Negligence by Trucking Company
Truck accident lawsuits differ from auto accident claims because trucks are not typically operated by the owner. Both the truck driver and the trucking company can face legal consequences if an accident causes injury or damage to another motorist. When a trucking company willfully endangers the safety of other motorists, they can be considered negligent under the law.
If you or a loved one has been hurt in a trucking accident, our lawyers can determine whether the trucking company acted negligently. To receive a FREE initial consultation, fill out our no-obligation case review form today.
Examples of Employer Negligence
Trucking companies must follow strict regulations regarding the maintenance and operation of their vehicles, as well as the hiring and training of truck drivers. When a trucking company fails to comply with these regulations, they can be held liable for truck employer negligence. Common examples of negligence include the following:
Failure to perform background checks: Trucking companies are required to perform due diligence in hiring to ensure the truck drivers they employ are trained, qualified, and safe. Employers can easily avoid hiring unqualified drivers by performing background checks. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires that trucking companies conduct a full investigation into every candidate they consider hiring. Employers must inquire into the driver’s record in each state where the individual held a driver’s license in the past three years, investigating the driver’s safety record in previous employment positions, conducting appropriate drug and alcohol testing, and any further investigation that helps the company determine whether the driver is safe. These investigations can reveal whether a trucker was involved in previous trucking accidents or cited for moving violations. If a trucking company fails to perform background checks on their applicants, they can miss these red flags and put other motorists at risk for serious injuries.
Failure to properly educate and train truck drivers: Once drivers are hired, trucking companies are required to properly educate their employees to help ensure the safety of other motorists. The FMCSA updated its entry-level driver training (ELDT) regulations in 2019, expanding the scope of training and setting standards for schools and employers. Trucking companies are also expected to enact policies that require the maximum level of competence and care from their drivers. Trucking companies that try to cut corners with driver training may face legal repercussions due to their negligent actions.
Failure to maintain vehicles: Trucking companies have a duty to ensure their trucks are properly equipped. Trucks must be kept in good working condition and equipped with functional safety equipment. When a company fails to properly maintain its vehicles or comply with federal trucking laws in regard to truck maintenance, they can be held accountable for any injuries resulting from their negligent actions.
Hours-of-service violations: Truck driver fatigue can be deadly. To minimize the danger of exhausted truck drivers, federal trucking regulations have strict limitations on how many hours drivers can work in a row and when they must stop for rest. In New York, truckers cannot drive more than 11 hours in a single work period. They also cannot drive for at least 34 hours after they have been on duty for 60 hours in 7 consecutive days, or 70 hours in 8 consecutive days. Unfortunately, some trucking companies pressure drivers to violate these regulations to maintain strict schedules and maximize profits. When they do, they may be held responsible for any injuries or damage caused by their fatigued drivers.
Failure to properly manage drivers: Trucking companies have an important responsibility to keep dangerous drivers off the road. When employers fail to discipline or remove from service truck drivers who have demonstrated unsafe driving behavior, they knowingly put other motorists at risk. In addition, companies that employ drivers are responsible for ensuring all drivers meet testing and licensing requirements.
Negligent loading: Trucks have certain weight limitations and their loads must be properly secured in accordance with federal cargo securement rules to keep them stable and balanced on the road. Failure to do so can result in swerving trucks, falling cargo, jackknife accidents, and other hazards. If negligent loading contributed to a dangerous truck accident, the truck driver’s employer may be held accountable.
A Proven Track Record Of Holding Trucking Companies Accountable
When we represent a truck accident survivor or someone who has lost someone in a serious vehicle accident, we conduct a thorough investigation to ensure we have identified all possible parties that may be legally responsible. This helps us pursue the maximum compensation available for our clients while holding the correct parties accountable for their negligence.
Few firms can match our record of results in cases involving collisions with large trucks. Examples of our victories against negligent trucking companies and employers include:
- $3,500,000 settlement – Our client was a 47-year-old New York City Transit Authority bus driver. On the date of the accident, he sustained serious injuries when the bus he was driving was rear-ended by a NYC Sanitation truck. The City of New York-the sanitation truck’s employer-agreed to pay for our clients’ damages.
- $2,500,000 jury verdict – Our client was traveling lawfully down a one-way street in New York City when a concrete mixing truck entered her lane of traffic and T-boned her vehicle. The court found that both co-defendants-the truck driver and the concrete company that owned the truck-were liable for our clients’ serious injuries.
- $2,000,000 settlement – Our client was riding in a car driven by her boyfriend when their vehicle was struck by a sanitation truck. She sustained spinal injuries that required multiple surgeries. Our attorneys negotiated a $2,000,000 settlement with the City of New York, which was responsible as the employer of the truck driver.
Contact Our Experienced Truck Accident Lawyers for a Free Case Evaluation
Trucking companies who fail to follow federal regulations are not only violating the law; they are also putting other motorists at risk of serious injuries or death. Truck accident survivors who suffer injuries due to negligence often need costly medical care, including surgery, assistive devices and extensive rehabilitation. At Block O’Toole & Murphy, our attorneys have established a reputation for holding individuals and businesses, including trucking companies, responsible for the injuries they cause to others.
If you have been seriously injured or lost a loved one in a trucking accident and suspect the accident was caused by truck company negligence, contact our team today at 212-736-5300. During your free initial consultation, one of our trial-tested attorneys will answer your questions and discuss your options for recovering compensation for your injuries. Serving Manhattan, Queens, the Bronx, Brooklyn, and all of New York state.