Commercial carrier companies have the duty tof hiring the most qualified drivers to pilot their trucks over the highways. Through the careful selection of employees, these companies play an important part in preventing truck accidents. According to truck accident lawyers, even the safest driver can be involved in an accident. Yet companies that are negligent in their hiring practices put themselves and everyone on the road at greater risk.
What Is Negligent Hiring?
Negligent hiring is when a commercial carrier chooses to employ a driver who is either unqualified to operate a tractor trailer or unfit in some way to do the job. This usually refers to individuals who are untrained, improperly trained, or who do not have enough experience for the job. It also includes those who have medical conditions that could affect their driving or have poor safety records. Negligence can also be applied to companies who retain employees who are safety risks. In all of these situations, truck accident lawyers note that the risk of accidents increases substantially, endangering many people.
Federal Guidelines for Hiring Commercial Truck Drivers
Not everyone can drive a commercial truck, especially a big rig. Since these vehicles are larger, more difficult to handle, and capable of cause extensive damage when involved in truck accidents, there are federal laws that apply to hiring practices. According to these laws, commercial carriers must confirm that applicants have the required commercial license and have received a certain amount of on-hand training. Companies must also research an applicant’s past employment and health history to determine if there are any red flags that indicate the individual could be a higher risk than would be desired.
Truck Companies Liability for Poor Hiring Practices
Commercial carriers see an overwhelming turnover of employees every year. Due such a high turnover rate and the current shortage of qualified drivers available to fill positions, truck accident lawyers are well aware that companies face challenges in keeping their trucks on the road. This fact doesn't eliminate the necessity to follow federal hiring guidelines. All it takes is a little common sense to ensure that the most qualified operators are hired for the job that needs to be done.
Failure to perform necessary background checks to investigate an applicants experience, substance abuse issues, safety violations, and health concerns could leave a company liable if unqualified people are hired and then cause truck accidents. In addition, problematic drivers who fail to abide by company safety standards or receive multiple violations could make a carrier liable for accidents if that employee is retained in spite of such obvious safety violations.
If an accident does happen, truck accident lawyers will thoroughly investigate the event for causation. One important part of this investigation is researching an operator’s actions, driving record, and safety history. If a driver is found to be at fault and has a poor safety record or other red flags in their history, a company may be held liable for continuing to employ an obvious at-risk driver.
Although a lack of qualified drivers has created definite concerns for many commercial carriers, the fact still remains that companies must be choosy about the drivers they hire. Truck accident lawyers see the aftermath of devastating accidents caused by unqualified or unsafe drivers and work diligently to find a carrier guilty of negligent hiring and retention practices. To avoid this issue and reduce the number of resulting truck accidents, carriers must take the required time to properly investigate all applicants. Maintaining a high safety rating starts with hiring the right drivers!
Hildebrand & Wilson, LLP
Robert W. Hildebrand, Attorney at Law
J. Daniel Wilson, Attorney at Law
7830 Broadway, Suite 122
Pearland TX 77581
Phone: (281) 408-2190