I Was In an Auto Accident In My Truck. Will I Lose My CDL?


I Was In an Auto Accident In My Truck. Will I Lose My CDL?

Most commercial truck drivers are required to have a Commercial Driver’s License, or CDL. Because of the nature of commercial driving, CDL holders are held to higher safety standards. Minor infractions for non-commercial drivers can be serious infractions for CDL holders. If you get into an accident in your commercial truck, a number of things can happen. Whether or not you lose your license is going to depend on the specifics of your case, and only a qualified traffic attorney in your state will be able to help you defend yourself against license loss. However, here are some of the things that contribute to the loss or retention of your CDL.

Severity of Accident

If the accident was minor, you might only get a warning. This is particularly true if only property was damaged and there were no injuries. If injuries occurred, license loss or at least a temporary suspension is more likely. Mass property damage can also lead to suspension or total license loss, though. For instance, if nobody was hurt but you wiped out six cars that were parked on the street, that could be grounds for suspension or revocation of your CDL.

Fault or Negligence

If you were at fault, you’re more likely to face harsh license-related punishments. If you’re not at fault, any disciplinary action is likely to be less severe or even non-existent. Just because you’re at fault doesn’t mean your license will be taken. However, if you’re found to be negligent or under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you may have to face license suspension or revocation.

Previous Driving Record

Many states will take your driving record into account when determining whether or not you will lose your CDL. If it’s your first and only accident in several years, you’re probably fine unless aggravating circumstances are present. Aggravating circumstances are things like alcohol use, violence, or injuries — things that make your legal situation worse. If you’ve had multiple or previous serious accidents, you could also be facing license revocation or suspension. Another factor that could play a part is how long you’ve had your license. If you just got your CDL and you’ve already gotten into an accident, you might lose your license. You could also be sent to extra training. It really depends on the other circumstances of your case.

State Laws

Where the accident occurs matters, as well. So does the state in which you got your license and operate out of. So, in other words, if you got your license in Maine and you were traveling cross-county, an accident you had in Michigan would mean that both Michigan and Maine laws are taken into consideration. Some states have stricter CDL laws and traffic laws than others. Consult with your traffic attorney to determine which laws impact your case.

Company You Work For

While losing your license is mostly a state matter, losing your job is a company manner. There have been many situations where a driver lost their CDL for a time but didn’t lose their job. Your employer might chose to put you on trips that don’t require a CDL or to let you do other jobs while you serve your suspension. In other circumstances, companies have fired their employees who got into accidents even when they got to keep their CDL just because of the liability posed to the company itself. Hiring an attorney to help you fight for your job rights is also important. Always consult with an attorney who specializes in workers’ rights and employment so you can make sure your rights are protected.

Never try to best the legal system on your own. It’s designed to be confusing and nearly impossible for the average person to navigate. That’s why law school exists. Your freedom and your rights need to be protected no matter what, and only an experienced attorney can help you do that. Consult with an attorney today and make the first step towards protecting your freedom, your rights, and your future.


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