Negligent hiring is a basis for establishing negligence on the part of an employer and is used in many different personal injury cases. In the trucking context, negligent hiring usually relates to a truck driver who is on the job but fails to meet the minimum safety standards or is disqualified to operate a commercial motor vehicle.
Negligent hiring relates to the conduct of the motor carrier in retaining the specific driver in question. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations set forth the specific steps must accomplish prior to hiring a new truck driver.
The Regulations are very specific about what a trucking company must do to ensure that the driver they hired is qualified and safe to operate and 80,000-pound vehicle on public highways. Because of the potential for serious injury or wrongful death, it is critical that every commercial driver meets the minimum safety standards established under the Regulations, which were adopted in the state of Texas.
Negligent hiring can also include negligent retention, which is the keeping on of a truck driver who is not qualified or capable of driving safely after the motor carrier knows or should know that the truck driver is an adequate.
Because the Regulations are so specific about what is required of the truck driver in order to drive a big rig and what is required of a trucking company before they hire the driver, there is quite a bit of overlap between negligent hiring and violations of the Federal Rules.
Factors such as medical conditions, prior driving records, prior accident history and use of drugs or alcohol all can come into play in a negligent hiring claim.
If you have questions regarding an 18-wheeler accident and would like to speak to an attorney experienced in such matters contact Greg Baumgartner for a no obligation consultation – we charge no fee unless we recover money for you.
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