Negligent Hiring in Pennsylvania Truck Accident Cases
Even if the driver of the commercial truck has an immaculate driving record, there is still a chance, given the immense size and weight of the vehicle, that they can cause fatal accidents if they commit an error behind the wheel. So, when a trucking company or motor carrier knows, or should have known, that one of its drivers does have a poor driving record and that driver causes a collision, Pennsylvania law allows injured people to not only sue the driver in his individual capacity, but also the trucking company or motor carrier that employed the driver despite the driver’s poor driving history.
Negligent Hiring, Retention, and Supervision of Truck Drivers in Pittsburgh, PA
In Pennsylvania, the law recognizes that a third party may be responsible for the actions of another. In the context of injuries sustained or fatalities that occur due to the negligent driving of a trucker, the trucker’s employer can be held liable for your injuries under certain circumstances. One of these circumstances is if the employers failed to exercise reasonable care in ensuring that the truck driver was fit to perform the job.
Federal trucking regulations require that trucking companies or motor carriers perform driving record checks of all new truck drivers from the past three years when being hired. If the truck companies or motor carriers fail to perform a check of the prospective driver’s driving information for the past three years, hire that individual, and then that individual causes a truck accident, that trucking company can be held liable for all injuries the other party may suffer in the crash.
Moreover, there are instances where trucking companies or motor carriers do perform the requisite three-year driving history check, but disregard this information and hire the truck driver anyways. If this happens and the new truck driver causes a collision, then the truck company or motor carrier who employed the driver can be held liable under the theory that it negligently hired the at-fault driver, and, therefore, they are the proximate cause of the accident.
Moreover, federal regulations also require that trucking companies or motor carriers perform annual driving record checks of each driver they employ and pay close attention to any moving violations the drivers incur for speeding, reckless driving, and operating while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. In fact, with respect to alcohol or drug use, trucking companies and motor carriers are required to administer alcohol or drug screenings to each driver periodically. If the driver refuses to submit to this testing or fails a screening, then federal trucking regulations require the driver’s employer to suspend, or otherwise prohibit, the driver from operating a commercial truck for 180 days. If trucking companies and motor carriers fail to perform annual driving record checks, disregard their findings after performing said checks, or fails to suspend drivers who fail drug and alcohol screenings for 180 days, they can be held liable in Pennsylvania for negligent retention of that trucker if he or she causes an accident.
Contact a Pittsburgh Personal Injury Lawyer to Discuss Your Truck Accident Case in Pennsylvania
Did you or a loved one sustain serious injuries due to a truck accident in Pennsylvania? Don’t let the medical bills pile up while you wait for the negligent party, or their insurance company, to do the right thing. Right now, you need an aggressive personal injury attorney on your side, fighting to get you the compensation you need, want, and deserve. The skilled attorneys at Berger & Lagnese, LLC represent clients injured because of truck accidents in Pittsburgh, Butler, Erie, Uniontown, and throughout Pennsylvania. Call 412-471-4300 or email us to schedule a free consultation about your case. We have an office conveniently located at 310 Grant St #720, Pittsburgh, PA 15219.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.