not constitute legal advice. We strongly recommend you seek legal advice in regards to your specific situation. For help understanding your rights, please call 1800 960 482 or request a free case review to talk to one of our lawyers today.