Trucking companies are required to practice due diligence when hiring commercial truck drivers. Federal law requires that commercial truck drivers receive sufficient training, pass medical and drug screening, and provide a criminal activity history. Unfortunately, some employers hire unqualified truck drivers in order to reduce costs. When a trucking company engages in negligent hiring practices and a driver causes an accident, the company may be legally responsible for damages caused by their employee. At Therman Law Offices, we seek to maximize compensation for our clients through proper case investigation, legal analysis, and diligent advocacy. Our Wheaton and Schaumburg truck accident attorneys bring over thirty years of combined experience helping injured individuals and their families recover the compensation they deserve.Negligent Hiring and Liability Following a Tractor Trailer Collision
According to Illinois law, when an employment relationship exists, it places a duty on the employer to use reasonable care in hiring only competent individuals. Trucking companies have a legal responsibility to reduce the risk of harm posed by their employees. By hiring licensed, properly trained truck drivers and screening for potential medical issues and criminal behavior, employers meet their due diligence. Federal law also requires employer trucking companies to conduct due diligence when hiring drivers and inquiring into potential drug and alcohol violations under the safety regulations issued by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
Negligent hiring is a cause of action against an employer for failing to reasonably hire an employee. Following a truck accident, the injured individual in a personal injury claim must prove the employer knew or should have known that the employee was unfit for the position and posed a danger of harm to others. The plaintiff must also show that the employer knew or should have known of this unfit nature at the time the employee was hired, and that this unfitness ultimately caused the plaintiff's injury.
For example, if at the time of hiring, the employer knew their driver had an alcohol abuse issue and the driver’s intoxication led to a collision, the plaintiff may be able to show that their injury was foreseeable to a person in the employer’s position. Asserting liability following a truck accident requires the plaintiff’s lawyer to carefully analyze the causes of the crash as well as secure documentation surrounding the hiring process for the truck driver. Evidence that the employer was on notice of the alcohol issue may come in the form of records indicating a previous alcohol violation on the job.Damages Available in a Negligent Hiring Truck Accident
A successful personal injury lawsuit provides a way for victims and their loved ones to recover costs for medical expenses and other related damages, including emotional pain and suffering. Compensation available to victims and their loved ones is intended to put them in a position they would be had the accident not occurred. The challenge following a truck collision is that damages tend to be extensive, due to the size and weight of the commercial truck.
After establishing the negligence of the trucking company, plaintiffs calculate their quantitative costs for medical care, physical rehabilitation and property damage. If modifications are needed to the home due to ongoing physical issues, these costs may also be recovered. Missed wages from work due to hospitalization and recovery are included in a damages assessment, as are expected costs of future medical care. If a truck accident causes an untimely death, Illinois law provides that a surviving family can file a wrongful death claim.Consult a Skilled Attorney in Wheaton or Schaumburg to Help with Your Claim
At Therman Law Offices, our Wheaton and Schaumburg lawyers investigate and strongly advocate for our clients injured by the negligence of companies in hiring unfit drivers. Our office provides a complimentary consultation concerning your claim, and we can be reached by calling 773-545-8849 or through our online form. We are prepared to help and have assisted people throughout the areas of Hoffman Estates, Elgin, Hanover Park, Streamwood, Bloomingdale, Wood Dale, Bartlett, Glendale Heights, Carol Stream, Bensenville, Lombard, and Roselle.