When a commercial truck collides with a passenger motor vehicle, the results can be catastrophic. Tractor trailers often weigh in at about 80,000 pounds, while most cars weigh roughly 3,000 pounds. The force of the collision coupled with the weight disparity will often lead to fatalities and serious injuries. While truck accidents can have many causes, the trucking company may ultimately hold some responsibility for the accident. Often, the truck accident could have been prevented through better screening of drivers and closer monitoring.
Hiring and Retention in the Trucking Industry
The trucking industry has experienced a death of drivers in the past few years. The profession requires long work hours, often at night, and significant time away from home. Trucking companies have struggled to fill positions, which can lead to the hiring of less than qualified applicants. Trucking companies that hire unqualified drivers who later injure someone in an accident can be held legally responsible.
All trucking companies are mandated to comply with certain federal and state laws concerning hiring. The trucking industry can only hire employees who are:
- Twenty-one years of age, or older (although there has been a push to lower the minimum age for truckers to 18);
- Ability to read and write the English language at a level sufficient to understand traffic signs, converse with people, and complete reports;
- Completion of all written and driving tests set by federal law;
- Hold a valid Commercial Driver’s License;
- Pass pre-employment drug testing along with ongoing random drug tests;
- Hold a medical examiner’s certificate of physical aptitude to drive a truck;
- Pass annual reviews;
- Report any moving violations;
- Not be disqualified by any other federal regulations.
In addition to meeting these hiring requirements, trucking companies must provide adequate training to all drivers. Drivers must be continually supervised by employees with the ability to detect drunk or tired driving and other dangerous behaviors among the driving fleet. Finally, trucking companies must closely ensure their drivers are obeying the federal hours of service requirements, which dictate how long a trucker can be behind the wheel.
While these regulations are thorough and designed to protect road users, unfortunately, trucking companies often fail to adhere to them. When negligent hiring or supervision allows a truck driver to injure or kill someone in an accident, the trucking company can be held accountable. Potential damages include coverage for the accident victim’s medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.
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Contact Our Long Island Truck Accident Lawyers Today!
If you or someone you love has been injured in a trucking accident, contact the experienced Long Island Truck Accident Lawyers at the Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP as soon as possible. At the Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP, we make a promise to all clients to be accessible and open and honest with you, our valued client.
Contact the Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP today at 516-358-6900 to schedule a consultation with one of our dedicated lawyers. We are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to assist you when you need it most.