CHICAGO, IL – Truck accident victims can frequently hold trucking companies legally and financially responsible for employing negligent drivers, failing to maintain their fleet or violating trucking regulations.
Negligent Hiring and Retention
Negligent hiring and retention can form the basis for a trucking company’s liability for a truck crash. This occurs when a trucking company fails to screen, hire or retain competent and qualified truck drivers. A trucking company can face liability for an accident traced back to its negligence in hiring or retaining a driver.
For example, a trucking company can be held liable for an accident if the evidence shows it hired or retained a driver with a history of drug or alcohol abuse, traffic violations or inadequate qualifications or licensing. You can also hold a trucking company liable if it retained a driver despite knowledge of dangerous conduct, including repeated safety violations or failures to comply with trucking regulations like hours of service requirements.
A skilled trucking accident attorney can prove negligent hiring or retention by securing relevant information on the driver’s background, previous traffic violations, employment records, and drug and alcohol test results. An attorney will also look for evidence that the trucking company ignored red flags or failed to take appropriate action when informed about a driver’s dangerous behavior.
Establishing a connection between the trucking company’s negligence and the accident is critical for a successful claim based on a trucker’s deficient hiring or retention.
Negligent Training and/or Supervision
Truck drivers go through training and supervision to ensure they operate commercial vehicles safely and follow relevant regulations. All trucking companies must train and supervise their employees responsibly. Inadequate training or supervision may result in trucking accidents, leading to a potential liability for a trucking company.
Some examples of negligent training and supervision include failure to provide safety training or establish operational protocols, inadequate instruction on vehicle operation, disregard for regulatory requirements or negligence about a driver’s qualifications to operate a truck.
An experienced truck accident attorney will gather evidence demonstrating a trucking company’s failure to provide proper training or oversight to establish liability based on negligent training or supervision. This will include employee records, collecting training materials, internal communications and witness testimony about the company’s day-to-day operations and interactions with its employees.
Negligent Cargo Loading and Securement
Proper cargo loading and securement are critical in the trucking industry to ensure the safety of the truck driver and other drivers on the roads. Trucking companies can face liability when incorrectly loaded or inadequately secured cargo shifts or spills during transit cause an accident.
Accidents due to improper cargo loading or securement include rollovers or loss of control when shifting cargo that makes a truck unstable, explosions or spills of flammable or toxic cargo and collisions resulting from cargo falling or spilling onto a road. Cargo-related accidents can lead to severe injuries, property damage and fatalities.
Holding a trucking company liable based on cargo-related issues involves analyzing the company’s interview process for employees, loading cargo, examining cargo manifests and weight tickets, and reviewing crash footage for signs of shifting or spilled cargo.
Liability Due to Failure to Comply with Trucking Regulations
The trucking industry has strict regulations. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations govern a variety of safety-related aspects of trucking operations in interstate commerce, such as driver qualifications, hours of service, vehicle maintenance and hazardous materials transport. State agencies promulgate similar regulations dictating standards for intrastate trucking operations.
A truck crash often implies that the trucking company has violated safety regulations. If so, a legal doctrine known as negligence per se may help a truck crash victim’s attorney in proving the company’s liability. Under this doctrine, a violation of law will establish liability if it leads to an accident.
Relying on negligence per se to prove a trucking company’s liability can simplify and strengthen your case. Your attorney will gather and present clear evidence of a regulatory violation resulting in the trucking company having little choice but to acknowledge liability for your losses.
Potential Compensation for Truck Accident Injuries
The law may entitle you to recover a variety of damages from a trucking company after you were injured in a truck accident due to the driver and/or trucking company’s negligence. You can seek compensation for the physical, financial and emotional harm you suffered from any liable party for your losses.
You may receive compensation for:
- Medical expenses in treating crash-related injuries and health complications
- Other expenses related to living with or adapting to your injury
- Physical pain and discomfort from an injury or any medical treatment
- Emotional suffering and mental health challenges resulting from the injury
- Diminished enjoyment or quality of life
- Loss of independence
- Scarring, disfigurement or loss of bodily function
- Loss of income and job benefits from missing work due to your injuries
- Loss of future earnings and benefits due to a disability caused by the truck accident
- Cost of repairing or replacing a damaged vehicle or personal property
Contacting a Personal Injury Lawyer Who Will Hold the Trucking Company Liable
You can hold a trucking company liable for losses you suffer when it has engaged in negligent hiring or retention, training or supervision, vehicle maintenance or inspection, cargo loading or securement and violation of trucking industry regulations; however, proving that liability and holding a trucking company accountable for a crash victim’s losses takes the work of a skilled, experienced truck accident attorney.
If you or someone you love recently suffered injuries in a truck accident, there’s a good chance a trucking company owes you significant compensation. Don’t wait to get the legal help you need. Reach out to a personal injury attorney right away so they can get started on the claim process.
The attorneys at the Dinizulu Law Group know that high legal fees can make proper representation difficult for some Chicago residents. That’s why we always offer our first consultation free of charge. Meet with one of our qualified Chicago semi truck accident attorneys to see if you have a case. Contact us today at (312) 384-1920.