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What Happens if a Truck Driver is Off Duty at the Time of Your Accident in Springdale?

A lot of people are afraid to share the road with tractor trailers. Truck drivers operate huge machines. And, some of them seem to drive too fast and too erratic for their own good. If you’re driving a car or SUV, having a semi-truck pull up next to you can be intimidating.

There’s good reason to be afraid of commercial vehicles. Truck accidents can be some of the most dangerous of all motor vehicle accidents. A typical car doesn’t stand a chance against a giant, tractor trailer.

Arkansas has their fair share of truck accidents. Truck accident lawyers in Springdale, Arkansas handle dozens of these types of cases every year. Their clients tend to suffer pretty serious injuries, so it’s important that they’re able to get them the compensation they deserve.

For the most part, truck accidents happen when the truck driver is on the clock. If this is the case, your truck accident lawyer can file a claim against the trucking company’s insurance company. They can also name the company as a defendant in case the insurance policy doesn’t cover all of your injuries.

There can be a problem, however, if the driver who hits you isn’t on the clock at the time of the accident. If this happens to you, you may have a hard time collecting damages. That’s why it’s so important that you call an experienced truck accident attorney in Springdale right away.

Why Would a Truck Driver Be in Their Company Vehicle on Personal Time?

It may seem strange that a truck driver would be on personal time at the time of the accident. Why would someone be driving their company’s vehicle if they’re not on the clock? There are lots of reasons for this.

Some commercial drivers take their company vehicles home with them at night and on the weekends. The understanding is that, once they get home, they won’t drive the truck until they return to work on their own shift.

Some drivers use their company vehicle on personal time despite company policy. Why would they do this? There are a few reasons why they would do this, including:

  • They need a truck to help a friend move
  • It’s raining or snowing and their company truck is better in inclement weather
  • They went out after work and still have their employer’s truck
  • They don’t have their own car

Regardless of the reasons, unless they have permission to do so, commercial drivers aren’t supposed to drive their company’s vehicle on personal time. If they’re caught doing so, they can lose their job. The real problem is what happens if they get into an accident in their commercial vehicle during off hours.

Will the Company Still Be Liable?

If you do get hit by a truck driver who is off the clock, you’re going to need a Springdale truck accident lawyer. Your first instinct will be to sue their employer. You figure they must have insurance to cover situations like yours.

The good news is that they do have insurance in case their drivers get into car accidents. The issue is that their insurance policy usually only covers truck drivers on company time. If a truck driver takes it upon themselves to driver their employer’s vehicle on personal time, the policy may not cover your injuries.

Your truck accident attorney will help you file a claim against the employer’s insurance policy. They will also name the company and the driver as defendants in your lawsuit. They need to do this to cover all your bases. If the company’s insurance denies your claim, you may have to rely on the driver to pay your damages.

The good news is that your lawyer may be able to convince the company to compensate you for your injuries. Why would they do this? There are a few reasons for this:

  • It’s cheaper to settle the case than go to trial’
  • They may be liable for negligence (if they knew or should have known their drivers used company vehicles on personal time)
  • They may just want to avoid the negative publicity of a trial

Your attorney will work hard to get you the compensation you deserve.

Contact an Experienced Truck Accident Attorney in Springdale, Arkansas

If you’re hit by a truck driver – either on or off duty – you should contact an experienced truck accident lawyer in Springdale. They have handled dozens of cases just like yours.

Call and schedule your free initial consultation today.

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