If you own a trucking company, you depend on the hard work and safe driving of your truckers to deliver shipments on time and in a responsible manner. This is an important part of worker safety and good business operations.
Sometimes, however, a trucker is involved in a trucking accident on the job that injures a third party. That third party may try to pursue a legal claim. One ground for a legal claim against a trucking company might be negligent hiring, training and retention.
Negligent hiring, training and retention
Employers are responsible for appropriately hiring workers, giving workers the training they need to perform their job duties and firing workers when necessary.
Employers should perform background checks on potential employees. Certain criminal offenses may make hiring an employee inappropriate for the job. For example, a trucker with a history of reckless driving offenses may not be a good person to employ.
Employers are also responsible for ensuring their employees are properly trained. Truckers need a special driver’s license to legally operate a semi-truck. They also need to be trained in how to maintain their vehicles and how to load, unload and secure loads onto their vehicle.
Sometimes an employer must fire a trucker. For example, if a trucker gets a DUI or commits a reckless driving offense, it would be imprudent to continue to employ them.
Defending against truck accident claims
Truck accident victims might argue that you were negligent in hiring, training or retaining the trucker who was at the wheel at the time of the accident.
But if you can show you performed a background check, properly trained the trucker in their job duties and that the trucker did not commit a traffic infraction or violate trucking regulations while in your employment, you might be able to defend against truck accident claims.