Trucking Companies are Liable for Hiring a Dangerous Truck Driver: Albuquerque Trucking Accident Lawyer Explains
You don’t need to be an Albuquerque trucking accident lawyer to know that large commercial trucks like 18 wheelers, semi tractor trailers, double trailers, big rigs, and other box trucks are very large and dangerous vehicles. This is true even when they are driven by an experienced truck driver. But when an inexperienced or a dangerous truck driver takes the wheel, it could result in catastrophic New Mexico trucking accidents causing serious personal injuries or wrongful death. When this occurs, it is not the victim’s fault. The trucking company is the party in the best position to avoid having inexperienced and dangerous truck drivers on the road, and will usually render the trucking company liable for your crash.
Here at the NM Truck Accident Attorneys, our Albuquerque trucking accident lawyer knows that big rig crashes and 18 wheeler wrecks caused by dangerous truck drivers will usually result in liability to the trucking company. This allows victims to obtain compensation for their damages, including for their injuries, pain and suffering, lost wages, lost earnings, medical bills, and other damages. Call to schedule a FREE consultation to learn what we can do for you.
Liability of Trucking Companies That Put Dangerous Truck Drivers on the Road
It is a rudimentary principle of law that the employer will be liable for the negligent acts of an employee, particularly where the employer entrusted the employee with a dangerous instrumentality. This principle is known as respondeat superior and has roots in the master-servant relationship principles of law dating back to British law. The idea is one of agency, meaning that the agent acting for the benefit of the principal will be liable for acts arising out of those acts. This is because the agent, but for the principal, would not normally conduct that activity which resulted in the accident.
In the context of trucking accidents, when a truck driver makes reckless, careless, or negligent errors which result in catastrophic injuries, that trucking company that employed the truck driver will also be liable. The truck driver is treated as the agent or servant, and the trucking company is treated as the principal or master.
But there are also ways that the trucking company could be independently negligent for the subject trucking crash caused by the negligence of the truck driver. This is when the trucking company hires a truck driver that is not suitable for service. This could be for several reasons, including the following:
- Hiring a truck driver without a CDL license – this is a commercial driver’s license which must be obtained and possessed by a truck driver before getting behind the wheel of a big rig. This is an obvious requirement.
- Hiring a truck driver with traffic convictions – if a truck driver has very serious traffic infractions, such as multiple red light or stop sign violations, speeding tickets, or other aggressive or moving violations, the trucking company could be liable for entrusting the truck driver with a large commercial truck. These types of violations, if caused in a big rig, could easily result in the wrongful death of an individual.
- FMCSA drug and alcohol testing fails, but still hiring the truck driver – if a truck driver has any drug or alcohol testing fails, a trucking company cannot hire that truck driver until the FMCSA protocol is followed (time period of suspension, abatement, re-testing). If the truck driver still tests positive, a trucking company that gives the truck driver the keys would be liable for any serious New Mexico trucking accidents caused by that truck driver.
Trucking Companies are Liable for the Negligence of Truck Drivers: Albuquerque Trucking Accident Lawyer
If you or a loved one have been seriously injured due to a dangerous truck driver who was employed be a trucking company that failed to properly screen, hire, training, monitor, and ensure the public’s safety before giving that truck driver the keys, you may have rights to protect and the FMCSA may help prove your case. We handle cases throughout New Mexico, including in Lordsburg, Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Roswell, or anywhere else. Call our experienced Albuquerque trucking accident lawyers at the NM Truck Accident Attorneys to learn what your rights to compensation may be by dialing (505) 883-5000. You can also contact us on our website through the easy to use and convenient Contact box located by clicking here.