Hurt in an accident caused by a negligent or inexperienced truck driver? Get our firm involved. We can fight to protect you and recover fair financial compensation.
Accidents with 18-wheelers are often overwhelming and can lead to property damage, catastrophic injuries, and wrongful death. While some accidents are inevitable and occur despite everyone's efforts to avoid the accident, many accidents each year can be prevented if truck driver negligence and inexperience did not play a role. If you believe that your accident was caused by an inexperienced truck driver, do not wait to speak to an attorney about your situation.
Per the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations, truck drivers must adhere to many different safety qualifications and rules before getting behind the wheel of a commercial vehicle. First, all truck drivers are supposed to undergo pre-employment drug and alcohol screening, in addition to random screens throughout their career. Part 383 of the FMCSR outlines the laws regarding the commercial driver's license requirements and penalties for failing to obtain the proper licensing.
If an employer knowingly allows an unlicensed driver behind the wheel, they may be held liable.
The real danger of an inexperienced truck driver is that they may simply be unaware of the extensive laws and regulations surrounding commercial trucking and may violate the law as a result. For example, an inexperienced truck driver may not fully understand the Hours-of-Service regulations and their time limit on driving. Excited and ready to hit the road, the driver may want to continue driving past the limit because he or she is simply unaware that it is against the law and an extreme safety hazard. As a result, the new driver may cause a catastrophic trucking accident after falling asleep behind the wheel.
One leading cause of truck accidents is tired drivers; in fact, NHTSA estimates show that truck driver fatigue may contribute to 40% of all truck accidents.Learn More
While many people are aware that a huge problem in the trucking industry is unskilled truck drivers, what they do not know is that many of these drivers are not even legally permitted to operate a commercial vehicle. However, with a ballooning trucking industry (interstate trucking companies have gone from 20,000 to over 550,000 since 1980) many people may forge commercial licenses in order to obtain work. "Third party" testers have also been found that are paid to falsify exams.
This doesn't just mean that people are gaining employment fraudulently—it means that unskilled drivers on the road may cause accidents that could have otherwise been avoided. The government is actively investigating trucking agencies to find out if they are employing drivers with faulty commercial trucking licenses. Investigations conducted by the Department of Transportation have uncovered these licensing schemes in 24 states, with other investigations going on in 13 other states.
There are several reasons why licensing fraud poses such a risk to people on the road. Not only are drivers forced to drive amongst potentially tens of thousands of unqualified drivers, but, as safety advocates note, it also creates a risk of home land security. After all, drivers with such sham licenses may get jobs where they transport hazardous materials.
Licensing fraud puts our nation's drivers at risk and is no small issue. In a 2006 report from the Department of Transportation, there were 15,000 suspected fraudulent license holders spread across 27 states. 30+ states have reported such cases of commercial license fraud throughout recent years and many of the "suspect" license holders reported by DOT are later found to have had their CDL previously taken away or voluntarily released.
At Arnold & Itkin LLP, we are prepared to use our experience to provide you with the legal stability that you deserve. We understand of all aspects of truck accident law and how to correctly navigate a case to fight for the best possible result. With an accident caused by an inexperienced truck driver, it may be difficult to prove the truck driver's or employer's negligence actually led to the accident. The quality representation of your trucking accident lawyer will be the key to a successful outcome in this case.
To take the first step toward recovering the compensation that you deserve, please contact our firm!