When entrusting a person with a large, dangerous truck, certain precautions need to be taken to make sure that the individual is qualified to deal with any issues and problems that may arise. Serious accidents can occur when a trucking company hires a driver who is not equipped to handle the responsibility of operating an oversized vehicle. The truck accident lawyers at the Law Offices of Robert Dixon can represent Miami residents and others throughout South Florida who have been involved in crashes with vehicles that had an unqualified driver behind the wheel. Our firm is dedicated to helping injured individuals assert their right to compensation from those who have harmed them.Negligent Hiring of Commercial Drivers
Companies that employ truck drivers are required under both federal and state laws to make sure that their drivers are qualified. Florida and federal regulations set forth specific requirements for drivers, including:
- Possession of a valid commercial driver’s license,
- The capability to operate tractor-trailers safely,
- A satisfactory completion of a road test that analyzes safe driving techniques, and
- Familiarity with emergency equipment and inspection procedures.
Trucking companies are also responsible for checking potential drivers’ past driving records, both in and out of state, to make sure any violations are not egregious. Drivers must also undergo drug and alcohol testing before being hired, as well as periodic testing throughout their employment. Trucking companies are required not only to make sure drivers submit to drug and alcohol testing after involvement in an accident, but also to randomly test for alcohol in 10 percent of its drivers and for drugs in 25 percent of its drivers annually.Bringing a Claim for Damages after a Motor Vehicle Collision
Hiring or retaining an unqualified driver can lead to serious accidents on the road that may give rise to many types of economic and non-economic costs and losses. A victim often can pursue a personal injury lawsuit against the trucking company for negligent hiring. To show negligence, he or she would need to prove that the trucking company breached its duty of reasonable care in its hiring practices or in allowing an unqualified driver to remain on the road. For instance, if a trucking company failed to administer drug or alcohol testing that would reveal a history of alcohol or drug abuse behind the wheel, and a driver then causes an accident while under the influence, the company may be found to be negligent.
The victim must also show that the negligence caused the accident and that he or she incurred damages that are reasonably quantifiable. In other words, the crash must be an event that could not have occurred if the driver had been properly qualified and otherwise acted with the appropriate care. There is a wide range of damages that may be available, ranging from objective types of compensation like hospital and therapy costs, repairs to a vehicle, and lost wages to more subjective forms of harm like pain and suffering.
In many of these situations, an employer’s records must be examined to determine what actions were or were not taken in the hiring process. Due to the multitude of parties involved in a trucking accident, as well as possible expenses, inappropriate action may be taken to avoid a lawsuit. Spoliation occurs when evidence is intentionally lost or destroyed in order to hinder a legal claim. When spoliation happens, courts in Florida may issue sanctions against responsible parties, which may extend even to the exclusion of testimony or a finding of liability.Capable Legal Representation For Injured Miami Residents
When you have been hurt in a truck accident in Miami or elsewhere in the region, you need to focus on getting well. The injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Robert Dixon can focus on the legal aspects of your recovery by making sure that a proper investigation into the cause of the accident and the responsible parties is carried out. To take the first step in asserting your rights, call (877) 499-4878 or contact us online for a free, no-obligation consultation to see how we can help. We also represent residents of Fort Lauderdale and other cities throughout Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach Counties.