Can trucking companies be responsible for truck accidents?

Federal authorities are taking a dent in truck accidents. A recent fleet shutdown ordered by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, marking the fourth this year, suggests that enforcement efforts have increased.

What types of federal regulatory violations might prompt an FMCSA shutdown order? Commercial trucking companies are required to play an active role in the safety practices of their drivers. That initiative starts before a driver is even hired, via a pre-employment background check. A company must also sure that its drivers have the necessary training and skills before they are dispatched on an assignment. 

Yet a commercial truck company’s supervisory obligations don’t end with newbie hires. Even seasoned employees of a trucking company are still subject to random drug and alcohol testing. A company should also monitor its drivers to ensure they are abiding by hours-of-service regulations, which are intended to minimize fatigue behind the wheel. A company is also responsible for the regular inspection and maintenance of its fleet.

If you think you were injured as a result of a truck driver’s negligence, make sure you consult with an attorney. As a personal injury law firm, we encourage crash victims to explore every avenue of liability. In the case of a truck accident, liability might be pursued against both the employee and the employer. There may be technology that our investigation uncovers, such as driver logs or recording technology in the truck cab. Accident reconstruction experts may also offer insights. Our attorneys will interweave any evidence uncovered by these efforts into a strong trial strategy.

Source: Overdrive, “FMCSA shuts down two-truck fleet in fourth carrier shutdown order of year,” March 28, 2016

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