Trucking crashes are often catastrophic, causing severe injuries and death. In many cases, the focus is on the actions of the truck driver involved, but more often than not the trucking company itself bears a large part of the responsibility. Pushing truck drivers to meet deadlines often leads to fatigued driving and drivers who drive trucks without enough rest can be deadly. Trucking companies should be held accountable for inadequate training and supervision that puts us all in danger on our highways.
Understanding Negligent Hiring, Training and Supervision
Negligent hiring is where a trucking company fails to exercise reasonable care when selecting and hiring drivers. If a company hires a driver with a history of crashes, traffic violations, or substance abuse issues without proper vetting, they may be held liable for negligent hiring if the driver's actions cause a crash.
Inadequate Training and Supervision
Inadequate training occurs when a trucking company does not provide drivers with the necessary training and skills required to operate a commercial vehicle safely. This includes not only driving skills but also knowledge of safety regulations, proper maintenance procedures, and handling emergencies. If a lack of training or supervision contributes to crash, the company is liable.
Proving negligent hiring and training in a trucking crash lawsuit typically involves demonstrating the following elements:
Duty of Care
First, it must be established that the trucking company owed a duty of care to ensure that its drivers are qualified and properly trained. This duty of care is a fundamental obligation that all motor carriers (trucking companies) have toward their employees and the public when operating commercial vehicles.
Breach of Duty
To prove negligence, it must be shown that the trucking company breached its duty of care. This can be established by demonstrating that the company hired an unqualified driver or provided inadequate training or supervision, deviating from industry standards or legal requirements.
It must be demonstrated that the trucking company's breach of duty (negligent hiring or inadequate training or supervision) was a direct cause of the crash. This requires a connection between the company's actions and the harm suffered.
Finally, it's necessary to show that the crash resulted in damages, such as injuries, medical expenses, property damage, or loss of life. Damages are a key component in seeking compensation for the victim's losses.
Proving negligent hiring, training and supervision often relies on a thorough examination of various types of evidence:
Reviewing the trucking company's employment records can reveal important details about the driver's qualifications, history, and any prior incidents or violations. These records may uncover red flags that the company failed to address.
Examining the training materials provided to drivers can reveal whether the company adequately covered all necessary aspects of training. If crucial safety topics were omitted or glossed over, it may indicate inadequate training practices.
Statements from the driver involved in the crash and other employees of the trucking company can provide insights into hiring and training practices. They may reveal whether the driver felt unprepared or whether concerns were raised but ignored.
Comparing the trucking company's hiring and training practices to industry standards and legal requirements can highlight deviations that constitute negligence. These standards serve as benchmarks for assessing the company's actions.
Implications for Crash Liability
When it is successfully proven that a trucking company's negligent hiring, inadequate training or supervision contributed to a trucking crash, the implications for crash liability can be significant. Both the driver and the trucking company may be held liable for the victim's injuries and losses.
Seeking Justice and Compensation
Trucking crash victims and their families should be aware of their rights and options when pursuing justice and compensation. By holding trucking companies accountable for their negligent hiring, training practices and supervision, victims can not only seek the compensation they deserve but also drive positive changes within the trucking industry, encouraging safer hiring and training practices for the benefit of all motorists on the highways of our state and country. Consulting with an experienced attorney at Hanks who specializes in trucking crash cases is a crucial step in navigating the legal complexities of proving negligence and seeking the justice victims deserve.
Call us today at (505) 405-4441 to get started and obtain the compensation you deserve.