People become truck drivers for various reasons, like the growing demand for transportation providers to enhance the supply chain. While most truck drivers have the necessary training and experience in their work, others don’t have the required qualifications. Their inexperience and lack of training contribute to fatal truck accidents across the country.
Truck drivers are responsible for complying with all continuing education and licensing requirements. Before venturing onto the road, they must check that their driver’s licenses are in good standing, attend the necessary classes, and get the required certifications.
If you’ve suffered injuries in a trucking accident because of an unqualified truck driver, you can file a claim for monetary compensation for the damages. You can pursue a lawsuit against the driver or, in some cases, the trucking company’s insurer.
Do Trucking Companies Hire Unqualified Truck Drivers?
Trucking companies are responsible for vetting drivers and ensuring they’re competent enough to be entrusted with heavy commercial vehicles.
Trucking companies must terminate drivers with a lengthy list of traffic violations. Hiring companies must evaluate that the drivers can handle these machines capable of fatal destruction on the roads and highways. They also must provide the necessary training for the drivers they hire and supervise their activities.
Unfortunately, some trucking companies employ these drivers, leading to more accidents. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMSCA) specifies disqualification periods to reduce negligent hiring by trucking companies. These are the disqualification periods for truck drivers who commit the following traffic violations:
- Leaving a truck accident scene: The violation attracts disqualification for one year and lifelong disqualification for a subsequent offense.
- Excessive speeding at over 15 mph: 60-day disqualification for a second offense within three years.
- Tailgating: Following other vehicles too closely attracts a 60-day disqualification for a subsequent offense within three years.
If a truck driver earns temporary disqualification for the above offenses but gets behind the wheel, causing an accident, the trucking company may be liable for your injuries. That’s because it failed to follow federal regulations.
A truck accident lawyer can help you determine if yours is a case of trucking company negligence and whether you can file a claim.
What Conditions Make Some Truck Drivers Dangerous?
Some contributing factors for disqualifications from being a truck driver include:
Truck driver health disqualifications
The Department of Transportation requires every driver to pass a physical examination before getting employment. They also must pass a new physical assessment every two years. Poor health can make truck drivers unfit to drive big rigs, for example, sleep apnea, which may cause them to fall asleep while driving. Other conditions that require screening are visual impairments, hypertension, epilepsy, and more.
Truck driver driving record disqualifications
Truck drivers must have an active Class C license, without which they’re legally unqualified to handle large commercial vehicles. Prior history of serial truck crashes should prevent a driver from working as a truck driver.
Truck driver criminal record disqualifications
Addiction to drugs and alcohol inhibits a driver’s ability to control a truck. Such drivers are likely to break traffic laws, respond more slowly to road dangers, drive recklessly, and move at high speeds. A driver with a history of dangerous driving due to substance use is at an increased risk of causing a truck accident and shouldn’t be operating for a company.
Inadequate truck driver training
Employers must train and supervise their truck drivers to reduce the chances of truck accidents. Hiring truck drivers with no training or experience constitutes negligence in hiring by truck companies.
Types of Crashes Caused by Unqualified Truck Drivers
Unqualified drivers pose a significant threat on the roads and highways, and they do so regularly. Common misconducts and collisions associated with incompetent truck drivers include:
- Rear-end collisions
- Road rage
- Impatience with other road users
- Improperly securing loads
- DUI driving
- Running through a red light
Crashes and injuries caused by negligent drivers deserve compensation from the truck company’s insurance company. Talk to a truck accident lawyer to file a claim.
Contact a Qualified Truck Accident Lawyer to File a Claim
You can obtain compensation for the damages if you sustain injuries in a truck accident because of a negligent or unqualified truck driver. The settlement includes the cost of medical treatment, lost income, physical rehabilitation, property damage, mental anguish, and emotional pain and suffering. A truck accident lawyer can work on your case to aggressively fight for your deserved settlement amount.
If you’ve been a truck accident victim, don’t suffer alone in silence. At Elrod Pope Law Firm, we have knowledgeable and experienced truck accident lawyers that provide legal assistance when you need it most. Contact us today to schedule an initial case assessment for the compensation you deserve.
Truck Accident FAQs
What is the meaning of an unqualified truck driver?
An unqualified truck driver lacks the training, education, and experience to operate a large commercial truck. They may not have completed the necessary driving classes and training sessions to handle trucks on busy highways.
Can I file a compensation claim and damages following a truck accident?
A truck accident victim who sustains injuries due to the negligence of an unqualified truck driver can file a claim for damages from the trucking company’s insurance firm. A truck accident lawyer can help them create a strong case.