Whose at fault if an inadequate background check was performed for a driver?Last updated on: May 31, 2021
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Before hiring a new driver, wise employers perform adequate background checks on all new applicants. Background checks allow them to find out about the person’s work history, criminal record, and driving record. This may help the employer decide whether or not the applicant is the right choice for the company.
When a trucking company or commercial business that relies upon drivers to deliver products or materials regularly fails to run a background check on all of its drivers, and one of those drivers causes an automobile accident in which people are hurt, the employer who neglected to do the background check may be held liable. If you think is what happened in your case, call Zinda Law Group today at (800) 863-5312 for your 100% free, confidential consultation. Our driving accident attorneys are nationwide and available to answer any questions you have regarding personal injury claims.
FEDERAL background check compliance on a commercial driver
The United States federal government has put forth certain regulations that apply to all those who drive commercial vehicles. In order to be qualified to drive a commercial vehicle, the driver must complete an application for employment that meets these requirements. Examples of some of the information required by the federal government are as follows:
- The name, address, date of birth, and social security number of the applicant
- The issuing state, number, and expiration date of the applicant’s commercial motor vehicle operator’s license or permit
- A list of all motor vehicle accidents in which the applicant was involved during the preceding 3 years
- A list of the applicant’s former employers during the 3 years preceding the date of the application
Commercial driver applicants must also certify that all information provided in the application is true and complete to the best of their knowledge. Federal law dictates that a personal shall not drive a commercial vehicle unless he or she has completed the application showing that he or she has met all of the above-mentioned federal regulations.
The employer of a commercial vehicle driver also has a duty to perform a background check on all potential drivers. Examples of information the employer must investigate and retain before hiring the applicant includes:
- Motor vehicle records from each state in which the applicant has held a commercial driver license or permit for the 3 years preceding the application
- Information regarding the driver’s safety performance history with the Department of Transportation within the past 3 years
- The applicant’s previous employment history for the past 3 years. This includes verifying the employment as well as investigating any motor vehicle accidents the driver had while with the previous employer.
- The applicant’s drug testing history to determine whether or not the driver ever violated the alcohol and controlled substance prohibition under the law.
Along with passing a background check, a commercial driver must also pass a current alcohol and drug test before being permitted to drive a commercial vehicle.
If an employer fails to perform an adequate background check on one of his or her drivers, the employer may be subject to legal ramifications. Further, if you were injured by a commercial vehicle driver, contact an accident lawyer with ample experience in trucking accidents. Zinda Law Group has helped countless individuals receive compensation in their motor vehicle accident lawsuits, and we may be able to help you too.
Common injuries caused by trucking accidents
There are many different injuries you may sustain due to an accident with a large commercial vehicle. In certain instances, minor injuries, such as cuts or scrapes, may be resolved at home and without serious medical treatment; more severe injuries, such as broken bones, may require hospitalization and long-term treatment. Examples of common motor vehicle accident injuries include:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Cuts and scrapes
- Broken bones
- Spinal cord injuries
- Torn ligaments
- Internal bleeding
If an employer performs an inadequate driver background check on their employee and that employee is subsequently involved in a commercial vehicle accident, the victim of the accident may be entitled to compensation for his or her injuries. Navigating the steps to seek compensation can be intimidating and time consuming for most people though, so you may want to contact an experienced injury lawyer in your area as soon as possible. Our experienced team has the resources and ability necessary to help guide you through each step of the legal process.
What to do if you have been injured by a commercial vehicle
Due to their enormous size and weight, getting into an accident with a commercial vehicle can be much more traumatic and damaging than getting into an accident with another passenger vehicle. Indeed, there were 5,006 large truck crash fatalities in the United States in 2019 alone. If you are one of the fortunate accident victims who has survived a crash with a commercial vehicle, follow these steps and you will be on your way to recovering:
1. Seek Medical Attention
The first thing you should do following any motor vehicle crash is to seek medical attention for your injuries. Even if you believe your damages are minor, a medical professional should be able to properly diagnose all of your injuries, even those you may not be able to see. After an accident, your adrenaline may be pumping high, masking serious internal injuries.
Further, a medical professional will be able to properly document each one of your injuries, including the costs to treat them. This may affect the amount of compensation you will be entitled to later on in your motor vehicle injury lawsuit.
2. Contact Local Law Enforcement
The next step is to contact your local law enforcement, such as the local police, to report the accident. Once the police are notified, they will be able to investigate the scene of the incident and create an official accident report. This accident report may be useful in determining fault and in negotiating a settlement agreement with insurance companies.
3. Document the Scene
After you have contacted local law enforcement, document the scene of the accident. You should take pictures of everything that may be important later on. For example, get multiple shots of the scene, property damage, injuries, and the surrounding area.
You should also write down everything you can remember about how the accident occurred, as well as what happened immediately following the accident. Although you may believe you will remember these facts in the future, your memory will soon start to fade. A lawsuit may take weeks, months, or even years to come to a conclusion; writing down everything you can remember immediately following the accident will help strengthen your case down the road.
Lastly, you should get and maintain certain information and documents. This information includes:
- The name and contact information of the truck driver
- The name and contact information of the trucking company
- The license plate number and vehicle identification number of the commercial vehicle
- The names and contact information of any witnesses
- A copy of the trucking company’s insurance information
4. Contact an Experienced Accident Lawyer Near You
The last step is to contact a knowledgeable and experienced injury lawyer in your area. Zinda Law Group has truck accident lawyers nationwide who have the resources and ability to help you with each step of your commercial vehicle lawsuit. Our attorneys have helped countless individuals get their lives back on track after catastrophic accidents and we may be able to help you too.
Our firm believes that an injury victim should not have to worry about their ability to afford top quality legal representation. That is why we offer free case evaluations and why you will not pay us unless we are successful in winning your case.
Getting into an accident with a commercial vehicle may leave the victim with physical injury, mental trauma, and significant property damage. That is why it is important to stay calm by understanding what to do following the incident. Zinda Law Group accident lawyers are here to ensure you will not have to face this difficult time alone.
Call a knowledgeable and experienced zinda law group driving accident lawyer today to discuss your potential lawsuit
Federal law dictates that an employer of a commercial vehicle driver must have performed an adequate background check before hiring the driver; failure to do so may result in the employer negligently hiring a driver. For instance, the driver may have a drug or alcohol abuse issue that the employer would have discovered if he or she performed a background check. If that driver later operates a commercial vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol while on duty for his or her employer, it may result in a motor vehicle accident and the subsequent injury, or death, of another individual.
If you have been involved in an accident with a commercial vehicle, contact Zinda Law Group today. Our injury attorneys understand you may be going through a difficult time. That is why we are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to answer any questions you have and to help guide you through the entire legal process.
We may be able to help you seek the maximum amount of compensation available in your case. Contact Zinda Law Group today at (800) 863-5312 for your 100% free consultation. You will not pay us a thing unless we are successful in winning your driving accident lawsuit. That is our No Win, No Fee Guarantee.
Meetings with attorneys are available by appointment only.