It is not always the trucker alone who is responsible for big rig wrecks. Fault may lie with the trucking company.
It goes without saying that driving on the highway in the presence of 18-wheelers is enough to give many drivers serious concerns. It is well known that big rigs can and do get involved in some really nasty accidents, often resulting in either serious injuries or death for those they hit. While they keep American industries moving, they are often in violation of rules of the road, rules of safety or rules of the government in order to get paid a decent living.
“The very size of these vehicles means any wrecks will be ugly and often fatal. Truck versus car collisions can also be caused by a car driver, a negligent trucker, a defect with the truck or the company that owns the vehicle and hired the trucker,” said Brooks Schuelke, an Austin personal injury lawyer with Perlmutter & Schuelke, L.L.P.
It is fairly common knowledge that there is a legal limit on the amount of time a trucker can drive each day. This is often referred to as hours of service. The idea behind this is to keep fatigued drivers off the road, because being tired means making just about as many mistakes as being drunk; a disaster in the making.
“Sadly, some trucking companies turn a blind eye when truckers violate the hours of service rules or instruct them to ignore the rule and get stuff delivered fast, to meet or beat a deadline. Trucking companies are not immune to the rules and when they choose to flaunt them, they may be held responsible for a truck wreck,” Schuelke said.
Negligent hiring is another very real concern in the trucking industry. This means precisely what it says, that the trucking company hires without checking driver’s extracts or records. For all they know, the person has a string of citations for reckless driving or has been fired previously for driving like a maniac.
Instead of just hiring someone with a pulse, companies need to do due diligence to ensure drivers are safe, reliable, trustworthy and good drivers. Should they ultimately hire a lemon without checking the background details and an accident happens, the company could be the one on the mat facing the music.
“Not training their new hires properly or not maintaining the fleet as required are two other areas where trucking companies may run afoul of the law when one of their truckers is involved in an accident. These various scenarios are one of the many reasons why trucking accidents are as complex as they are. If you have been involved in one, you will need to know where you stand. I’d be happy to answer your questions if you call me,” Schuelke said.
Contact Perlmutter & Schuelke PLLC at Civtrial.com or (512) 476-4944.
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