Trucking companies have a duty to ensure that their drivers are properly trained in how to operate large, commercial trucks. When a trucking company fails to meet the standard of reasonable care in evaluating, training, and hiring competent drivers, it may be liable if an accident occurs. Accident victims have a legal right to pursue compensation from the truck driver as well as their employer, depending on the specific facts surrounding the accident. Employers may be found at fault under several theories of liability, including negligent hiring. The Chicago truck accident lawyers at Katz, Friedman, Eagle, Eisenstein, Johnson & Bareck advocate on behalf of injured individuals, advancing their right to compensation for their accident-related harm. After investigating all of the potential causes of an accident, we can help you bring a claim based on the negligence of a truck driver or their employer.Seek Compensation from a Trucking Company for a Crash Related to Negligent Hiring
Negligent hiring is a theory of law that may apply in a personal injury claim following a truck accident. This theory of law holds employers accountable when they have failed to exercise due care in hiring their employees. A victim plaintiff must demonstrate that the employee was not fit or competent to perform the job duties for which they were hired, and the employer knew or should have known that the employee was incompetent or unfit. Finally, the victim must show that they were harmed by this incompetence and that the employer's failure to meet the duty of care substantially caused their harm.
Meeting the elements of a negligent hiring claim may prove complex, but employers are legally responsible if they knew or should have known that an employee carried a risk of harm. Proving knowledge, either actual or constructive, requires a careful investigation into the details of the employee’s record and past work history. Employers that may not have actually known of a driver’s potentially unfit nature may still be at fault if they did not use reasonable care to investigate the employee before they hired them.
Negligent hiring holds employers directly responsible for accidents caused by their employees. In other words, when a trucking company knows or should know that hiring a specific driver carries a risk, and that risk becomes a reality, the employer may be legally at fault.
Trucking companies must meet state and federal regulations for hiring drivers. An example of negligent hiring may consist of overlooking the fact that an employee has multiple citations for driving under the influence or a record of past misconduct. Employers violate their legal duty if they are on notice that a driver is not competent to operate a commercial truck, but they hire the driver regardless.
The damages that may be recovered in a negligent hiring claim include medical costs, missed wages from work, pain and suffering, property damage, and potentially punitive damages, which are meant to punish the defendant trucking company. This type of legal claim increases the exposure of the trucking company, and in some cases, evidence of other accidents and violations will be on display to the jury. Often, the company’s hiring practices will be revealed. This may affect a claim for punitive damages, particularly if there is compelling evidence concerning inappropriate company policies.Retain a Truck Crash Lawyer in the Chicago Area or Beyond
Truck accident victims may pursue a legal claim against a trucking company for negligent hiring if they have suffered injuries in a crash, and the facts indicate that the company knew or should have known of the driver’s unfit nature. A claim of negligent hiring may present complex legal issues surrounding whether the company had knowledge that the truck driver was unsafe. The motor vehicle collision attorneys at Katz, Friedman, Eagle, Eisenstein, Johnson & Bareck understand the importance of presenting a strong case for liability and exposing commercial trucking employers for negligent conduct that results in an accident. Our Chicago attorneys provide personal, compassionate legal representation to victims throughout the state and are committed to advocating for people in Springfield, Quincy, Aurora, Champaign, and other areas of Cook, Kane, Sangamon, Adams, and Winnebago Counties. To schedule a free consultation with a skilled lawyer, call our office at (800) 444-1525 or contact us online.