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Posted:  2 years, 5 months ago

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Fired for accident and not sure what to do.

Let me start by saying a huge thank you to Brett and all the moderators on this website. I’ve been lurking here for a few years now and I can tell this is by far the best trucking site.

Four months ago I was terminated for having an accident that was deemed preventable. Basically, the company made me drive while fatigued and I rear ended someone. I got a ticket for Failure to Reduce Speed which was dismissed in court. I have spent the past few months unsuccessfully attempting to appeal the “preventable” ruling and subsequent termination in an attempt to get rehired.

I don’t want to name the company here because they probably monitor this website and will read this post. They know who I am. I’m not trying to hide anything from them, but I don’t want them to accuse me of libel either. If you think you know the company’s name, please don’t post it here. The manager who told me I was fired also said I was permanently ineligible for rehire, but one of their recruiters said I might be considered for rehire once I had some safe driving experience. I’m not sure which of them to believe. I do want to go back to the same company because despite their issues, they seem to have the most progressive attitude toward safety, and also a unique home time option.

Now I have gotten to the stage of applying for other jobs. I filled out the application on this website and it returned five results. One was actually the company that fired me, and I had to rule out three others for various reasons. The remaining company’s recruiter said she could not hire someone who was terminated for an accident, but they are reviewing that policy and would contact me again if it changes.

I feel ambivalent about going back into the trucking industry at all. The company that fired me is a large one that prides itself on being one of the safest in the nation. There were so many safety issues there, some of which contributed to the accident, that I’m afraid of finding out what a less safe company could be like. I also would not be able to accept a “standard” OTR job with minimal home time. But I know my options are already limited, so I will probably end up leaving the industry.

If it matters, I live in the Chicago area.

So, my questions are: Would any reasonably safe companies that offer average or better home time be able to hire me, or would I have to work for some sketchy small company, if at all? What are the odds of getting rehired at the original company with 1 year accident-free? What are the odds they’d rehire me with any amount of experience? Is there anything else I could attempt to get my job back before I send applications anywhere else? Given that the employer did more to cause the accident than I did, could an attorney be of any help? If I don’t go back to trucking, what other jobs still exist that pay a living wage and don’t require a lengthy training period?

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