Horrific truck accidents have been in the New Jersey news in the last few weeks with three young women killed just before the holidays and most recently a pedestrian struck and killed by a truck. While these specific accidents are under investigation and the cause is unknown, all too often truck accidents involve negligence on the truck driver and trucking company with lax safety protocols like not performing or ignoring negative driver background checks. Liability in a truck accident is often complex because many parties are involved. If you’ve been injured in a truck accident, you should consider consulting with an experienced attorney specializing in truck accidents.
In truck accident cases, the driver alone may not bear full responsibility. The trucking company could be found liable if they weren’t following safety guidelines and/or maintaining proper policies. At the same time, the unqualified driver may also bear liability for the accident through his or her negligence based on the same duty of care standards. Truck drivers are responsible for following all laws and regulations and if they failed to do so they may be deemed to have breached the ordinary standard of care. Liability in a truck accident can be complex and is one of the key reasons to consult an experienced truck accident attorney to understand your case and your options.
Driver Background Checks and Liability
Companies, including trucking companies, owe a duty of care to the general public. This involves the obligation to exercise a certain level of caution and prudence as would be expected of any ordinary individual. Checking to make sure that drivers pass a background check is exercising appropriate caution and prudence. A company that hires an unqualified driver or driver that would not pass a background check can be found to be negligent.
At the same time, an unqualified driver, i.e. one who wouldn’t pass a background check, may also be found negligent and be held liable for an accident. Trucking companies once avoided liability by leasing their tractors and trailers and designating their drivers as independent contractors. They would invade liability by claiming the driver was not an employee of the company.
However, this practice has been largely ended through federal laws and regulations. Currently, in truck accident cases – due to the employee/employer relationship between the trucker in the trucking company – the company may still bear liability for a truck accident.
Brandon J Broderick, Attorney at Law, Truck Accident Lawyers Can Help
Are you considering talking to an attorney about an injury you or a loved one sustained in a truck accident? At, Brandon J Broderick, Attorney at Law, we believe in compassion and empathy and want to help. Contact us today for a free consultation. With our proven track record of success, we can get you the justice you deserve.