The aftermath of a truck accident can be devastating. This isn’t surprising when you consider commercial vehicles weight up to 80,000 pounds and often carry hazardous materials. The significant property damage often results in totaled vehicles and the physical injuries can be life-changing.
The hardest part of dealing with a severe truck accident often revolves around accepting the accident could have been prevented. When trucking companies neglect their responsibilities and hire poor drivers, they should be held accountable for their actions.
That’s where we come in. At Golden Law Office, our truck accident attorneys have years of experience working with truck accident victims. If you believe a trucking company is responsible for your accident, we will do what we can to investigate your claim. In order to start the legal process, it’s a good idea to have a basic understanding of why negligent hiring has such an impact on the trucking industry. Let’s start by looking at state and federal hiring and retention regulations.
Hiring and Retention Regulations
There are state and federal laws and regulations that establish how the hiring and retention process works for trucking companies in possession of commercial vehicles. Trucking companies must ensure their possible employees meet the following requirements before they hire and retain them on staff:
- The driver is at least 21 years of age or older.
- The driver can read and write in English to the level needed to understand traffic signs, complete reports and logbooks, and converse with people.
- The driver must have completed all written and driving tests in accordance with the established federal standards.
- The driver must pass all pre-employment and random drugs tests.
- The driver must have an official certificate from a physician that declares them qualified to drive a commercial vehicle.
- The driver must pass an annual review.
- The driver must have an accurate record of all violations and accidents to present at the annual review.
- The driver is only allowed to operate a commercial vehicle if they are not disqualified under any federal regulations.
Trucking companies are also required to adequately train all their drivers and make sure they follow the company’s protocols and federal and state guidelines, ensure unfit drivers are let go, and report all accidents or related incidents. When trucking companies neglect their hiring responsibility, serious accidents happen.
Reasons Why Trucking Companies Fail to Meet Regulations
While there are a variety of reasons trucking companies fail to meet the state and federal regulations, there is never an excuse. Below you’ll find some of the most common reasons for negligent hiring within trucking companies.
The trucking company makes a mistake. While it shouldn’t happen, there are instances where the trucking company makes an honest mistake when hiring someone. This, however, does not let them off the hook when lives have been changed.
The trucking company is taking shortcuts. If a trucking company chooses to be lazy for convenience sake, they are putting other people’s lives at risk.
The trucking company is worried about money. Some trucking companies are so concerned about their overhead, they’ll put others in danger. If they are concerned about money, they may forgo the necessary training for all drivers to neglect to conduct necessary drug tests.
The trucking company doesn’t know the laws. While ignorance is no excuse for negligence, newer trucking companies may not understand all the laws and regulations involved with hiring, training, and retaining commercial vehicle drivers.
The trucking company focus is misplaced. While it’s important to care about your employees, trucking companies have a responsibility to ensure their drivers are capable of performing safely and efficiently while on the road. Trucking companies should not ignore or conceal any behaviors that would be deemed dangerous or illegal just to protect their employees.
Consequences of Negligent Hiring in Kentucky
In 2016, there were 256,094 vehicles involved in collisions in Kentucky. Nearly four percent of those accidents involved trucks. As a result of those truck accidents, 97 individuals lost their lives and thousands were injured. It’s likely that many of those accidents resulted from truck driver errors that could have been prevented if they had been trained properly or never hired in the first place.
If you’ve been in a truck accident, there may be multiple parties you can hold accountable for their negligence. When dealing with a trucking company and their lawyers, it may be a good idea for you to seek your own legal representation.
Our truck accident attorneys at Golden Law Office can help you navigate your complex claim so you can get the justice you deserve and focus on getting your life back to normal. You may be eligible for compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. Contact us today for a free claim evaluation.