Unqualified Truck Drivers
Unqualified truck drivers can make the roadways in Texas more dangerous for everyone. Learn more about the risks associated with inexperienced and unqualified truckers.
Truck accidents are unique for many reasons, one of them being how challenging it can be to determine who’s responsible. In some cases, however, the at-fault party is clear: inexperienced or unqualified truck drivers.
This issue is particularly prevalent in certain areas, including Texas. Drivers are desperately needed to transport essentials, like oil, across the state. While doing so, truck drivers are expected to drive through some of the most dangerous roads, including I-20, I-35, and U.S. Route 285.
Although they shouldn’t be, truck accidents with unqualified drivers are common. If you’ve sustained injuries in a truck accident caused by the driver, The Lanier Law Firm is ready to help you.
Common Mistakes Unqualified Truck Drivers Make
Because unqualified drivers do not have the skills, knowledge, and ability needed to successfully operate a commercial truck, mistakes are inevitable. Some mistakes unqualified truck drivers might make include:
- Changing lanes unsafely
- Driving too fast in unsafe conditions
- Making turns incorrectly
- Improperly steering the truck
- Ignoring important road signs
- Driving while fatigued
These and other mistakes can result in unnecessary and unfortunate collisions.
Trucking Companies Are Responsible for
When a trucking company hires a driver, they take responsibility for them. Companies should thoroughly investigate their drivers before offering employment because an unqualified driver could be a liability.
Trucking companies are responsible for ensuring their drivers:
- Are of-age
- Have the proper training and licensure
- Meet physical requirements
- Have a clean background
- Are responsible drivers
- Follow all state and federal regulations
If an unqualified truck driver causes an accident while on the job, the trucking company can face repercussions.
Trucking companies are responsible for investigating their drivers not only before offering employment but also as they continue to employ them. Employers must maintain a proper record of all their drivers and keep track of any changes or violations that could be a problem.
FAQs About Unqualified Truck Drivers
What qualifications do you need to be a truck driver?
Not just anyone can become a commercial truck driver. The basic qualifications to become a truck driver in Texas are as follows.
Meet the Age Requirements
Truck drivers must be at least 18 years old. Drivers between 18 and 20 can only drive within state lines; they must be at least 21 to drive across state lines.
Have a Clean Driving Record
Drivers must have a clean driving record in every state in which they’ve held a license. Additionally, they will have to pass a background check.
Because trucking is so dangerous, trucking companies want to feel confident hiring drivers with clean driving and criminal records. This limits the possibility of future issues.
Obtain a Commercial Driver's License (CDL)
A regular driver’s license will not allow someone to drive a semi-truck — they’ll need to obtain a special commercial driver’s license (CDL).
The CDL driving test includes multiple parts, and most people complete a specialized course before obtaining a commercial driver’s license.
Meet the Physical Requirements
Truck driving takes a toll on the body. Drivers sit for hours at a time and often load and unload heavy materials on and off their trucks. Therefore, a truck driver should meet certain physical requirements.
The Department of Transportation requires truck drivers to pass a physical test to ensure they’re qualified and ready to take on the task. If an individual cannot pass the physical examination, it would be unsafe to allow them to drive a truck.
What could disqualify you from being a trucker?
Someone who is already a truck driver can be disqualified for the following:
- Reckless driving
- Committing a felony while driving a truck
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Leaving the scene of an accident
Unfortunately, some unqualified drivers fall through the cracks and manage to get on the road. When this happens, truck accidents with unqualified drivers are much more likely to occur.
What happens when a truck driver gets into an accident?
When a truck driver is involved in a trucking accident, there will need to be an investigation to determine the cause of the accident.
Truck accidents are unique and complicated. Many things can go wrong and cause a collision. In many cases, the truck driver is not entirely at fault or not at fault at all.
However, if the cause of the accident was an unqualified truck driver, they’ll be held liable. This often results in the driver’s employer taking responsibility since employers are typically responsible for their employee’s actions and wrongdoings while on the job.
Do truck drivers get fired for accidents?
Whether a truck driver gets fired depends on the details of the accident and the driver’s employer.
Any of the following reasons will more than likely result in a truck driver getting fired:
- Driving under the influence
- Reckless driving
- Violating regulations
A truck accident doesn’t always result in the driver getting fired. But if the driver caused the accident, and the employer feels it is appropriate, they may decide to fire the driver.
What type of compensation is available for truck accidents with unqualified drivers?
How much compensation you’re entitled to depends on the details of your accident and resulting injuries and losses.
Damages for trucking accidents can include:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Rehabilitation costs
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Permanent disability
- Pain and suffering
Your truck accident attorney will review the details of your case to determine how much your case is worth. You can feel confident knowing your lawyer will work diligently toward achieving fair compensation on your behalf.
I’ve been involved in a trucking accident with an unqualified driver. How long do I have to file a lawsuit?
If you’d like to pursue compensation after an accident with an unqualified driver, you’ll have a limited amount of time to do so.
Under Texas and California laws, the statute of limitations for truck accident cases is two years from the date of the accident.
While you’ll still be able to file your lawsuit after two years, you’re unlikely to be successful. Upon noticing the expiration of time, a judge will dismiss your case, leaving you unable to pursue compensation for your truck accident injuries.
Because time is limited, consult with a qualified truck accident attorney as soon as possible to begin working on your case.
How a Lawyer Can Help You
A truck accident attorney can handle every aspect of your case so that you don’t have to. The lawyer’s responsibilities may include:
- Thoroughly investigating your case
- Gathering evidence and documentation
- Interviewing witnesses and experts
- Calculating your damages
- Communicating with insurance companies
- Negotiating for a fair settlement
- Representing you in court
While you’re free to handle your truck accident claim entirely on your own, a lawyer can make the process much easier and work toward getting you a more favorable outcome.
Consult with an Experienced Truck Accident Attorney Today
Since 1990, The Lanier Law Firm has been representing clients injured in truck accidents. With more than 60 attorneys and offices in Houston, New York, and Los Angeles, we’re able to help more clients seek the justice they deserve.
Our attorneys are known to go the extra mile for every client. Whether your case settles or goes to court, you can rest assured your case is in the best hands.
To schedule a free case evaluation, contact us online today.
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