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  • Writer's pictureRobert Schuerger II

Do Truck Drivers Get Fired for Accidents?

A truck driver has as much of an obligation to adhere to federal trucking regulations as the trucking companies do. Sometimes, because of a failure to respect these rules or for other reasons, a hired driver may end up causing preventable accidents.

These are, of course, of much greater concern than typical car accidents since the potential for damage, serious injuries, and even death are much higher considering the size and weight of trucks.

In many cases, these accidents are the truck driver's fault. The line of thinking then is that most trucking companies would just get rid of the errant truck drivers. As is the case with a car accident, someone who caused a crash because of impaired driving, for example, is a risk, and businesses are all about mitigating risk. Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys can help with questions like When do semi trucks have to report an accident?

Do they get rid of these truck drivers though?

There Is No Hard and Fast Rule

The short answer is that there is no set rule that speaks to how these kinds of situations are handled. While some motor carriers will fire the drivers, some may choose not to. Others are in a position where they can't exactly fire the driver in question.

Reasons Trucking Companies May Fire a Truck Driver

Reasons Trucking Companies May Fire a Truck Driver

After cargo accidents, side impact truck accidents, and other situations like these, a truck driver may indeed be fired. If the driver is at fault for certain reasons, the company's reputation is now at risk and that person may be seen as a danger on the road. Here are some of the reasons the choice may be made to fire the driver:

  1. A driver may be under the influence of drugs and alcohol, which leads to a crash. For obvious reasons, this is not a tolerable act. Unfortunately, impaired driving sometimes happens because a truck driver sees stimulants as the only way to keep awake when the drives are long.

  2. There may be a case where reckless driving decisions lead to a crash. For example, if the commercial truck driver is texting while driving or speeding, these may be grounds for termination.

  3. If federal regulations are being ignored, that's another huge problem. As indicated before, truck drivers are expected to adhere to the rules just as trucking companies are expected to do. This is a heavily regulated industry, and this is one of the worst reasons to be fired as the implications may mean never getting another job as a truck driver again.

  4. Apart from federally imposed regulations, there may be company safety protocols that have also been implemented to guarantee a safe and smooth experience for all. These speak specifically to policies where there is no legal requirement but the initiative is taken by the company. Should a driver ignore these policies, there may also be grounds for termination of employment.

Why Might a Trucking Company Not Fire Drivers After Truck Accidents?

Perhaps there is an accident where a vehicle rolls underneath a truck or there may be a case where the roads in a particular area are not well maintained by the local government as expected. In essence, there are times when an accident happened but it was not because of any action or inaction on the part of the truck driver.

In these cases, the company may not choose to go the termination route. For example, another driver may have been the reason the accident happened. Trucks cannot stop as quickly as standard vehicles. If someone cuts in front of the rig and it is simply unable to stop, there's nothing the driver could've done.

Bear in mind too that the company could be liable or even the truck manufacturer because of a faulty component that led to the accident.

It's much less likely for a truck driver to be fired for these kinds of things, but it's not impossible. The good news is that these kinds of terminations shouldn't prevent the ability to get gainful employment elsewhere. Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys can also give insight to common causes of truck accidents.

Sometimes the Driver Can't Be Fired

Sometimes, there is just no firing the driver, which may sound unlikely. However, consider the fact that not all truck drivers are employees of the companies that they serve. Many truckers are simply independent contractors who provide services using their own vehicles.

Sure, the company may choose not to do business with that contractor again going forward, but it doesn't stop the driver from working. However, if the trucker's commercial driver's license (CDL) was suspended because of the crash, that's a different story.

CDL suspensions are sometimes suspended temporarily, but it takes multiple violations within three years to get to that point.

Insurance Company Dealings After Accidents

Regardless of whether it was road rage, speeding, or however else the accident occurred, as a victim of a truck accident, the company's insurance company will likely reach out to check if "all is well." It may seem like a well-meaning gesture, but the real intention is to see if the victim will say something that can be used against them in a claim settlement scenario.

That's why it's recommended to retain the services of semi accident lawyers and let them deal with the insurance company.

Damages Associated with Truck Accidents

Damages that a claim can be made for are broken down into economic and non-economic damages. The economic ones are those for which there is a documented and calculable financial value such as medical bills, lost wages, and property damage.

Non-economic damages are on the quality of life side. While monetary compensation will be sought for them, the value will need to be quantified, which is usually not a problem for a seasoned lawyer.

What Are the Most Common Types of Truck Accidents?

What Are the Most Common Types of Truck Accidents?

Some of the most common types of truck accidents are:

  1. Underride

  2. Jackknife

  3. Side impact

  4. Cargo

  5. Head on

  6. Rear end

  7. Rollover

  8. Tire blowouts

Schedule a Free Consultation with a Successful Indiana Truck Accident Lawyer

Whether the driver will be fired or not, as a victim of a truck accident, you need to be compensated fairly for the economic and non-economic damages you may have suffered.

Schedule a free case evaluation today with a passionate Indiana truck accident lawyer who is willing to go to war for you! Call Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys!


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