When 18 wheelers or other big commercial trucks gets into an accident with a passenger car or motorcycle, the results can be devastating. Truck accidents can happen for a variety of reasons. Sometimes the weather or road conditions play a part. Other times, mechanical failures due to poor maintenance are to blame. And, in some cases, the company that owns the truck hires the wrong person to drive it.
Accidents involving big rigs can result in serious injuries and even death. If the driver of the truck was liable for the accident, the injured parties have a right to seek compensation for the damages resulting from their injuries, including medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering. When a trucking company hires a driver without proper background checks and screenings and the driver causes a wreck, the trucking company may share responsibility for the accident as well.
Trucking Companies Must Follow Federal Law When Hiring Drivers
It’s the responsibility of the trucking company to ensure the drivers they hire are fit and fully qualified to get behind the wheel.
Federal law requires employers to maintain strict standards when it comes to hiring a driver. For a driver to be qualified to drive a commercial truck like a tractor trailer, he or she must:
- Possess a valid commercial motor vehicle driver’s license
- Know how to safely operate an 18-wheeler
- Be able to pass a driver’s road test with safe driving techniques
- Demonstrate that they know how to use emergency equipment
- Show that they can perform a pre-trip vehicle inspection
In addition, trucking companies also screen their perspective drivers for medical history, drug and alcohol. They run a background check to look for any criminal behavior and check the trucker’s driving record for any past accidents. Additional drug and alcohol testing is also required after an accident or when a driver exhibits symptoms of being under the influence.
How Do Unsafe Drivers Get Behind the Wheel?
So how do unqualified drivers get hired and put behind the wheel? One of the biggest reasons is high driver turnover rates. Trucking companies are often so desperate to get their vehicles out on the roads that they sometimes cut corners when it comes to checking a driver’s past. This can come back to haunt them later on.
When a motorist is hurt in an accident involving a big truck, it’s important to identify all the negligent parties involved in the wreck. For example, a truck driver who was drunk at the time of a crash may not be the only party who shares responsibility for the accident. If the driver has a record of DWI arrests and accidents, they shouldn’t be behind the wheel, and the company that put them there can be held responsible due to employer negligence.
Lakeland Trucking Accident Attorneys Will Identify All the Responsible Parties
The first thing to do after an accident involving a big truck is to see to your health. The next thing you need to do is look out for your rights. Rivas Law Group is here to protect your rights and see you get the compensation you deserve. We have years of experience and an impressive track record when it comes to obtaining the maximum compensation after a truck accident in Florida.
Our truck accident attorneys serving Lakeland, Winter Haven and Lutz know how to thoroughly investigate an accident and identify all the responsible parties. For a free consultation to discuss your situation and your right to recovery, please contact the Rivas Law Group today – we’re here to help!