As a truck driver, you are required to exercise extreme caution while operating a vehicle that is capable of destroying other vehicles if driven incorrectly. However, if you were involved in a truck accident that was not your fault, it is easy to wonder whether you will be subject to discipline due to the crash. If you were fired after being involved in a truck accident, you should consult with an experienced Fayetteville, AR truck accident lawyer as soon as possible. Ken Kieklak, Attorney at Law, understands the many burdens placed upon truck drivers, and he is here to help you weigh your legal options after being fired for a crash you did not cause. Our firm is here to explain whether a truck driver can be fired after an accident in Arkansas.
When Can a Truck Driver be Fired for an Accident in Arkansas?
Trucking companies or companies that use a fleet of trucks to transport their goods are expected to hire drivers that know to operate commercial trucks properly, and that will be timely. As a result, companies that hire truck drivers will ensure they are thoroughly trained to handle their duties, which will also decrease the risk of a truck accident occurring. However, it is unreasonable to think that a truck accident will never happen.
When a truck accident occurs, it is normal for an employer to be concerned about whether a truck driver was responsible for the accident because the employer may also be liable for the truck driver’s negligent actions. Specifically, under the doctrine of respondeat superior, an employer could be held vicariously responsible for the negligent actions of an employee that occur within the scope of their employment. For example, if a truck driver veered outside their lane and caused a crash, this negligence could be attributed to their employer.
Note, however, that a truck driver should never have to fear for their job because of an accident they did not cause. There are various circumstances where a truck accident may happen due to the negligence of a person in a passenger vehicle or possibly due to the negligence of another truck driver. For example, if a passenger vehicle cuts into a truck’s lane and suddenly uses their brakes, there is an increased chance of an accident as commercial trucks need a fair amount of space to come to a complete stop when braking. There are other circumstances where a truck driver should not be liable for an accident:
- A person driving within a truck’s blind spot for an extended period of time
- A driver cutting in front of a truck when they are making a wide turn
- Rear-end accidents that happen when a driver is tailgating a truck
- The trailer on a commercial truck was overloaded causing a tire blowout or other type of accident
Many trucking companies will perform a thorough investigation to determine how a truck accident occurred. If the company discovers that the truck driver was not at fault for the accident, the driver will likely be able to keep their job without being reprimanded. However, other companies may attempt to shift the blame to the driver in order to avoid liability for the crash.
If you were wrongfully terminated for a truck accident that you did not cause, you should speak with an experienced Arkansas truck accident lawyer to discuss your case.
Common Reasons for Termination for a Truck Accident in Arkansas
There are various reasons that an employer may terminate a truck driver after an accident. For example, if a truck driver has a long history of accidents, this may be used to fire a truck driver. Our Fayetteville, AR commercial vehicle accident lawyer lists some other common reasons that could cause a truck driver to be terminated.
Driving Under the Influence
Driving a commercial truck while under the influence of alcohol or drugs is extremely dangerous. If a truck driver is intoxicated while driving, their reaction times will be significantly decreased, which will increase the risk of an accident. Drunk drivers can also act erratically behind the wheel by failing to adhere to traffic signals or speeding in tight areas.
Speeding is another reason that a truck driver could be fired. Truck drivers are often under pressure to deliver goods in a timely fashion. As a result, a driver may exceed the speed limit to ensure they reach their goals. However, this can be dangerous if a truck driver hits a deep pothole or happens to lose control of the vehicle while speeding.
Our firm understands that losing your job is a stressful experience for any person. We would help you weigh your options to recover compensation for a wrongful termination if you were not liable for causing the truck accident that led to your firing.
Contact Our Experienced Arkansas Truck Accident Lawyer to Discuss Your Termination
If you or a family member was fired for being involved in a truck crash, you should contact an experienced Arkansas personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. Truck accident attorney Ken Kieklak possesses over 20 years of legal experience litigating vehicle accident cases, and he would be pleased to use his experience to represent you. To schedule a free legal consultation to discuss your truck accident case, contact Ken Kieklak, Attorney at Law, at (479) 316-0438. You can also schedule your consultation using our online submission form.
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