Negligent Hiring of Truck Drivers
If you have been hurt in a truck accident in East Tennessee, your injuries may be catastrophic. The weight and size of tractor trailers and big rigs make it likely that when an accident occurs on a busy road, many people will be involved, and the injuries that they sustain will be severe. Often, a truck driver is to blame for negligent driving. They may not know how to make wide turns, they may be driving under the influence, or they may be tired or stressed from insufficient rest. However, in some cases, a trucking company's negligent hiring of drivers may also be to blame for a crash. At the Hartsoe Law Firm, Maryville truck accident lawyer Mark Hartsoe has an accident reconstruction team on 24-hour standby that we can send out to the scene of your wreck.Establishing Liability for the Negligent Hiring of Truck Drivers
There is a nationwide shortage of qualified, experienced commercial drivers. This is a problem because our economy depends on the trucking industry. Unfortunately, to address this problem, some motor carriers lower their hiring standards to accept unqualified drivers, rather than recruiting and training appropriate candidates. All trucking companies are required to use reasonable care when hiring truck drivers. This is a duty owed to the public and included as part of the FMCSA regulations that trucking companies must follow.
If a truck driver causes an accident, you may be able to bring a claim against the trucking company that hired them for negligent hiring. In Tennessee, this is a cause of action that may be established by proving that a trucking company was negligent and also had notice that a truck driver was not fit to be on the road. To establish negligence, you will need to show that the trucking company owed a duty to the public that it failed to meet and that you suffered injuries and losses as a result. To establish notice, you will need to show that the trucking company knew or should have known that the driver who caused the accident was unfit to drive. The trucking company will also be liable if the driver was negligent under the theory of respondeat superior (employer responsible for negligent acts of employee/agent).
Under FMCSA regulations, all trucking companies are supposed to conduct background checks on their drivers and make sure that they have the appropriate license to drive commercial vehicles. A background check may turn up prior DUI convictions, alcoholism, drug addiction, epilepsy, prior episodes of reckless driving, reasons that a driver was dismissed from a previous job, and other information essential to determining whether it is appropriate to hire a driver for a job that involves huge risks to the public. If a trucking company fails to conduct a background check, it is likely to be found negligent or even negligent per se (negligent as a matter of law).
In some cases, trucking companies do their due diligence but decide to look the other way regarding the reasons for past suspensions or firings, or they may ignore other red flags. When investigating your case, our firm routinely determines whether a background check was done and whether a trucking company had a policy of ignoring red flags when hiring its drivers.Consult Maryville Lawyer Mark Hartsoe for Your Truck Accident Claim
If you were hurt as a result of the negligent hiring of a truck driver, Maryville truck accident attorney Mark Hartsoe can evaluate whether you may have a case and provide knowledgeable representation. Call the Hartsoe Law Firm at (865) 524-5657 or contact us via our online form to set up your free initial consultation. Hartsoe assists people who need a motor vehicle collision lawyer throughout East Tennessee, including in Blount, Knox, Monroe, Loudon, Jefferson, Grainger, Cocke, Campbell, Hamblen, Greene, Anderson, Cumberland, and Fentress Counties.