Negligent Hiring Practices and Liability After a Truck Accident
Were you or a loved one injured in a truck accident in Houston, TX? It’s important to speak with an experienced accident lawyer who understands the rules on negligent hiring practices and liability after a truck accident. Our team at Attorney Brian White Personal Injury Lawyers can help you fight to recover the full compensation you deserve from all responsible parties.
Collectively, we have over 45 years of experience fighting for accident victims in Texas. We’ve recovered millions of dollars for injured clients like you.
Table of Contents
How Attorney Brian White Personal Injury Lawyers Can Help With a Negligent Hiring Practices Claim After a Truck Accident in Houston
Trucks play an important role in our economy. We count on truck drivers to get consumer goods to the shelves on a daily basis. Still, semi-trucks and big-rigs are 80,000-pound vehicles that can cause significant damage. If drivers and truck companies don’t follow safety standards, the lives of others are put at risk.
Unfortunately, truck companies often cut corners to maximize their own profits. They may ignore a truck driver’s actions to keep that driver on the roads. Trucking companies sometimes even hire unqualified drivers to keep their deliveries running on schedule.
New laws make it more difficult than ever for Texas truck accident victims to recover fair compensation. At Attorney Brian White Personal Injury Lawyers we’re committed to holding truck companies accountable when their actions cause injuries.
If you were hurt, our Houston personal injury lawyers would be proud to fight for you by:
- Conducting a thorough investigation into the crash
- Gathering strong evidence to support your case
- Hiring experts and specialists who can help us establish liability
- Negotiating with the insurance companies on your behalf
Attorney Brian White is board certified in personal injury trial law in Texas. He isn’t afraid to take your case to court to get what’s fair. We’ve also received a 10.0 rating on Avvo from former clients and been recognized by the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum.
Are you ready to get started? Call a Houston personal injury attorney for a free consultation today.
What is Negligent Hiring of a Truck Driver?
Negligence is the legal basis for most personal injury lawsuits. Someone is negligent when they fail to exercise reasonable caution under the circumstances.
Most specifically, proving negligence requires establishing:
- A legal duty of care
- Breach of duty
All truck drivers have a legal duty to drive carefully to prevent accidents. Under vicarious liability theories, the trucking company has a legal duty to ensure truck drivers are qualified to operate a large commercial truck, big rig, or tractor-trailer.
Trucking companies that allow unqualified drivers to get behind the wheel put everyone on the roads at risk. Were you injured in an accident that occurred because the truck company failed to ensure its driver was qualified? Call our Houston truck accident attorneys for a free case review today.
Requirements for Hiring a Qualified Truck Driver
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has developed strict regulations on truck driver qualifications. If the trucking company hired a truck driver that fails to satisfy those certain minimum safety standards, the truck company can be liable for the driver’s acts.
Under the FMCSA regulations, the trucking company must:
- Conduct a background check and investigate the truck driver’s prior driving history
- Conduct a driver’s road test
- Ensure that the driver has a valid commercial driver’s license
- Obtain a medical certificate from a qualified medical examiner to verify the driver’s fitness to operate the vehicle
- Investigate the driver’s prior history of drug or alcohol abuse
- Determine whether the driver has ever been disqualified from operating a commercial vehicle
The truck company must also require the truck driver to submit an application for employment that provides the following information:
- The names and addresses of all employers for the past ten years, if the driver drove a commercial motor vehicle for that employer
- The dates the driver was employed by each
- The reason for leaving employment
The trucking company should contact prior employers to verify that the information the potential truck driver has submitted is true.
Can a Trucking Company Be Liable for Negligent Retention of a Truck Driver?
Trucking companies must continue to monitor and supervise truck drivers after they’ve been hired. Motor carriers can be held liable for retaining a truck driver if:
- The employer knew the truck driver wasn’t qualified
- They knew the truck driver wasn’t following state and federal regulations
Motor carriers can also be held liable if they reasonably should have known that the truck driver was no longer qualified or competent to drive the semi-truck.
Some examples of negligent retention include keeping a truck driver who:
- Has failed drug tests
- Refuses to submit to drug or alcohol tests
- No longer has a valid commercial driver’s license
- Has a medical condition that makes driving a big rig unsafe
- Has received multiple traffic tickets
Truck companies have a duty to monitor the truck drivers they employ. If they don’t, they can be held liable if the driver causes an accident and injuries.
Liability Based on Failure to Supervise a Truck Driver
Employers can be held vicariously responsible for the actions of their employees. That’s because trucking companies and other employers have a duty to properly supervise their employees.
Trucking companies have a duty to ensure their truck drivers follow state and federal safety regulations in the course of employment.
For example, the truck company is responsible for making sure a truck driver is accurate and truthful when completing driving logbooks. Sometimes truck companies don’t know that a truck driver is falsifying records because of negligent supervision. If that’s the case, the truck company can be held liable if the driver spends too much time behind the wheel and causes an accident.
Who Can Be Held Liable for My Truck Accident Injuries if the Truck Driver Was At-Fault?
Often, the truck driver is responsible for causing an accident. That doesn’t mean the truck driver will bear full financial responsibility for your damages. Additional parties can be held liable too.
That includes the truck company. However, the truck company is also responsible for the acts of third parties it may employ.
- Maintenance companies
- Inspection companies
- Cargo loading companies
Additional third parties may also share responsibility. At Attorney Brian White Personal Injury Lawyers, we’ll conduct a thorough investigation to find out who was ultimately responsible for causing your accident. That way, we can demand full and fair compensation from everyone involved.
What is My Houston Negligent Hiring Practices Case Worth?
FMCSA regulations require truck companies to purchase commercial insurance policies to protect themselves from liability after an accident. These policies often have higher coverage limits than personal car insurance.
That doesn’t automatically mean it’ll be easy to get the full amount you deserve. In fact, the state of Texas recently passed a new law that will make it much more difficult for truck accident victims to hold trucking companies liable.
Under that new law, truck accident victims must:
- Prove that the truck driver was liable during one phase of the trial
- Proceed to a second phase of trial to hold the employer responsible
Liability for compensatory damages such as medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering is determined during phase one of the bifurcated trial. After the truck driver’s liability has been established, the truck company’s liability for exemplary damages can be determined during a second phase of the trial.
The law will make it more difficult for truck accident victims to recover fair compensation. Insurance companies know that. You can expect the insurance carrier to use this new law to drive down the value of your case–and push you into accepting a lowball offer.
Fortunately, our lawyers can help you make sure your case is properly valued. The value of your case will depend on things like:
- The severity of your injuries
- The cost of your medical treatment
- The nature of the truck company’s actions
- The circumstances of the accident
- How your quality of life and ability to work have been impacted
It’s important to hold truck companies fully accountable for their actions. Our law firm can help you do that. We aren’t afraid of new and complex laws–and we’ve been successfully fighting big corporations and insurance companies for decades.
How Long Do I Have to File a Lawsuit Against a Negligent Trucking Company in Texas?
Accident victims have only two years to file a personal injury lawsuit under Texas law. The statute of limitations starts running on the date of your accident. And also get to know how long will your truck case take to settle.
Questions About Negligent Hiring Practices and Liability After a Truck Accident? Call Our Houston Truck Accident Lawyers For Free Consultation Today
Do you have questions about negligent hiring practices and liability after a truck accident? Our experienced Houston truck accident lawyers at Attorney Brian White Personal Injury Lawyers can help. Call today to schedule a free case evaluation to learn more about an attorney-client relationship.