If you have been involved in an accident with an 18-wheeler, you may be wondering what went wrong to cause the accident. Was it driver error? A mechanical error? Sometimes the underlying problem is the trucking company’s hiring process and lack of due diligence throughout that process. Below, you can find out what negligent hiring is and how it may have been the reason for your truck accident.
If you or a loved one suffered an injury in a truck crash, it is vital to seek the assistance of a qualified Cincinnati truck accident lawyer. The attorneys at O’Connor, Acciani & Levy can discuss your rights during a free, no obligation consultation. We can determine the cause of your accident, the parties who may be liable, and the potential value of the damages you suffered.
What Are Negligent Hiring Practices?
There is a severe shortage of truck drivers in the country and that is why many companies are negligent in their hiring practices and training of new drivers. This results is truck drivers causing accidents when they never should have been behind the wheel in the first place
Examples of negligence in the hiring process include failure to:
- Conduct a proper background check
- Administer mandatory drug tests before employment
- Put the driver through mandatory physical exams
- Check for poor driving history that may indicate a tendency to drive in an unsafe or reckless manner, such as checking for traffic citations and arrests for driving while drunk
- Check the driver’s references to learn about past behavior at work
- Conduct proper training, which is particularly important for less-experienced drivers who are more likely to use poor judgment out on the road
Hiring Regulations For The Trucking Industry
There are federal and state laws governing the trucking industry, and they are designed to help ensure properly-trained drivers with the proper qualifications are the only ones operating commercial trucks.
These regulations say companies cannot hire people to drive a truck unless they meet numerous qualifications. For example, drivers must:
- Be at least 21 years of age
- Be able to read and speak the English language to speak with the general public, understand traffic signs and file reports
- Complete all federal standardized tests
- Have a valid, state-issued Commercial Driver’s License
- Pass all pre-employment drug testing, other random drug testing and follow-up drug testing
- Complete a physical and pass an annual review
- List all moving violations and accidents
- Be able to safely operate a commercial motor vehicle by reason of experience, training or both
Another important factor is training the driver sufficiently to travel alone or with a partner along the state roads or across the country. Trucking supervisors should also monitor if the trainee is drinking, is an unfit driver or is consuming drugs. During the hiring and training process, the trucking company must report accidents and assess moving and traffic violations the trucker incurs.
Consequences Of Negligent Hiring
The consequences of negligent hiring can range from minor problems, like missed deadlines, to devastating accidents that cause severe injury and even death. The truck driver can leave victims permanently disabled and damage property in an extensive manner.
Drivers who are under the influence of alcohol or drugs can make poor decisions and cause life-altering incidents. If the company rehires someone who was previously fired for drug or alcohol consumption, and this person causes an accident that injures or kills someone, the employer could be held liable for damages.
Contact A Skilled Lawyer For Help With Your Injury Claim
When a trucking company hires a driver in a negligent manner and you or a loved one suffers an injury in a tragic accident because the driver lacked the required skills and qualifications, it is crucial to contact O’Connor, Acciani & Levy to help you with the claim. We can help determine who is at-fault for the accident and build a case to try to hold the responsible party liable for damages. We do not charge any upfront fees, and you only pay us when we are successful and you recover the compensation owed.
Contact us for a free consultation about your case. Even if you are not sure if you have a claim, we can assess the situation. We are here to discuss your claim and your legal options.