Could Employer Negligence Be Responsible for My Texas Truck Accident?

Truck operators are not the only parties that can be held liable for commercial tractor-trailer or 18-wheeler accidents. In some cases, the freight company that employs the driver might be legally responsible. Freight companies have a duty to ensure that their drivers are safe and that they operate their vehicles in a safe manner. After being injured in a Texas truck accident, an investigation must be conducted as soon as possible in order to determine if it was caused by driver or employer negligence.  

How can a freight company be liable for a truck accident?

Freight companies are tasked with the safety and maintenance of the commercial vehicles they have on the road. They are also responsible for the dependability of their employees. This is why a truck accident investigation is so important. It will determine if the freight company’s action or inaction contributed to your accident. This is just one of the reasons why working with an experienced Dallas truck accident attorney is vital to receiving the financial compensation you deserve.

The Texas truck accident attorneys at Rasansky Law Firm can help you understand your rights after being injured by a truck driver or trucking company’s negligence. We will stand by you through each stage of the civil claims process and make sure you do not make any mistakes that could weaken your case and ultimately cost you money.  

Contact our Dallas-area personal injury team and schedule a free case review today.

Employer Responsibility in a Texas Truck Accident

Could Employer Negligence Be Responsible for My Texas Truck Accident?

When a freight company engages in negligent practices, it can lead to serious truck accidents. Further, a freight company’s negligence can impact a driver’s ability to do their job properly and safely. In both cases, the freight company’s negligence is cause for legal action if someone was severely injured. 

Trucking accidents are serious. They commonly result in personal injury lawsuits and even wrongful death. The most common types of trucking accidents are unsecured cargo, jackknifing, hazardous material, rollovers, and underride. 

Many people wonder how an employer can be at fault for a Texas truck accident when they were nowhere around when the crash occurred. Employers can be found at fault if they engaged in negligent hiring practices. They could also be at fault if extended driving hours or an improperly trained driver were to blame. Additionally, the responsibility for poorly maintained commercial trucks rests with the employer.

Negligent Hiring Practices

The manner in which freight companies hire their employees is crucial in maintaining road safety. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration published a report showing that 21% of all commercial truck drivers involved in fatal collisions in 2010 had a least one previous speeding violation on their driving record, and 13% of all commercial truck drivers involved in fatal collisions had been involved in a previous truck accident. While these figures do not indicate the percentage of times the driver was at fault in each accident, they underscore the significance of thorough screening during the hiring process.

By law, a freight company is required to look for certain factors during the initial screening of their potential truck drivers. Some examples of negligent hiring practices are:

  • Hiring someone who has a documented history of dangerous driving
  • Hiring someone who has a documented history of alcohol or drug abuse
  • Hiring someone who does not have a valid driver’s license or commercial driver’s license
  • Hiring someone with a documented history of at-fault accidents
  • Hiring someone without conducting a thorough background check

After being involved in a Texas truck accident, emphasizing the holes and shortcomings in a freight company’s hiring procedures and practices can be vital. An experienced truck accident attorney will be able to prove that the freight company failed to uphold its responsibility to take certain safety precautions. For example, if an accident involves a truck driver who was under the influence, their employer could be held liable if there is evidence that the driver had a history of driving under the influence or alcohol abuse.

Improperly Maintained Vehicles

A truck isn’t built the same way as a sports car. It is designed to haul freight. Handling is a secondary consideration. Freight companies are responsible for the routine inspection, maintenance, and upkeep of their fleet. Neglecting this maintenance can lead to catastrophic accidents out on the road. Some examples of improper vehicle maintenance are:

  • Lapsed inspections
  • Failing to maintain a truck according to federal regulations
  • Brake de-powering (disconnecting power from the brakes on the tractor and relying solely on the trailer’s brakes)
  • Using parts for longer than is recommended

Poorly Trained or Untrained Drivers

Not hiring drivers who are properly trained or not providing your drivers with a sufficient amount of training is another example of employer negligence. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, an agency of the United States Department of Transportation, has passed multiple laws regarding the hiring, testing, and training of commercial truck operators. According to these laws, the employer or freight company is responsible for ensuring that their drivers comply with the rules. Before they can hit the road, truck drivers are required to be fully trained in hours of service, driver qualification requirements, whistleblower protection, and driver wellness. 

Exceeding the Hours of Service

Freight companies are notorious for pushing their truck drivers to stay on the road for long hours in order to meet delivery times and be able to take more runs, both of which make the freight company more money. There are several rules and laws that regulate the driving hours a truck operator can work. A set of regulations known as the Hours of Service Rules were designed to prevent truck driver fatigue. The Hours of Service Rules are critical and are meant to be obeyed without exception. Any freight company that compels a driver to disregard them or to look the other way when another driver does is extremely negligent. 

Employer Negligence

It is a freight company’s job to make sure that their drivers and their trucks have everything they need to perform their job safely. When this is not the case, the company and/or employer need to be held accountable for the injuries and other damages they cause. 

Rasansky is an experienced Dallas, TX, truck accident law firm that can help you get the financial compensation you are entitled to.

Speak With a Texas Truck Accident Lawyer 

If you were injured due to the negligence of a truck driver or their employer, reach out to a Texas personal injury lawyer from the Rasansky Law Firm for a free review of your Texas truck accident case by calling (214) 617-1886 or filling out our online form.  

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Note: The information that was utilized in this post was gathered from the use of secondary sources. This information used has not been confirmed or independently verified. If you locate any information that is not correct, please contact our firm as soon as possible so that we can make the appropriate corrections. If you find any information that is false, we will remove or correct the post immediately after it is brought to our attention.

Disclaimer: As a valued member of the Dallas community, Rasansky Law Firm’s goal is to improve the safety of all residents in the great state of Texas. These posts should not be viewed as a solicitation for business and the information included herein should not be taken as medical or legal advice. The photos used in this post are not representative of the actual crash scene.

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