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Negligent Hiring Lawsuits Against a Trucking Company

Negligent Hiring Lawsuits Against a Trucking Company

When a truck accident has left you with serious injuries, you may be entitled to substantial financial compensation from the trucking company. The Riverside truck accident attorneys at Heiting & Irwin, APLC have recovered over $500 million for our clients, much recovered from truck accidents, and we can fight for you. 

Trucking companies have certain obligations that they must follow when hiring drivers, both under federal regulations and as part of the duty of care that they owe the public. If the trucking company has been careless or has cut corners when hiring, training, or retaining drivers, you might be able to sue them for negligent hiring and retention. 

Schedule a free consultation with Heiting & Irwin to learn more about your legal options in a truck accident case. You do not need to pay anything to speak with a qualified truck accident lawyer and owe nothing unless we win your case.

Trucking Companies Can Be Liable for Accidents

There are several ways that you could hold a trucking company liable for the injuries caused in an accident. One way we can reach the trucking company is through the doctrine of respondeat superior. This is a legal rule that says the employer or hirer may be responsible for the acts of their agents/drivers.  You can also bring a claim against the trucking company for negligent hiring. 

The trucking company has an obligation to perform due diligence when they hire a truck driver. Federal regulations forbid a trucking company from hiring drivers who are disqualified from driving for various reasons. They must also verify that the driver has a proper license and has completed all training requirements. Trucking companies must also check the driver’s safety record and administer drug and alcohol tests. 

Trucking companies are feeling the pinch of a national driver shortage. Some are cutting corners to get drivers on the road more quickly because they do not want to anger or lose their customers through delays. Others simply do not want to invest the time and effort that it takes to screen drivers before they are hired, failing to perform some of the basic screening tasks required by law. 

The Elements of a Negligent Hiring Lawsuit

Under California law, negligent hiring occurs when:

  • The employee did not have the qualifications to perform the job for which they were hired
  • The employer knows or should have known the employee was not qualified
  • The employee caused harm to the plaintiff/claimant

We would build your negligent hiring case during the course of your lawsuit. Your truck accident attorney may gather evidence during the discovery phase of your case that shows what the trucking company did or did not do to scrutinize the truck driver. 

In a similar regard, the trucking company could also be liable for negligent retention of a truck driver. The truck driver may have a record of wrecks or dangerous conduct that has come to the attention (or should have been within the knowledge) of the trucking company. At a certain point, they would have an obligation to terminate the driver. However, trucking companies may not want to take a driver off the road because they do not have enough operators, may not be able to hire a replacement, or just like the driver.

Negligent hiring and retention lawsuits are often a way that your truck accident lawyer will reach companies that use truck drivers as claimed independent contractors. Ordinarily, one cannot sue a trucking company when the driver was not an employee. However, agency rules may bind the hirer, and any trucking company has an obligation to scrutinize drivers that it intends to use, regardless of whether they are employees. For example, a company may use independent contractors, but they are often responsible for negligent hiring and retention. 

Trucking Companies Can Be Held Accountable for Their Negligence

Juries have often reacted harshly when trucking companies have failed to perform their critical obligations in hiring. Negligent hiring cases show a culture of cutting corners and non-compliance, and they are indicative of much larger problems at a trucking company. 

In one case, a Florida jury awarded a family $1 billion in damages when a trucking company did little to nothing to review the driver’s safety record before hiring. The verdict included $900 million in punitive damages because the jury wanted to send a ”strong message to the trucking company.” Juries often react harshly when the trucking company could have taken simple steps to protect you and failed to do so. 

Contact a Riverside Truck Accident Lawyer Today

Get legal help today by hiring experienced truck accident lawyers at Heiting & Irwin. You can schedule a free initial consultation with our team of truck accident attorneys by calling us today at 951-682-6400. This is a phone call that you cannot afford to delay. Prompt investigation is essential.

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