Holding A Trucking Company Liable For Negligent Hiring And Supervision
Truck accidents, like any type of vehicle collision, can have any number of different causes. Often, however, they can at least partially be attributed to the negligence of a truck driver’s employer, or the trucking company that hired the driver. Fortunately, it is possible to hold employers, or in this case, trucking companies, responsible for the negligence committed by their employees, or drivers. It is also possible, however, to hold a trucking company liable for its own negligent actions if those actions caused or contributed to an accident. One of the most common examples of direct negligence exhibited by trucking companies involves negligent hiring and supervision, meaning that the company failed to properly hire or train the driver in question.
What is Negligent Hiring/Supervision?
Negligent hiring happens when an employer fails to conduct the proper background checks or generally fails to ensure that an employee is qualified for a particular position. Similarly, negligent supervision occurs when an employer fails to use the necessary care in training and overseeing the on-the-job actions of their employees. Employers, which includes trucking companies, can be held liable for injuries caused by an employee that was negligently hired or wasn’t being properly supervised.
Examples of Negligent Hiring/Supervision
Trucking companies can commit a wide range of mistakes when hiring truck drivers, including:
- Failing to examine an applicant’s driving record to ensure that he or she is properly licensed and doesn’t have a history of accidents or safety issues;
- Failing to conduct a background check on an applicant;
- Failing to conduct pre-service alcohol and drug testing; and
- Not requiring an applicant to undergo medical fitness screening.
Even if a trucking company hired a driver correctly, it can still be held liable for failing to properly supervise that employee if it:
- Didn’t regularly examine the truck driver’s records for traffic infractions and other violations;
- Didn’t conduct a random drug testing program;
- Didn’t maintain up-to-date employment records for drivers;
- Didn’t keep a log of complaints or incidents for individual drivers, or didn’t investigate those complaints;
- Didn’t provide adequate training on how to operate a commercial vehicle or secure cargo;
- Didn’t require a driver to file pre-trip inspection reports or hours-of-service logs;
- Didn’t suspend or terminate a driver with a medical condition that rendered him or her unsafe to operate a commercial truck;
- Encouraged drivers to engage in unsafe driving behaviors; and
- Allowed drivers to choose their own routes, or didn’t require that they stick to confirmed routes deemed safe by the trucking company;
- Didn’t impose disciplinary measures against drivers who engage in unsafe behaviors.
If you believe that your accident was the result of negligent hiring or supervision on the part of a trucking company, you’ll need strong evidence to prove your assertion, including testimony from trucking company employees, the truck driver’s records, hours of service logs, records of alcohol screens, cargo manifests, dispatch logs, and black box data.
Our Experienced Atlanta Truck Accident Attorneys Can Help
To speak with an experienced Savannah truck accident lawyer about filing a claim against the trucking company that hired the driver who caused your own crash, call Shiver Hamilton Campbell at 404-593-0020 today.