Accidents involving commercial trucks can have devastating consequences since a passenger car hardly stands a chance against an 80,000 pound loaded truck. In our fast-paced world, the trucking industry is no exception, doing their best to transport as many loads as possible in the shortest period of time. The faster loads get to their destinations, the bigger the profit for the trucking company, leading many of them to take shortcuts. Unfortunately, this corner-cutting means there may be inexperienced truck drivers on our American roadways, significantly increasing the odds of the truck driver being involved in an accident. Although we assume the truckers on the road have the necessary training, in truth, many of them have not undergone any formal training program.
Hiring practices that border on negligent on the part of trucking companies may be responsible for a large portion of the 130,000 trucking accidents in the United States each year. Trucking companies can demonstrate negligent hiring practices in a number of ways such as: hiring drivers who have not obtained their commercial driver’s license, hiring drivers with a less than stellar driving history, neglecting to require their drivers to undergo regular drug and alcohol testing, failing to conduct proper background testing, hiring drivers with significant health issues or hiring drivers who have a history of truck accidents. A still-floundering economy has not improved the problem, since many people have been let go from their jobs, and have turned to truck driving as a second career in order to pay the bills. These drivers often take to the roads without being properly screened or trained.
Although some trucking companies hire responsibly, others skirt the responsibility they bear for the drivers they employ. The federal government has set forth a wide range of regulations which govern hiring and employment of truck drivers, and if these regulations are not properly followed, the company may rightfully be held responsible for negligent hiring practices. In theory all drivers of 18-wheelers must possess a valid commercial driver’s license; even if the trucking company was somehow unaware of the lack of a CDL, they are still held responsible in the event of an accident.
Background checks should be done on all potential truck drivers in order to determine whether the driver has a history of accidents or traffic violations. When this simple step is skipped, a driver with a string of accidents on his or her record may be driving the same roads as you and your family. A background check will also determine whether the driver has a criminal history or a history of substance abuse, and companies who neglect to conduct proper background checks are opening themselves up for negligence claims should an accident occur.
Finally, trucking companies must ensure that the drivers they send out onto the highways are medically sound. Federal laws set forth guidelines for the medical fitness of truck drivers, and all drivers must undergo regular physical examinations and carry proof of fitness with a medical certificate issued by a qualified physician.
The average truck driver will put in over 100,000 miles on the roadways over the course of a year, passively interacting with thousands of other drivers. If the drivers are not trained as they should be, great physical damage, as well as property damage can result. If you are the victim of a trucking accident, and you feel it was caused by the negligent hiring practices of the trucking company, you must speak with a knowledgeable personal injury attorney as soon as possible. You likely suffered serious injuries from your accident, and because trucking litigation can be quite complex, it is imperative you have an attorney who has a solid background in trucking accidents.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a commercial trucking accident in Denver, Aurora, Lakewood, or anywhere in the State of Colorado, it is imperative that you speak to an experienced trucking accident attorney immediately. Your ability to collect maximum compensation often hinges on prompt and thorough investigation in the first few days following the accident. Contact the law firm of Fuicelli & Lee, PC, for a free case evaluation. You pay nothing unless you receive a financial settlement or award. Call our office at 303-355-7202 or fill out our confidential contact form.
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