Trucking Company Liability in Truck Accidents

Trucking Company Liability in Truck AccidentsA Houston trucking company was recently ordered by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to cease all interstate and intrastate operations immediately. The FMCSA reports that Jaypur Logistics was blatantly noncompliant with safety regulations, some of which include Commercial Driver’s License standards, unsafe driving, controlled substances and alcohol use and testing, and maintenance.

How trucking companies can contribute to Dallas truck accidents

Truck driver negligence can lead to fatal and serious Dallas truck accidents. Truck drivers can and should be held accountable for the injuries they cause; however, they are not the only parties that can be held liable. The trucking company that hires the truck driver can also be held liable for their negligent actions. There are federal protocols that trucking companies must follow when making the decision to hire truck drivers. Even after truck drivers are hired, companies must follow certain protocols regarding training and ongoing supervision.

What are a trucking company’s responsibilities under the law?

Some of the federal regulations that trucking companies must follow include driver qualifications, supervisor training, drug and alcohol testing, and registration with the Department of Transportation.

Driver qualifications

When hiring new truck drivers, trucking companies must ensure they meet certain requirements before transporting cargo on the roadways. Some of the criteria involve being at least 21 years old, being able to meet the physical requirements needed to operate a commercial vehicle, and carrying a valid commercial motor vehicle license. Trucking companies are also required to thoroughly review a truck driver’s driving history, previous employment history, and any prior violations.

Supervisor training

Trucking companies who employ truck drivers are required to complete training centered around drug and alcohol abuse. This training lasts for two hours, and informs supervisors of the effects and indicators of drug and alcohol abuse in truck drivers. This training helps supervisors learn of the various indicators that their truck drivers are abusing drugs or alcohol on the job.

Drug and alcohol testing

All new hires are required to undergo mandatory drug and alcohol testing. All truck drivers will be required to participate in random drug and alcohol tests throughout the duration of their career.  Federal organizations like the FMCSA will perform random drug and alcohol tests at various checking points for truck drivers.

Department of Transportation (DOT) registration

All trucking companies that participate in interstate and intrastate transportation are required to fill out a DOT registration form. Truck drivers are required to carry these forms and a motor carrier number in their commercial vehicles at all times. These forms determine whether the truck driver is allowed to transport the type of cargo they are transporting and whether truck drivers can even travel on the roadways.

What does trucking company negligence look like?

When trucking companies fail to ensure that their truck drivers are following these safety protocols, they can be held liable in the event of an accident. When truck drivers are not properly tested for drug and alcohol use or trained properly, trucking companies put all of us in harm’s way. Some common examples of truck company negligence include:

Negligent hiring

Trucking companies can also be held liable for negligent hiring if their drivers have questionable background checks. If a truck driver is discovered to have prior driving violations, it can reflect negatively on the trucking company if the truck driver is involved in an accident. The company can be found liable for hiring a truck driver that should have never been allowed to operate a commercial vehicle.

Poor truck maintenance

Another federal regulation that trucking companies must follow is performing routine maintenance on their commercial vehicles. When trucks break down from constant wear and tear on the roadways, they can lead to serious truck accidents. Trucking companies are responsible for performing routine inspections on their vehicles before each trip. When these inspections are not performed, trucking companies are putting the safety of their drivers and other motorists at risk.

Proving the trucking company’s negligence

When you file a truck accident lawsuit against a trucking company, the success of your lawsuit depends on how well your lawyer can prove the company’s negligence. If your lawyer can prove that the trucking company’s negligence directly contributed to your accident, you will have a greater chance of receiving the compensation that you deserve. To establish the trucking company’s negligence, there are four elements that must be proven:

  • Duty of care. The trucking company is responsible for owing you a particular duty of care.
  • Breach of that duty of care. The trucking company’s actions, or lack of action, must be in violation of that duty of care.
  • Causation. There must be a direct cause between the trucking company’s careless actions and your injuries.
  • Damages. You must have suffered damages from your injuries. It must also be explained how the trucking company’s actions caused your injuries.

When you are a victim of an accident due to a trucking company’s negligence, it can be a great benefit to hire a Dallas truck accident lawyer. One of the many benefits of hiring a truck accident lawyer is having legal representation who can gather the best evidence for your lawsuit. Truck accident lawyers have the necessary experience gathering evidence such as medical witness testimony, a truck driver’s records, and any possible FMCSA violations.

When you are injured from a truck accident, you need a seasoned specialist who can hold the trucking companies and their insurance companies accountable. Allow the Dallas injury lawyers at Slack Davis Sanger to fight for your rights. We represent injured truck accident victims in Fort Worth, Dallas, and Austin. To schedule a free consultation, call our office at 800-455-8686 or complete our contact form.