According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the main cause of commercial truck accidents is driver error or wrongful acts committed by the driver.
Although trucker negligence is difficult to predict, in other situations, the trucking company that employed the driver may have been aware of the risks of hiring that particular individual. If the company knew the driver was potentially dangerous and hired them anyway, the company may be held liable if negligent hiring resulted in a collision and injuries.
Negligent hiring refers to the practice of a commercial trucking company allowing a less-than-competent and underqualified driver perform a job which requires professional training, certification, and skill. Truck drivers must undergo rigorous training and extensive practice prior to operating a large 18-wheeler or tractor-trailer on a public road.
Hiring and retention of truckers can be negligent for various reasons, including some of the following:
- A driver did not carry the proper commercial driver’s license (CDL) necessary to operate a specific type of commercial vehicle.
- A driver has a history of drunk driving, reckless driving, or other traffic violations.
- A driver has a history of causing accidents on the road.
- A driver failed a drug test but was still hired and permitted to operate a commercial vehicle.
- A driver failed a health examination or has developed a serious health condition which can hinder their ability to properly operate a commercial vehicle.
If a trucking company knowingly hires a risky driver or retains that driver, accidents victims can file a personal injury lawsuit against that particular company. Keep in mind, proving negligent hiring can be difficult since it requires investigation into the driver’s history and company records. It is imperative to have an experienced truck accident lawyer on your side.