Trucking Company Driver Records Can Help You Make Your Personal Injury Lawsuit Case
If a commercial truck driver injured you in a vehicular accident, you need to request the driver records from the trucking company. The trucking company is responsible for hiring qualified drivers and keeping detailed records on all of their drivers. Their driver records could be the key to winning your personal injury lawsuit against both the driver who hit you and the trucking company they worked for.
All Drivers Need To Be Qualified
To start with, all trucking companies are responsible for hiring qualified drivers. All drivers they hire must hold both a valid driver's license and a CDL. Each driver they hire must also pass a physical examination that shows they can meet the physical demands of truck driving.
Additionally, trucking companies are responsible for running background checks before hiring a driver in order to have an accurate picture of any pre-employment driving violations.
All Employee Records Must Be Accurate
Beyond the initial hiring process, trucking companies are required to keep accurate records on all employees. They have to update each employee's driving record at least once a year, and make note of any driving violations an employee has accumulated.
If an employee has an excessive amount of driving violations, it is the trucking company's job to determine if that driver is safe to be on the road in one of their commercial vehicles.
Trucking companies are also required by various state and federal laws to conduct routine drug screenings on all of their drivers. If a driver fails their drug screen, the trucking company is expected to take responsible actions against the driver. They may offer counseling to the driver, or terminate a driver's employment if they do not pass a drug screen.
Driver's Hours Of Service Need To Be Monitored
The federal government has established hours of service regulations for the trucking industry. Drivers are only allowed to drive a specific amount of hours per day before they stop and rest.
Trucking companies are responsible for checking all of their driver's hours of service logs. They are also responsible for keeping copies of these records as required by federal law. Trucking companies may not pressure drivers to break the law in order to get a load to a determined destination on time. Trucking companies are also not supposed to set unrealistic delivery deadlines for their drivers that would require them to break the law to meet the deadlines.
You Can Request Access To Employee Files
Through your lawyer, you can request that the trucking company whom employed the driver that caused your accident turn over all of their driver's records. You and your attorney can then review these records.
If the trucking company knowingly hired an unqualified driver, keep a driver employed who has numerous traffic violations, keep a driver employed who failed more than one drug test, or pressured a driver to violate terms federal hours of service, you can use this information against the trucking company in your personal injury lawsuit. It is the duty of the trucking company to insure they employ safe law abiding drivers. If their driver is at fault in an accident, they may be liable in court as well.
For more help, contact a personal injury attorney to learn more.