You have been injured in a terrible truck accident that the bystanders did not think was survivable. You had surgery, and now you are recovering from your injuries while wondering if your life will ever be the same. You decide to file a lawsuit, and learn that the process may be more complex than you thought.
But why is that? It is because commercial trucking companies owe a duty of care to all of the other drivers with whom their trucks share the roads, to make sure that their trucks are in safe, working order. They must exercise due diligence in hiring drivers who are qualified and who will obey the rules of the road. They also have to ensure that their drivers are properly trained, whether those drivers are brand-new, or have 20 years behind the wheel. As employers, trucking companies are responsible for the conduct of their drivers when they are acting in an official employee capacity.
Examples of trucking company negligence
If you are in a collision with a commercial vehicle, there are a few ways to make a claim to hold the company liable. These are among the most common:
Negligent hiring practices
The U.S. department of Transportation (DOT) and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) have rules and regulations that govern the requirements that truck drivers must meet before they can obtain a commercial driver’s license (CDL) and before a trucking company should hire them to drive. If a truck driver has a poor driving record, if they have DUIs, or if they have too many speeding tickets or accidents on their record, a trucking company should consider carefully taking on liability for an individual who has shown irresponsible behavior in the past.
Trucking companies are required by law to both maintain their trucks and to keep an accurate maintenance log. If the truck driver causes an accident because their truck was poorly maintained, they can be held liable for the injuries and property damage resulting from the crash. If it turns out that some of the truck parts were defective, you may be able to name the manufacturer i your lawsuit, too.
Violations of federal and state laws
When truck drivers violate laws such as the Hours of Service (HOS) rules they put other drivers in danger. If a truck crash happens because the truck driver violated federal or state laws about driving a truck, the trucking company can be held liable.
The best thing you can do to bolster your position is to consult with an experienced Mississippi truck accident lawyer right away. An experienced attorney will determine who is at fault and who can be held accountable for your injuries and losses.
When you have been injured in a truck accident, turn to the injury firm that your friends, neighbors and loved ones recommend. Merkel & Cocke is a premier personal injury law firm serving clients throughout Mississippi, Tennessee, Arkansas, and in federal courts. To learn more about our services, or to schedule a no-cost, no-obligation consultation with a lawyer about your accident injuries at our home office in Clarksdale, please call 877-790-0943 or fill out our contact form.