Employer Negligence & Truck Accidents
There are specific circumstances wherein employer negligence may be the underlying reason for a truck accident. Employers of truck drivers have a legal obligation to perform random testing and background checks and to take reasonable measures to ensure their drivers are properly trained and licensed. When this does not occur and a serious accident results, it is important for the victim or victims to seek legal counsel from a skilled truck accident lawyer. With the proper experience and resources, an attorney can hold the truck driver's employer accountable.
Many tractor-trailer and big rig drivers on the road are employed or contracted by small companies. The safety directors of these companies may not fully understand their responsibilities, and they may hire and retain unsuitable or unsafe drivers.
Trucking companies have a duty under state and
federal regulations to make sure a driver is "qualified" according to specific criteria, such as having a valid commercial motor vehicle driver's license (CDL), the ability to safely operate the tractor-trailer and completion of a driver's road test that examines safe driving techniques. The drivers must also know how to use emergency equipment and make pre-trip inspections.
In many cases, the trucking company must perform drug and alcohol testing before a driver is hired, after the driver has been in an accident involving an injury or fatality or when the company suspects the driver has been using drugs or alcohol while on duty. Additionally, each year, the company must randomly test 10 percent of its drivers for alcohol and 50 percent of its drivers for drugs.
Federal and state regulations also require trucking companies to annually review each trucker's driving record, including checking for any violations of motor vehicle traffic laws from the previous 12 months and any "disqualifying" offenses, such as a conviction of driving while intoxicated.
Employer Responsibility in Hiring Truck Drivers
When Arnold & Itkin LLP begins working on a truck accident case, we thoroughly investigate the records of the trucking company and the driver, using available databases and information sources. We find out if the driver has had chemical dependency problems, or if the company shows a pattern of employing those who do. We collect records of tickets issued, moving violations and Department of Transportation background checks. We take every necessary measure to thoroughly investigate all records at hand and all of the circumstances of the collision itself to determine its cause and who should be held legally accountable.
Our truck accident attorneys and investigators have years of experience and a long track record of success in these and other negligent accident cases. We get to the bottom of the situation and build a strong and convincing case for presentation to a jury. There should be no excuses for negligent hiring of truck drivers.