Our New Jersey Truck Accident Lawyers Are Here to Answer Your Questions
In 2017, 4,102 people died in trucking accidents across the nation, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. But how many victims of these accidents received justice? Trucking accidents are very common on our roads. If you have been injured in an accident involving a semi-truck, you may be wondering what comes next. Who will pay for your damages, who is liable for your accident, will the driver of the truck be fired or disciplined?
If you’re asking yourself these questions, please call our New Jersey truck accident lawyers at Peter N. Davis & Associates, LLC. We’re experienced in handling truck accident cases and will strive to answer any questions you may have.
Independent Contractor Vs. Employee
Truck companies may be held responsible for a driver’s actions in the event of an accident. For this reason, drivers will likely be fired if they engage in wrongful acts that put the company at risk. In order for a driver to be fired, he/she would have to be considered an employee of the trucking company.
However, many truck drivers own their own trucks and offer their services to companies on a “per route” basis. Companies tend to work with independent contractors who own their own trucks in an attempt to avoid liability. If the owner/driver of the truck is responsible for the truck and its maintenance, the company can escape blame in the event the driver causes an accident or receives a traffic violation.
What Can Cause a Truck Driver to Get Fired?
Many truck drivers that are considered employees of a truck company actually do keep their jobs after an accident, provided the accident wasn’t caused by a wrongful act, like driving impaired. Most employers understand accidents happen and are often lenient with a driver’s first accident.
Depending on the circumstances, one accident likely won’t be enough for a driver to lose his/her job. However, there are standards truck drivers have to maintain to remain employed. The following are unlawful acts that, if committed, can cause an employee to lose his/her job:
Driving Under the Influence
A company will be liable for any employee driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol if the company knew, or should have known, and did nothing to rectify the situation. The entire company could be sued for negligence in this case. For this reason, most truck companies have a zero-tolerance policy for such infractions. If a semi-truck driver is caught driving under the influence, he/she will likely be fired immediately.
Truck drivers work long, tiring hours on the road, so it’s not hard to imagine how a driver could succumb to road rage. However, there is no excuse for violent altercations, and such actions are strictly forbidden for commercial vehicle drivers. If an employee acts violently towards another driver on the road, they will likely lose their job.
Truck companies tend to understand if a driver is involved in an unavoidable accident, but there are some accidents an employer simply cannot overlook. For example, if a driver is continuously involved in preventable accidents or their employer sees patterns of reckless behavior, the company would likely end that driver’s employment in order to prevent future liability.
Truckers are notorious for driving slow on the road due to the heavy cargo load they carry. But what happens if they travel at high speeds? The size and weight of these massive vehicles make them even more dangerous at higher speeds. If a truck driver receives multiple speeding tickets, he/she will likely be considered a liability and, therefore, be let go.
There are also some infractions that would cause a driver to have his/her commercial driver’s license revoked, such as driving under the influence, fleeing the scene of an accident, or committing vehicular manslaughter. If a driver loses his/her license, they would also be fired in most situations.
Have More Questions? Call Us!
Trucking accidents are scary and often lead to serious injuries, property damage, and even wrongful death. If you need help figuring out what to do next, call us. Our New Jersey truck accident lawyers at Peter N. Davis & Associates will review your case and guide you through the complex legal process.
You may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and the pain and suffering you were forced to endure. We offer free consultations and work on a contingency-fee basis. This means we don’t get paid unless you do. Call us at (973) 279-7246 or fill out our free online case evaluation form.