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Negligent hiring or supervision of truck drivers

If you were in an accident with a commercial truck, could you be the victim of negligent employment practices?

It's quite possible. There's a growing gap between the number of trucking jobs available and the number of available drivers out there. Companies trying to meet all the demands they have sometimes take shortcuts in the hiring process when they shouldn't. They also leave drivers on the road who shouldn't still be driving.

If the truck company that employed the driver of the truck took some liberties during the hiring process or was lax in enforcing company safety rules, you may be able to hold the company liable for your losses. That's important because injuries and losses from an accident with a truck are often greater than those involving passenger vehicles alone.

What exactly is negligent hiring or supervision? A company could be guilty of these things in the following ways:

  • The company didn't do a complete background check on the driver to see if he or she had the necessary qualifications and licenses to operate the vehicle he or she was given.
  • There was no attempt to check into the driver's previous employment history in order to screen out any drivers with serious accidents in his or her history.
  • The employer ignored concerns expressed by other employees about the driver's behavior. In particular, a company may have had advance warning that a driver had a substance abuse issue or a medical problem that caused drowsiness and chose to overlook it.
  • The employee had citations for dangerous driving practices or an excessive number of traffic violations.
  • Other drivers on the road had called the company in the past to complain about the driver's behavior on the road.
  • The driver was assigned new responsibilities without being given adequate training -- like not being trained on how to do a vehicle safety check before getting behind the wheel.

If you've been in an accident with a commercial truck, consider all your legal options before you talk with an insurance adjuster or agree to any settlements.

Source: HDT Truckinginfo, "5 Ways to Prevent Negligent Hiring Claims," Don Jerrell, accessed Jan. 26, 2018

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