Even a small impact by a heavy truck can cause significant injuries to someone in a smaller vehicle. Commercial driving can be extremely challenging, and it requires special training. It is important for trucking companies to conduct background checks and properly supervise their employees to make sure that they are competent to handle a heavy big rig or other commercial vehicle. Unfortunately, some trucking companies are more concerned with profit than the safety of those who share the road with their drivers, and they may fail to supervise their employees. If you were involved in a Los Angeles collision due to a driver's negligence, the truck accident lawyers at Sharifi Firm may be able to help you sue the trucking company that employed the careless driver.Holding Trucking Companies Liable for Negligent Supervision
When a truck driver is in someone else's employment at the time he or she causes an accident, the victim may be able to sue the employer on indirect or direct theories of liability. Under a theory of indirect liability, like respondeat superior, a trucking company can potentially be held responsible for a driver's negligence. For example, if a truck driver was in the course and scope of employment and swung too wide on a turn, moving into a lane and crashing into a motorcyclist, the trucking company might be held responsible as long as the driver was responsible for the accident.
In contrast, negligent supervision is a theory of direct liability, in which the trucking company may be held liable for damages if its failure to supervise the driver was itself an act of negligence. For example, under federal and California regulations, drivers are required to keep a detailed log book of their hours of service, take mandatory rest breaks, adhere to weight limits for the loads they carry, and follow speed limits and other traffic laws. Trucking companies are required to conduct a background check before hiring drivers, and they must keep an eye on drivers after they are hired. They need to stay up-to-date on their employees’ driving records and avoid putting so much work-related pressure on a driver that he or she feels a need to disobey federal or state law in order to work a sufficient amount.
Trucking companies are required to make sure their truck drivers follow the log book rules, and they must make sure that a driver does not falsify hours. However, some drivers do falsify their logbooks or fail to keep them because they are concerned with making more money, or the work culture creates pressure to work more hours than is safe. A trucking company that looks the other way when it knows or should know that a truck driver has falsified a logbook can potentially be held responsible for negligent supervision.Discuss Your Motor Vehicle Accident Case with a Los Angeles Lawyer
People in the Los Angeles area who have been hurt in a motor vehicle collision can consult an experienced attorney at Sharifi Firm who is well-versed in federal and state regulations for drivers and trucking companies. These entities are usually represented by attorneys and insurers that will work hard to try to shift the blame to you. Sharifi Firm represents accident victims throughout Southern California, including in Rancho Cucamonga, Riverside, San Bernardino, and Temecula. Contact us at 1-866-422-7222 or via our online form for a free, no-obligation consultation.