Trucking companies have a responsibility to other motorists to ensure they have the proper screening methods in place to hire only the best and most qualified people to drive their fleet of trucks. However, the trucking industry has historically faced a shortage of quality drivers. This can lead to relaxed hiring standards that put unsafe truck drivers on the road. If an unqualified truck driver's negligence caused an accident, the trucking company can be held liable for negligent hiring practices.
Negligent Hiring Practices
Negligent hiring practices occur when a trucking company does not implement proper screening and training to ensure that its truck drivers are qualified to operate the vehicle safely. Many factors can go into determining whether or not a trucking company has negligent hiring practices.
Basic screening of all applicants should include the following:
- Verifying that the applicant has a valid commercial driver's license
- Running a background check on the applicants criminal history
- Reviewing the applicants past driving record and accident history
- Requiring the applicant to pass a drug test
- Ensuring the applicant does not have problems with alcohol or prescription medication abuse
- Having a doctor perform a physical to ensure the applicant is medically fit to operate a commercial truck
Trucking companies have a duty to eliminate candidates who do not meet those basic criteria. In fact, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration requires employers to not only verify that drivers have a CDL, but also to obtain an employment and driving history for the applicant's previous three years. A failure to do so would constitute negligent hiring practices and would make the trucking company liable for any injuries caused by the truck driver's negligence.
Talk to Our Truck Accident Attorneys
If you were in an accident involving a commercial truck, it is in your best interests to speak with a truck accident attorney as soon as possible. An experienced truck accident attorney will investigate not only the cause of the accident, but also the trucking company's hiring practices to make sure it properly screened the driver.
At Arnold & Itkin, we have a full investigative team available to collect and review all pertinent information about the trucking companies hiring practices and the truck driver's history. Using Department of Transportation background checks and other available resources, our investigative team attorney can review the driving history of the truck driver as well as determine if the driver had any past problems with drug or alcohol abuse that may have contributed to the accident. If you have a truck accident claim that may have resulted from negligent hiring practices, contact us today to learn how we can help.