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How Does the Type of Commercial Driver’s License Impact My Texas Truck Accident & Injury Claim?

At the Hollingsworth Law Firm, our Houston 18-wheeler accident attorneys know driving a commercial vehicle is no easy feat. This is why both state and federal laws require prospective truck drivers to obtain special licensing before they can hit the road and begin working, called a Commercial Driver’s License.

A commercial driver’s license, also called a CDL, is a unique type of license allowing individuals to legally operate large commercial vehicles, including semi-trucks, buses, and tankers. Here, we discuss the different kinds of CDLs and how the type a driver carries during a truck accident in Texas may impact their personal injury claim.

Commercial Driver’s Licenses Can Impact Texas Truck Accident

Commercial Driver’s Licenses Can Impact Texas Truck Accident & Injury Claims

Each state has its own commercial driver’s license requirements. Still, generally, there are three types of licenses based on the vehicle, its cargo’s weight, and whether the driver intends to transport passengers or specific materials.

They include:


Class A licenses are required for the most significant, heaviest vehicles. A Class A CDL is needed to operate any combination of vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) over 26,001 pounds or greater, provided the vehicle being towed weighs more than 10,000 pounds, including:

  • Flatbeds.
  • Livestock carriers.
  • Tank vehicles.
  • Tractor trailers.


Drivers require a Class B license for a single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds or a towed vehicle weighing no more than 10,000 pounds., including:

  • Box trucks.
  • Garbage trucks.
  • Large passenger buses.
  • Straight trucks.


A Class C CDL is needed to operate vehicles designed to transport 16 or more passengers (including the driver) and transport hazardous materials (hazmat), including:

  • Hazmat trucks.
  • Passenger vans.
  • Straight trucks.

Beyond the different commercial driver’s license classes, drivers can obtain additional license endorsements to operate special vehicles legally that may include:

  • H: Hazmat.
  • N: Tanker.
  • P: Passenger.
  • S: School bus.
  • T: Double or Triple trailer.
  • X: Combination hazmat and tanker.

Commercial vehicles require high knowledge, experience, skill, and ability. Therefore, obtaining a CDL can help drivers thoroughly prepare for complex tasks and keep others on the road safe.

Still, commercial truck accidents happen every day. If you’re harmed in a trucking collision caused by negligence in Texas, do not hesitate to seek legal representation to understand how the commercial driver’s license involved may impact your claim.

Different Types of CDLs and Their Impact on Personal Injury Claims in Truck Accidents

If the truck driver involved in the accident was not properly licensed for the vehicle they were operating, this can be a significant factor in establishing negligence. For example, a driver holding a Class B CDL operating a tractor-trailer (which requires a Class A CDL) can be seen violating regulatory requirements.

Operating a vehicle without the appropriate CDL class can increase liability for the driver and their employer, potentially strengthening the personal injury claim.

Lacking the necessary experience or training for the vehicle the driver is operating can indicate negligence. This is particularly relevant in cases where the driver’s lack of competence contributed to the accident.

Employers are responsible for ensuring their drivers hold the appropriate CDLs and are qualified to operate their assigned vehicles. Failure to verify a driver’s qualifications can result in employer liability.

Employers may also be held vicariously liable for their drivers’ actions if the driver acted within the scope of their employment at the time of the accident.

In addition, different types of commercial vehicles have varying insurance requirements. A driver operating a truck outside the scope of their CDL class may not be covered by their employer’s insurance policy, complicating the claims process. We can help you sort through the details and ensure you are treated fairly by the truck’s driver, trucking company, and their insurance provider or legal counsel.

Contact Our Houston Auto Accident Attorney Today

If you have been injured in a Texas commercial vehicle accident caused by negligence, contact our dedicated Houston auto accident attorneys at the Hollingsworth Law Firm today for a free case evaluation. Call (713)-637-4560 or contact us online.

Our skilled bilingual personal injury lawyers and support staff represent clients throughout Texas on a contingency basis, so you never pay any legal fees unless we win your case.

If you are ready to fight for the compensation you deserve, so are we. Let us take the lead.

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About Hollingsworth Law Firm

Our aggressive personal injury trial attorneys at the Hollingsworth Law Firm are committed to fighting for the compensation you deserve. If you are the victim of an automobile accidentairplane accidentworkplace injury or other catastrophic injury, you need legal advice from a personal injury attorney with proven results you can trust. Our dedicated legal team is proud to represent clients across the state of Texas. WE WILL START FIGHTING FOR YOUR RIGHTS TODAY!

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