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Truck Driver Incompetence: Who Is Responsible For Poorly Trained Truck Drivers?

Imagine an 80,000-lb tractor-trailer barreling down the road on a collision course with you and your vehicle.

The unfortunate fact is this scenario, or one like it, happens more than 475,000 times a year. Each year, about 4,000 large truck accidents result in fatalities and more than 100,000 result in injury. And an alarming number of these accidents happen because trucking companies fail to properly train or adequately screen the truck drivers they hire.

Trucking Company Responsibilities

It is the legal responsibility of trucking companies to hire competent drivers who are qualified to drive 18-wheel rigs and other large trucks. In fact, trucking companies are required to adhere to strict truck driving federal regulations before allowing trucks out on the highways.

To be considered competent, drivers must meet physical requirements, pass a background check, and demonstrate competency as a big rig driver.

Physical requirements

The driver of a commercial truck or tractor-trailer must show that he or she is physically capable of handling the vehicle on the road. The driver must have adequate ability to hear, have clear vision, and be free of serious medical conditions that could affect the ability to operate the vehicle safely.

Background check

Trucking companies are required to obtain extensive information about each truck driver applicant, including the driver’s complete driving record and where he or she worked previously. The drivers should be vetted for a clean driving record in every state they have held a license in and any previous work issues.

Competency requirements

Every driver must be licensed for driving a commercial truck and exhibit competency at operating a large truck. They must undergo commercial truck operator training and pass a comprehensive commercial truck driving test.

Holding Trucking Companies Responsible for Damages

Damages following an accident with a large truck can include medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. In cases of catastrophic injury, the victim may need special equipment and/or care for the rest of his or her life. If the victim was killed, his or her family members may be entitled to make a claim for wrongful death and seek out recompense for the damages they suffer as a result of the loss of their loved one.

While a truck driver who causes an accident that results in injuries can be held legally liable for the damages of the injured parties, the trucking company that employs the trucker can be held liable as well.

If the truck driver has not been adequately vetted by its trucking company employer or has not received necessary training, the trucking company may also be legally responsible for the accident victim’s damages.

How a Colorado Springs Truck Accident Attorney Can Help

A Colorado Springs truck accident attorney at Levine Law will review the circumstances of your case, investigate the qualifications and record of the truck driver who caused the accident, and advise you on whether the trucking company should be held responsible for hiring an unqualified or incompetent truck driver.

For a free consultation, call our offices at 719-471-3000 or contact us on our website.

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