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What Is Negligent Hiring, and What Does It Mean for My Truck Accident Case?

After a truck wreck, all eyes often turn to the driver and their behavior leading up to the crash. But what if the truck driver isn’t the only one who’s to blame for the crash that injured you?

More and more freight companies are hiring drivers who have no business being behind the wheel. Shortages of driver applicants mean that people with known health and behavioral problems are getting hired into driving positions, and putting them behind the wheel puts other drivers at risk.

Read on to learn more about negligent hiring and what it means for your truck crash case.

What is Negligent Hiring?

Negligent hiring laws are based on the idea that employers should be held responsible for the actions of their employees and are liable for any wrongful acts an employee commits while performing their job duties. A company who engages in negligent hiring can and should face legal and public relations consequences for any harm that results.

For example, a trucking company may have engaged in negligent hiring if:

  • The company did not conduct sufficient background checks or drug tests.
  • The company did not mandate physical exams for employees.
  • The company had prior knowledge of an employee’s tendencies to engage in unsafe or reckless behavior that could harm others.
  • The company did not contact the employee’s references for insight into their past work behavior.

RELATED ARTICLE: How Trucking Companies Cause Deadly Truck Accidents

Why Don’t Trucking Companies Have Better Hiring Practices?

You might be wondering: if trucking companies know they can be held liable for their employees’ actions, why don’t they develop better hiring practices?

Sometimes, trucking companies don’t have enough applicants to fill their available jobs. The trucking industry is facing a widespread shortage of qualified drivers, and more and more companies are trying to address this shortfall by loosening their hiring standards.

However, negligent hiring has been a problem within the trucking industry since long before the current truck driver shortage. Many fly-by-night, unsafe trucking companies only care about short-term profits and refuse to put in the time, money, and effort to properly screen and train their drivers.

Many unsafe trucking companies have plenty of experience dealing with negligent hiring claims. Some of these companies have defense attorneys who are experts at manipulating the law to get their clients out of being held liable for negligent hiring practices.

RELATED BLOG ARTICLE: The Truck Driver Shortage Is Getting Worse — And More Dangerous

Morgan Adams Wins Negligent Hiring Case Against Large Freight Broker

One example of a large trucking company with a history of engaging in negligent hiring and avoiding the consequences is C.H. Robinson. This global freight service has frequently used federal preemption laws to avoid paying victims who have suffered due to the company’s negligent hiring practices. One of these negligent hiring cases against C.H. Robinsons came across Seattle Truck Law Attorney Morgan Adams’ desk, and despite C.H. Robinson’s track record of successfully dodging negligent hiring lawsuits, Morgan Adams decided to take the case.

The case in question involved a truck driver for Luga Transportation, a company with a poor safety record that C.H. Robinson negligently hired to haul a freight shipment. The truck driver for Luga Transportation lost control of his truck and rolled over, causing a collision with a passenger vehicle that injured the vehicle’s driver.

Due to Morgan Adams’ thorough investigation, the court ruled against C.H. Robinson when the company attempted to use the federal preemption laws as it had in the past. The court said the negligent hiring claim could not be preempted because the claim “would only require that Robinson conform to the general duty of care when it hires trucking companies to deliver goods” (Nyswaner v. C.H. Robinson) and would not cause any state regulatory issues.

Have You Suffered Injuries in a Truck Wreck in Washington? Contact Seattle Truck Law for Help

If you or a loved one suffered serious injuries in a truck wreck, the freight company may be as much to blame as the truck’s driver. Seattle Truck Law Attorney Morgan Adams can investigate your case to determine whether the company engaged in negligent hiring and then handle the details of your legal claim so you can focus on recovering.

To schedule your free consultation with an experienced truck accident attorney, fill out our easy and convenient online form or call 866-580-HURT (4878). Remember, the window for filing a successful truck accident claim after a crash is limited, so don’t wait to contact us and get help.

Reference

Nyswaner v. C.H. Robinson Worldwide Incorporated, 353 F.3d 892 (9d Cir. 2019).

The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.

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