Have you been injured in a truck accident? The truck company may be to blame due to negligent hiring practices. Contact Burg Simpson to learn more about how we may be able to help.

Statistics compiled by the Analysis Division of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) show that in 2020 alone, more than 415,000 large truck accidents were reported in the United States. These crashes claimed the lives of more than 4,400 people while leaving over 101,000 others with injuries.

The unfortunate truth is that many crashes involving commercial motor vehicles involve some form of negligence. One common form of negligence that is routinely identified in trucking accidents is when trucking companies engage in negligent hiring and retention practices.

When a company considers a driver to operate their commercial truck, it is critically important that the trucking company verifies that the driver is actually qualified to do so. A truck driver who is unskilled and unable to operate a commercial truck can cause a serious accident with significant consequences for others.

If you have been hurt as a result of a truck accident that was caused by a truck driver that was unqualified to operate the commercial vehicle, you must seek guidance from our truck accident lawyer at Burg Simpson right away. You may have legal options that can help you move forward.

Our nationally recognized truck accident lawyers at Burg Simpson have more than half a century of experience helping truck accident victims protect their legal rights by pursuing negligent hiring claims against trucking companies who engaged in reckless actions that directly caused them harm. It is crucial that you seek help from our skilled and knowledgeable personal injury lawyers as soon as possible to find out what your legal options are.

Requirements to be a Truck Driver

Trucking companies are required to hire truck drivers who are legally able to operate the vehicles. Additionally, they must meet various requirements in order to be qualified to get behind the wheel of a commercial truck. These requirements include:

  • Having the proper license to operate the vehicle: All truck drivers must possess a commercial driver's license, also known as a CDL. In some states, drivers must complete truck driving and safety courses before being able to obtain a CDL.
  • Meet age requirements: In some states, you can become a licensed truck driver at the age of eighteen. However, in order to haul cargo across state lines, a truck driver must be at least 21 years of age. Trucking company employees must also be over 21 years old to haul hazardous materials. Some companies require that truck drivers are 23 years of age or older.
  • Meet health requirements: Driving a commercial truck can be a physically demanding job. For this reason, truck drivers are required to meet various physical requirements prior to operating commercial trucks. First, a truck driver must be able to pass a DOT physical, which examines an applicant's ears, eyes, and overall health and well-being. The driver must be able to sit for long periods, and they must have the physical ability to load and unload their own trucks. In many cases, trucking industry drivers must be able to lift at least 50 lbs.
  • Education requirements: For the most part, no formal education is required for a driver to operate a commercial truck. However, having a high school diploma or a GED at minimum is generally recommended.

Additionally, the Department of Transportation (DOT) and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) states that a driver's motor vehicle record cannot show that they have a history of safety violations or other out-of-service violations. They must also be clear of criminal convictions for drunk driving and other serious offenses.

While hiring truck drivers, employers must maintain a driver's qualification file. This file should including information such as:

  • The truck driver's job application
  • Information from their past employers
  • Reference information
  • Copy of their road test results and certificate
  • A medical examiner's certificate
  • If the truck driver has an amputation, they must have a waiver that states they are able to drive
  • A copy of the driver's motor vehicle record, which is updated annually

When truck companies engage in negligent hiring and retention processes, they run the risk of having dangerous drivers behind the wheels of their vehicles. When these unqualified drivers cause accidents, victims are able to pursue legal action by filing a negligent hiring claim.

If you are interested in seeing how a legal claim can help you get justice after being hurt in an accident, contact our truck accident lawyer at Burg Simpson as soon as possible. Our team can help you better understand your rights.

What is Negligent Hiring?

A trucking company is required to take various steps to verify that a driver is qualified to operate their vehicle and to ensure they are responsible enough to do so. It is incredibly important that employers use reasonable care when hiring employees for their company. The stakes are high when it comes to employing people who are in charge of operating vehicles that weigh up to 80,000 pounds. If a trucking company hired an employee negligently, and someone gets harmed due to an accident with that truck driver, there will be legal consequences.

When a trucking company fails to hire truck drivers who are truly qualified to operate the vehicle, they can be held liable for any damages caused by a truck crash that the unqualified driver is involved in. After being hurt in an accident, you have the right to pursue a negligent hiring and retention personal injury case. To prove a negligent hiring claim, you must be able to demonstrate that various elements existed.

First, you must demonstrate that the trucking company failed to use reasonable care while hiring the driver involved in your truck accident. This can include actions like:

  • Failing to conduct the required drug and alcohol screening and testing
  • Hiring a truck driver that does not have a DOT medical examiner's certificate
  • Hiring a truck driver that does not have a commercial driver's license
  • Not conducting a full background check on a potential driver
  • Ignoring serious criminal offenses on the driver's record

You must then prove that the trucking company's lack of care led to the truck accident taking place and that as a result of the accident, you suffered injuries.

