One of the many ways that safety organizations strive to keep our highways safe is through the regulation and monitoring of commercial carrier drivers. By having specific requirements for truck drivers and the companies that hire them, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association (FMCSA) does its part to keep unsafe drivers off the roads and prevent big rig accidents. Unfortunately, some trucking companies do not do their part. When negligent hiring or employee retention leads to trucking accidents, those affected by these accidents should hire experienced truck accident lawyers to represent them.
Safety Regulations Regarding Commercial Drivers
Companies that hire commercial drivers are required to ensure these hires meet the FMCSA regulations. Qualified drivers must meet specific standards, including passing written, driving, and medical exams and also maintaining these qualifications to be able to safely drive a commercial truck. Companies must also provide adequate training to their drivers and keep them up-to-date regarding company and safety policies. They should also employ supervisors to keep track of driver training. In addition, they must ensure that drivers are logging their hours to comply with driver hour regulations and properly report any accidents.
Negligent Hire and Driver Retention
Considering the strict FMCSA regulations regarding the hiring of drivers and maintenance of qualifications, a commercial carrier company must ensure that all drivers hired and employed by them meet those qualifications. Unfortunately, many companies do not follow these rules for a variety of reasons. They either hire unqualified drivers, or retain drivers who no longer meet safety qualifications. Often, the hiring or retention of unqualified drivers is due to several things, such as the lack of available drivers, oversight on the part of the company, ignorance regarding Federal laws, keeping drivers who have proven to be a danger, among others. Regardless of the reason, this means some trucking companies are not doing their part in keeping drivers off the road who could be a danger to others. This adds to the number of truck accidents that occur every year, resulting in the extensive damage caused in these accidents.
Negligent Hiring and Retention and Trucking Accidents
When a trucking company hires or retains a driver who does not meet Federal driver qualifications, has fallen below them, or has become a liability due to accidents or failure to adhere to safety regulations, that company is considered negligent. Lawyers familiar with truck accident cases maintain that when these drivers cause accidents that injure others, the companies are liable due to their own negligence in hiring or retaining a dangerous driver. One of the ways accident attorneys investigate fault in a trucking accident is by determining if the driver did anything that contributed to the accident. Drivers who do not meet FMCSA regulations or have poor driving records, as well as the companies that employ them, are considered at fault.
The important lesson here is that all commercial carrier companies must carefully screen their truck driver hires and ensure that drivers already employed retain required driving qualifications. Failure to do so increases the occurrence of big rig accidents that cause devastating injuries and makes these companies liable for the actions of their employees. For those who have been involved in a trucking accident, it is essential to hire lawyers familiar with truck accident cases, especially if the accident was due to a commercial truck company's negligence.
Pearland, Pasadena, Webster, League City, Webster, Manvel, Alvin, Friendswood, La Marque, Texas City, and Galveston
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