Was the truck driver who caused your accident unqualified to drive the truck? Learn how to prove a negligent hiring claim against the trucking company.

How to Establish Employer Negligence When a Truck Driver Caused Your Crash

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If a commercial truck driver caused the crash that left you injured, you may incorrectly believe that your only claim for compensation is against him. While his negligent driving practices, such as speeding, distracted driving, or failure to obey traffic laws may have been the reason your collision occurred, there may have been other underlying causes that give you the right to pursue a claim against the trucking company as well as him. One possible claim that you do not want to overlook is a negligent hiring claim.

What Is the Basis of a Negligent Hiring Claim?

Commercial trucking companies have a duty to hire drivers who are qualified to handle semi-trucks and must follow strict Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) rules when hiring their drivers. If they breached these duties, you may have a claim of negligent hiring against them as well as a claim of negligence against the at-fault trucker.

Under FMCSA regulations, a truck driver must meet basic requirements in order to drive a truck, and the trucking company must be certain that he meets them before hiring him. Some of these prerequisites include:

  • Being 21 years old or older
  • Having a valid commercial driver’s license (CDL)
  • Speaking English sufficiently well to communicate with others and to complete reports
  • Being qualified based on experience and training to drive a truck
  • Passing a truck driver’s road test

FMCSA rules also require the trucking company to do the following when hiring drivers:

  • Obtain a copy of the person’s driving record and review it.
  • Conduct an employment background check that includes verifying his jobs for the past three years and checking for any truck accidents and drug and alcohol abuse.
  • Conduct a criminal background check.
  • Require the applicant to pass a pre-employment drug test.
  • Obtain a medical certification that states that the person is medically able to drive a truck.

How to Prove a Negligent Hiring Claim Against the Trucking Company

Obtaining the evidence you need to prove a negligent hiring claim will not be easy because the trucking company will have the records you need. An experienced truck accident attorney can quickly send them a spoliation letter advising them of your claim and instructing them to preserve certain documents. FMCSA rules prohibits the company from destroying them after receiving a spoliation letter. Your lawyer will need to obtain this evidence:

  • Truck driver’s employment file
  • Trucker’s CDL and certifications
  • Results of any drug or alcohol tests
  • Truck driver’s accident records
  • Documentation of the trucking company’s employment background check
  • Truck driver’s criminal background check
  • Trucking company manuals, policies, and procedures regarding the hiring of truck drivers

Do you need help proving the trucking company’s and trucker’s negligence in causing the crash that left you injured? To learn about our experience in these cases and your legal options, call our office to schedule your free consultation with our skilled lawyers today.

Category: Truck and Bus Accidents


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