Truck Employer Negligence

Truck drivers are not the only party that can be held responsible for 18-wheeler or commercial vehicle accident. In certain cases, the trucking company who is the employer of the driver may have responsibility. Trucking companies have a duty to ensure their drivers safety. As well as, that they operate their vehicles safely on the road. When a truck accident occurs, it is imperative that you proceed with a truck accident investigation as soon as possible. Your accident may be due to the truck companies employer negligence.

Trucking companies are responsible for the maintenance and safety of the commercial trucks, which they put on the road. Additionally, they are responsible for the reliability of their employees. This is why a truck accident investigation is important. It can determine if the trucking company’s action or inaction played a role in the accident. This is why hiring an experienced Houston truck accident lawyer is important in receiving the compensation you deserve.

How can an Employer be responsible for a truck accident?

Trucking companies negligent behaviors can result in truck accidents. Additionally, there are cases of trucking companies negligence effecting their drivers ability. In both instances, the trucking employers negligence is cause for legal action if you suffered as a result.

Trucking accidents are very serious. They often cause personal injury cases or even wrongful death. Some of the most common accidents are jackknifing, unsecured cargo, rollovers, underride, or hazardous material. You may ask, how can the employer have fault in these accidents? Employers may be at fault through negligent hiring practices. Also, inadequately trained drivers or long hours may place them at fault. Additionally, improperly maintained 18-wheeler trucks are the employers fault.

Negligent Hiring Practices

Hiring is critical for truck companies in maintaining road safety. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 21% of truck drivers involved in fatal crashes in the year 2010 had a least one speeding conviction. Additionally, 13% of all truck drivers who were involved in fatal accidents had been in a previous wreck. While these numbers do not identify the fault of the driver in each wreck, they do reveal the importance of proper screening during the employment process.

In employing truck drivers, a trucking company must implement certain elements into basic screening of their future drivers.

Examples of negligent hiring may include:

  • Hiring a driver with a history of unsafe driving
  • Hiring a driver with a history of drug or alcohol abuse
  • Driver’s without a valid driver’s license or commercial license
  • Hiring a driver who has a history of accidents
  • Not performing a complete background check

If you are in a truck accident, being able to highlight the failures in a trucking companies hiring practices and procedures can be crucial. An experienced truck accident lawyer can provide evidence that the trucking company failed to uphold their duty to take safety precautions. For instance, in the case of a drunk truck driver, an employer may be held negligent if there is evidence of the driver having a history of alcohol abuse or DUI’s.

Improperly Maintained Truck

Trucking companies must maintain their trucks. The negligent practice of poor truck maintenance can directly result in catastrophic consequences on the road.

Examples of negligent poor Truck Maintenance:

  • Infrequent Inspections
  • Failure to maintain according to regulations
  • De-Powering of Brakes
  • Pushing parts past their recommended life

Inadequately Trained Drivers

Not hiring or providing your own truck drivers proper training is also an example of negligent behavior.  The United States Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has enacted several regulations regarding the training and testing of commercial truck drivers. In accordance with these regulations, it is the responsibility of the trucking company or employer to ensure that a driver complies with the regulations.  Truck drivers must be adequately trained in four areas: driver qualification requirements, hours of service, driver wellness, and the existence of whistleblower protection.

 

Long Hours

Truck companies have been known to push their drivers to work long hours to deliver goods more quickly.  This helps the company make more money.  There are numerous laws and rules in place regulating a truck driver’s driving hours.  A set of regulations enacted to help prevent driver fatigue are the Hours of Service Rules.  These are crucial rules and regulations and should always be followed, no exceptions. A trucking company that forces its drivers not to follow them or otherwise looks the other way is guilty of negligent behavior.

 

Employer Negligence

It is the responsibility of trucking companies to ensure that their vehicles and drivers are equipped to safely handle the job. When this isn’t the case, the employer and/or company should be held liable for the accidents and injuries that result.

Walker Texas Lawyer is an experienced truck accident attorney, that can help you get the compensation you deserve.

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