To be compensated, you must demonstrate that the accident caused damages to you. If you suffered damages from your accident, your negligence claim could help you recover compensation to alleviate the impact that those damages have on your life.

Depending on the circumstances surrounding your accident, a negligent hiring claim or a negligent retention claim may be possible.

What is a Negligent Retention Claim?

A negligent hiring claim is filed when a truck driver who is not qualified to operate a commercial vehicle causes an accident that leaves the victim with damages. A negligent retention claim can also be filed in cases where a trucking company knowingly retained a truck driver who was qualified to operate their vehicle at first but no longer is qualified to do so for various reasons.

This could include a person being involved in an accident while operating the commercial vehicle, drug or alcohol abuse, or a health problem that renders them unable to safely operate the truck. Seeking help from a truck accident lawyer can help you better understand which option is available to help you move forward.

Damages You Can Recover From a Negligent Trucking Company

If a trucking company hired a truck driver that was not qualified, and a truck accident took place that left you with damages, you are able to sue the responsible party for compensation. A personal injury claim can help you retain full and timely compensation for some of the damages that you face, including:

  • Lost wages: If you have been forced out of work for any period of time after your accident, you have the right to sue for compensation to alleviate the lost wages you face. If your truck accident injuries left you permanently disabled, you can seek compensation for the lost earning capacity that you will endure over your lifetime.
  • Medical expenses: A negligence claim can help you get the money that you need for your medical expenses. This can include the medical care that you require immediately after your accident, as well as any long-term treatment that you need. If your accident left you permanently disabled, you have a right to request compensation for the medical expenses you will face over the remainder of your life.
  • Vehicle repairs: If your vehicle was damaged as a result of the crash caused by a negligent trucking company hiring an unqualified driver, you have the ability to request the money to repair it. In the event that your vehicle is deemed totaled, you are able to request money to replace it so that you can get back on the road quickly.
  • Mental anguish: If you require any mental health treatment as a result of the injuries you suffered due to an unsafe driver causing an accident, you can claim compensation to cover its cost. It is important for the quality of your life that you are able to get care for your mental health after suffering through such a traumatic event, so the law does allow you to seek compensation for that.

In addition to the financial burdens you face following your accident, you can recover compensation for some of the non-economic damages that your truck crash has caused. This includes recovering compensation for the following from the insurance company of the negligent trucking company:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Loss of consortium
  • Emotional distress
  • Permanent scarring
  • Permanent disfigurement

After being involved in an accident due to a trucking company engaging in negligent hiring practices, it is crucial that you seek guidance from a qualified truck accident lawyer immediately. When a trucking company employer fails to engage in responsible hiring practices, and their actions cause harm, they must be held accountable.

Do I Need to Hire A Truck Accident Lawyer?

After being involved in a truck accident, there is no law that requires you to retain guidance from a truck accident lawyer. However, hiring a legal team to represent you throughout the process of filing a negligence claim provides you with the best chance of getting justice for what has happened to you and to cover the expenses you face.

Unlike other types of motor vehicle accidents, those involving trucking companies are often far more complex. This is due to the fact that there are multiple parties who can be held liable for the accident. Additionally, these truck accident claims often involve much larger insurance policies. As a result, you are much more likely to receive full and fair compensation for the damages that you have suffered.

Having a skilled legal team with knowledge of commercial trucking and personal injury laws can make a big difference when it comes to building your case.

The truth is that no two truck accidents are alike. There are various factors that can contribute to a truck accident taking place. This is particularly true when negligent hiring is a factor in the accident. Seeking help from our truck accident lawyers at Burg Simpson as soon as possible can help to ensure that you are able to prove negligent hiring and hold the trucking company and any unsafe drivers involved in your crash accountable for your damages.

Let Our Law Firm Help With Your Personal Injury Claim

At Burg Simpson, we understand the impact an accident can have on a family. That is why we are so committed to providing compassionate and top-notch legal representation. We strive to provide our clients with a supportive environment where they feel well taken care of while pursuing justice and monetary compensation for any losses that were suffered due to the negligence of another person or party. We can take the burden off of you so you can focus on recovery and moving forward with your life.

Our team has decades of experience handling all types of personal injury and wrongful death cases throughout the United States. We also offer free case evaluations so you can explore all your options at no cost or obligation. If you were injured in an accident caused by negligent hiring practices on behalf of a trucking company, don’t hesitate to contact our trucking accident lawyers at (888) 895-2080 today for more information about how we may be able to assist you.
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