Direct Negligence of an 18 Wheeler Operator
A truck company can be found directly negligent in an accident if it negligently hired the driver of its truck, failed to ensure that the truck driver was properly licensed, negligently entrusted the truck driver with the truck, failed to instruct properly the truck driver on the safe use of the truck in terms of loading, unloading, and driving, and for negligent maintenance of the truck as well as for failing to have truck properly equipped.
The trucking company has a “non-delegable duty,” i.e., a duty it cannot pass on to anyone else, to use reasonable care to equip and maintain the truck in compliance with the law. The truck must be equipped as required by statute and as is necessary for safe operation and must be maintained in a reasonably safe running condition. Failure to equip or maintain a truck as required by law gives rise to a presumption of negligence. No person can operate a commercial motor vehicle without a special driver’s license and without passing a special examination. A commercial truck driver who is convicted of any offense involving the safe operation of a truck or has his or her license or privileges suspended, revoked or canceled, must notify the employer within 30 days.
Under the law, no person may be issued a commercial driver’s license until passing a written and driving test for the operation of a commercial motor vehicle that complies with the minimum Federal standards. Further, until a truck driver passes the airbrake component of the knowledge test, they must have a license that restricts them from operating trucks with air brakes.
Drivers that operate a double trailer, tank vehicle, carry hazardous materials or transport certain kinds of loads require a special DMV endorsement to be able to drive.
Compensatory Damages in Truck Accident Cases.
In a truck accident case, the plaintiff can recover for past medical expenses, future predicted medical expenses, past wage loss, future predicted wage loss, and for past and future pain and suffering.The medical expenses are determined by the testimony of physicians or other health care providers. Frequently, an economist or an expert in the industry determines the amount of future wage loss; however, no expert can testify to the value of pain and suffering. Pain and suffering is typically the most significant element of a plaintiff’s damage and it includes emotional distress. Contrary to popular belief, there is no formula for pain and suffering awards and it varies greatly from case to case depending upon the location of the case, the seriousness of the injury, and how well the case is presented. Contact our Truck Accident Attorneys today