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Negligent Training, Hiring or Supervision of Truck Drivers – Pennsylvania

The ad online says “Apply for a Trucking Job Today – No Experience Required.” The ad goes on to say that there is a constant demand for freight, with the trucking industry growing at a rapid pace. For some, especially those who are just starting out in the job market or who may otherwise have difficulty obtaining a job, the ad sounds very tempting.

How many people applied to the company because of its easy entry into a fairly well paying profession? And how many of those people are improperly hired, inadequately supervised and poorly trained? Yet, they are out on the roads, driving 60,000-ton rigs like weapons across our Philadelphia and nation’s highways.

How do you know if the trucker who caused the accident that left you or a loved one seriously injured was negligently hired, trained or supervised?

Despite the ad that makes trucking sound like an easy life, it’s a difficult job, and trucking companies know it. They have an obligation to make sure the drivers they hire are qualified.

Federal and state laws govern the trucking industry. Tractor-trailers, big rigs, semi-trucks or 18-wheelers that cross from one state to another are specifically governed by a number of federal laws. These involve everything from the licensing of the operator, his/her qualifications and the hours the driver may operate. For example, they cannot drive 24/7, and they must take rest periods.

With regard to licensure, to be a commercial driver, a person must pass many written and driving tests that fulfill the federal standards. The license must be free of any restrictions or violations.

Drivers also are held to a higher standard when it comes to alcohol and drugs. They may not have a blood alcohol concentration of more than .04%. If they do, they can lose their license.

Of course, they are prohibited from taking any unlawful drugs. In the case of an accident with a truck, the law requires that the truck driver must be tested after the accident for unlawful usage of drugs or alcohol.

Additionally, employers must give random drug and alcohol tests. If there is reasonable suspicion that they are under the influence of drugs or alcohol, the truck employer must also test. Failure to do so can put a truck company at risk for personal liability regarding negligent supervision. Supervisors of truck drivers are supposed to be trained to ferret out potential indicators of alcohol or drug usage in their drivers.

Negligent hiring, training and supervision of drivers can include, but is not limited to:

  • Employers that hire truck drivers even though they know the driver has no valid commercial driver’s license
  • Employers who look the other way or otherwise encourage drivers to violate the number of hours they are legally supposed to be out on the road
  • Truck company owners who do not execute or require drug testing of truckers
  • Truck company owners who do not report truck crashes or safety issues to the government as required

Truck companies must do extensive background checks on drivers, especially with regard to their driving record before they are hired. They must also regularly offer training to its drivers to make sure they are up to speed with their skills and all state and federal rules that apply to truck drivers.

Contact Us

If you or a loved one suffered serious injury in a truck crash, the law firm of Metzger & Kleiner, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, can help. We provide a free initial consultation that will answer your questions and help you understand your rights. To schedule an appointment with an experienced Philadelphia personal injury attorney, contact us by e-mail or call our office at 215-622-2210 in Philadelphia, 610-563-2186 in the Lehigh Valley, or toll free at 800-228-1760.

We represent clients involved in all types of accident injury claims on a contingency basis, including claims involving serious truck crashes and negligent training, hiring, or supervision of truckers. We won’t charge attorney fees unless we recover compensation for your losses.

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