My name is Arlene, and two years ago, I was involved in a car accident that wasn't my fault. I had some injuries that required a hospital stay, and I was unable to return to work for several weeks. I didn't know how I was going to pay my bills, and it was very stressful for me. My friend told me that I needed to hire an accident and personal injury attorney so I could recover my lost wages and medical costs. I was so glad that I hired the attorney, and my stress level immediately went down. Through the attorney, I was able to get a settlement, and I was no longer in financial trouble. I am writing this blog to let everyone know the importance of hiring an attorney after an accident. It's my wish that this blog will help others who are in similar situations.
When you are involved in an accident with a commercial truck driver, the truck driver is not the only person whom you can hold responsible for what happened to you. The trucking company that employs the driver is also responsible for the driver's actions as well. It is the trucking company's responsibility to ensure that each driver they hire and employ is qualified and meets certain standards. Requesting access via the courts to the truck company's driver records can help bolster your personal injury lawsuit due to an accident with a commercial truck driver.
#1 Each New Hire Must Be Qualified
Trucking companies are responsible for making sure that each individual they hire to drive commercial vehicles for their company are indeed qualified to do so and must have the appropriate records to show that they made sure that each driver was qualified upon their hire date.
To start with, all truckers must hold a commercial driver's license, more commonly known as a CDL, that is valid. Beyond that, truck drivers have to pass a physical examination which shows that the driver is capable of handing the physical toll that driving a commercial truck for long hours will exert on the body.
Additionally, trucking companies should be aware of any driving violations that a driver has before they hire them. This will give the trucking company a more complete picture of the driver's record and abilities.
#2 All Employee Records Need To Be Accurate
It is not enough for a trucking company to make sure that an employee is qualified before they hire them; they need to make sure that they maintain accurate records for each driver. They need to run continual checks and add any additional driving violations that a driver obtains over the course of the year. If a driver obtains too many driving violations, it is the job of the trucking company to review that driver's employment and decide if they are still safe to stay on the road and continue to drive for them.
Trucking companies also have to meet both state and federal requirements for drug screening all of their employees; any lapse in effective drug screening increases the trucking company's liability in your accident. Additionally, if a driver fails a drug screen, the truck company is responsible for properly disciplining the driver, providing them with treatment options or ending their employment; they have to take some sort of action.
#3 Driver's Log Must Be Monitored
Truck drivers can no longer push through and drive for twenty-four hours to get a load to a destination on time. In order to keep truckers and other motorist safe, the federal government has established the number of hours that a driver may be on the road and the number of hours that a driver must rest before getting back on the road.
Drivers are responsible for accurately keeping logs of how many miles they drove, the hours they worked, they hours they rested, and the hours they had off for free time. Trucking companies are responsible for monitoring their driver's log books and making sure that they are following federal driving and resting periods. Trucking companies also have to keep copies of their drivers' records for a set period of time.
Your attorney can request that the trucking company give you access to all records pertaining to that particular driver. If you and your attorney discover that a trucking company pushed a driver to exceed maximum driving time or employed a driver with a bad driving record or who failed drug tests, this information can aid your case against them.