The carnage left behind in the wake of a truck accident is mind-blowing. It’s not uncommon to see vehicle components strewn across the road, the entire road blocked off with barriers, and multiple ambulances transporting victims to the nearest hospital. In some cases, fault does not lie just with the truck driver. Some accidents are directly related to a trucking company’s failure to vet its drivers properly.
If you believe you’ve been a victim of negligent hiring practices, it’s time to talk to an attorney who knows what it takes to prove this kind of case. Call Bailey Javins & Carter at 800-497-0234 to set up a consultation.
Truck Driver Shortage
To start, it’s helpful to know that this is driven in large part by the truck driver shortage in the United States. Everyone’s seen the news reports showing pallets and pallets of merchandise stranded at docks across the country, just waiting for trucks to pick them up.
This backup is primarily because trucking companies simply don’t have enough drivers. They can only push their current drivers so far before running afoul of federal and state laws, which has led many to ramp up hiring efforts. While companies should maintain high hiring standards even during shortages, that isn’t always the case.
Requirements for Truck Drivers
Companies do have an obligation to fill their trucks with safe drivers—it’s not enough to hire anyone who has successfully earned a CDL. Most companies also require that drivers:
- Have a minimum amount of commercial driving experience
- No (or at least minimal) moving violations
- No (or at least minimal) preventable accidents
- No history of driving while impaired
How Companies May Be Negligent in Their Hiring Practices
Trucking companies have an important obligation to consumers and anyone on the road. When they hire unsafe drivers, they put everyone at risk. How does this play out in the hiring process?
A busy hiring manager may receive a flood of driver applications when they post a job listing. Whether they work for a large or small company, they likely have a set process they follow to evaluate applications and decide whom they want to interview. But because they’re overloaded and under enormous pressure to get new drivers onboarded, they skim through the list and just choose the drivers whose availability is closest to what they need. After a too-brief interview, they extend job offers.
Unfortunately, because they’re in such a rush, they don’t run a background check or check any of the drivers’ history. Of the 15 drivers they hire, 14 are safe, skilled drivers who take proper precautions on the road. The last driver has a history of multiple accidents they caused, a long list of moving violations, and a criminal background that would disqualify them from working in a position that puts them in contact with expensive goods.
When that driver causes an accident by driving while impaired, the company’s poor hiring practices come to light. The victims of that crash may have a negligent hiring practices claim against the company. While the driver would obviously be at fault for their choice to drive while impaired, liability may ultimately lie with the company for their failure to take even the most basic steps while vetting drivers.
Using This Information in an Injury Claim
One of the reasons you need an attorney is because they know how to use information like this. In fact, a local truck accident attorney will likely know all about local trucking companies, that hire the best drivers, and who have a history of reckless drivers on their payroll.
With that knowledge, they can jump right into an investigation proving the company’s negligence and their obligation to compensate you for everything you lost during your accident. However, the longer you wait to start a claim, the more time the company has to cover its tracks. Take action immediately to protect yourself.
Contact Bailey Javins & Carter in Georgia
The team at Bailey Javins & Carter is ready and waiting to take on your case. Find out how we can help you now. Set up a consultation by calling us at 800-497-0234 or messaging us online. We look forward to helping you during this challenging time.