Unqualified Truck Drivers

Unqualified Truck Drivers When a trucking company hires a driver, it must first ensure that the driver is qualified. As you may suspect, an ill-prepared driver behind the wheel of a truck weighing tens of thousands of pounds is an immense hazard to life and safety. If a trucking company hires an unqualified driver who caused an accident, you can pursue compensation from liable parties.

How Trucking Companies May Ensure that Drivers Are Qualified

The trucking industry is highly regulated, and trucking companies should have no confusion when hiring and training drivers. Most commercial truckers must have a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL), which requires graduation from trucking school or an equivalent program. A trucking company is responsible for ensuring that a truck driver has their CDL and that the CDL is in good standing. ​Unqualified Truck DriversBeyond the requirement of a valid CDL, trucking companies should:
  • Screen the truck driver for past driving violations, arrests, and other potentially disqualifying factors
  • Put new truckers through rigorous driving tests.
  • Tests drivers to ensure they have a comprehensive knowledge of best trucking practices.
  • Monitor truckers closely for proper driving practices, compliance with regulations, and abstinence from drug and alcohol use
Trucking companies should not necessarily accept a driver’s CDL as proof of their qualifications. While a CDL is an important step in a trucker’s qualification process, it is not the end-all, be-all. Trucking companies must protect themselves and others by ensuring their drivers are truly qualified.

What Makes an Unfit Truck Driver?

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) reports that truck accidents happen for various reasons—unqualified and otherwise unsafe drivers being two of those reasons. Operating a commercial truck safely requires great skill, awareness, and knowledge. An unsafe or unfit truck driver may be one who:
  • Does not understand how to operate a truck safely: Truckers aren’t just responsible for their cab, but also the trailer and cargo they carry behind it. There are many moving parts in a large truck, and movements that other drivers take for granted—like turning—can be extremely difficult in a large truck. If truckers lack proper knowledge or training, they may pose a great risk of causing an accident.
  • Engages in drug or alcohol use while driving: Truckers work long, often stressful hours. While they may be tempted to take stimulants to stay up or to consume alcohol to take the edge off, these are negligent decisions that are never acceptable. Drinking or using drugs while driving a truck is one of the most obviously negligent decisions a truck driver can make.
  • Ignores the rules of the road: The rules of the road apply to every motorist, including truckers. Failing to stop, yield, or adhere to other rules of the road may result in an accident. Willing or unknowing ignorance of the rules of the road makes a truck driver unfit.
  • Ignores trucking-specific regulations: Those in the trucking industry are aware of regulations, including but not limited to restrictions on drive time. If truckers drive beyond their allotted hours or ignore other regulations, they may be liable for any resulting accidents.
  • Drives while distracted: Every irresponsible act becomes even more dangerous when a large, heavy truck is involved. This includes distracted driving, which takes the truck driver’s attention off the road and increases the likelihood of an accident.
If you’re the victim of a truck accident, an attorney can identify why it happened. They will determine if any truck driver involved in your accident was unfit. Then, the attorney will seek the compensation you deserve for your losses.

How Victims of Truck Accidents Can Seek Justice for Their Losses

Hiring an attorney should be your next move if you or a loved one is the victim of a truck accident. An attorney who handles truck accident cases can pursue the justice you deserve and make sense of what may be a confusing time.

What Criteria You May Seek in a Truck Accident Lawyer

You must decide what you value most in an attorney, but there are a few common criteria that you might consider. Truck accident victims may look for an attorney who:
  • Has won numerous truck accident cases before
  • Handles truck accident cases as a primary practice area
  • Has generally, or exclusively, positive reviews from former clients
  • Makes you feel important when you complete your complimentary consultation
You might have other expectations of an attorney. It is ultimately your decision of which attorney to hire, and you must choose a lawyer you believe will seek the best possible outcome.

How a Truck Accident Lawyer Will Help With Your Case

A truck accident lawyer should handle every step of your truck accident case. These cases may generally include:
  • An investigation, during which time your lawyer may gather evidence, consult witnesses to your accident, and document your damages
  • Calculation of your damages, which must be precisely accurate to ensure that you get fair compensation for your losses
  • Settlement negotiations, at which time your lawyer will fight for the recovery you deserve
Throughout these and any other stages of your case, your lawyer should complete paperwork, facilitate communications, protect you, and handle any other case-related responsibilities.

Recoverable Damages in a Truck Accident Case

Every victim of a truck accident emerges with a unique set of damages. Your lawyer will identify your damages and determine their monetary cost. Your recoverable losses may include:
  • The cost of all accident-related medical care
  • Your pain and suffering
  • The cost of temporary transportation
  • Lost income and other professional damages
  • Damage to property, including but not limited to your vehicle
Some truck accidents prove fatal, in which case you may bring a wrongful death case against liable parties. Whatever your circumstances are, a personal injury attorney can help.

Call an Attorney Today to Discuss Your Truck Accident Case

Truck accidents always create stress, but the legal process doesn’t have to —if you hire a lawyer. Do some research and consult attorneys in your area. One of them may secure the financial recovery you deserve.


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