Trucking accidents can cause severe injuries and significant damage. If you've been involved in a truck accident, it's crucial to understand when a trucking company may be held liable for the incident. In this blog post, we will explore the factors that determine trucking company liability and provide you with valuable insights to navigate through this complex legal landscape.
Negligent Hiring and Training
One of the primary ways a trucking company can be held liable for an accident is through negligent hiring and training practices. When a company fails to thoroughly screen potential drivers or provide adequate training, they may be legally responsible for accidents caused by their employees. Negligent hiring can include hiring drivers with a history of reckless driving or substance abuse issues, while inadequate training may involve insufficient preparation for handling large and heavy vehicles.
Inadequate Maintenance and Inspection
Trucking companies are responsible for ensuring their vehicles are safe for the road. This includes regular maintenance and inspections to identify and address potential issues. If an accident occurs due to mechanical failure or a maintenance-related problem that the company failed to address, they may be held liable. Failure to properly maintain brakes, tires, lights, or other critical components can lead to accidents that result in serious injuries.
Truck drivers are subject to strict regulations regarding their hours of service to prevent fatigue-related accidents. Trucking companies must monitor and enforce compliance with these regulations. If a driver is encouraged or forced to exceed their allotted driving hours, leading to an accident caused by fatigue, the company can be held liable. This often involves examining the company's records and policies to establish a pattern of violations.
Supervision is key in ensuring drivers adhere to safety regulations and company policies. If a trucking company fails to adequately supervise its drivers, it may be considered negligent. This includes not monitoring driver behavior, addressing safety concerns, or taking corrective action when necessary. In cases where a driver's reckless behavior was known to the company, but no action was taken, liability may be assigned to the company.
Improperly Loaded Cargo
Improperly loaded or unsecured cargo can lead to accidents. Trucking companies are responsible for ensuring that cargo is loaded correctly and secured properly. If an accident occurs due to shifting cargo or cargo falling onto the road, the company can be held liable. This requires examining loading procedures and whether the company provided proper training and equipment for cargo handling.
Accurate recordkeeping is essential in the trucking industry. Companies must maintain records of driver logs, maintenance schedules, and other critical documents. If a company fails to keep accurate records or alters them to hide violations, they may be liable for accidents that result from regulatory non-compliance.
Trucking accidents can be devastating, but understanding when a trucking company is liable for such incidents can help you seek the compensation you deserve. If you find yourself in such a situation, don't hesitate to seek the assistance of Webster Vicknair MacLeod.