Why Negligent Hiring May Be a Viable Reason in Your Large Truck Accident Claim
If you've suffered in an accident with a large truck due to the driver's negligence, it's important to file a claim with the trucking company as well to seek compensation for your injuries. There's a practical reason for this: the trucking company will likely have much more liability insurance coverage than the truck driver to pay your claim.
However, you must have a claim against the trucking company to hold it responsible. One common claim raised in these cases deals with negligent hiring.
What Is Negligent Hiring?
A trucking company has a duty to ensure the drivers it hires are experienced and qualified to safely drive a big rig. Employers must be certain applicants meet the minimum requirements established by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), such as:
- Being at least 21
- Passing required written and driving tests
- Holding a valid commercial driver’s license
A trucking company must also thoroughly investigate applicants before hiring them. Conducting a pre-employment screening involves more than reviewing a few records. Some of the screening practices include the following:
- Verifying the trucker has a current commercial driver’s license
- Reviewing the driver’s complete driving record, accident history, suspensions, and license convictions
- Checking a trucker's criminal record
- Contacting his employers for the last three years and investigating the truck driver’s employment history, including accidents, medical certification, and problems with drug or alcohol abuse, including prescription medications
- Mandating that the driver to pass a drug test
- Requiring the trucker to get a complete physical with certification that the trucker is medically competent to drive a commercial vehicle
If trucking companies violate these rules, or engage in other negligent hiring practices, they may be liable for compensating an accident victim under a negligent hiring claim.
An experienced truck accident attorney can investigate your accident and determine if you have a negligent hiring or another claim against the trucking company. The attorney will also understand the importance of sending a spoliation letter so that critical evidence in your case is preserved. If you or a family member was injured in a crash caused by a negligent trucker, fill out our online form to schedule a free case evaluation to learn about your legal options.