Unqualified Truck Driver Accident Risks
Semi-truck accidents are exceptionally dangerous events that can occur when drivers make even the smallest of mistakes. It is imperative that semi-truck drivers take every precaution to avoid making such mistakes and causing a dangerous accident. One of the most important precautions that are taken to help prevent these mistakes is the extensive training that semi-truck drivers are required to go through. Ensuring that semi-truck drivers are certified to drive tractor trailers is also a responsibility of the companies that employ them. By taking shortcuts and hiring unqualified drivers, trucking companies put many on the road at risk of being involved in a semi-truck accident.
Semi-Truck Accident Claims
Those that have been involved in accidents with semi-trucks will often experience significant damages and severe injury. These injured truck accident victims may be able to seek compensation for their injuries with a truck accident injury claim should the accident be caused by a truck driver that was unqualified. A trucking company can be liable in a truck accident claim if it can be proven that they knowingly hired a truck driver despite them being unqualified.
Semi-Truck Driver Qualifications
In order to become a semi-truck driver, a person must undergo training at a truck driver training school where they will receive hands on experience operating a commercial tractor-trailer in a safe environment and classes that prepare for certification tests. A truck driving school will usually follow what is known as the U.S. Department of Transportation Proposed Minimum Standards for Training Tractor Trailer Drivers. These standards require 150 hours of basic semi-truck training. They also require a 150-hour externship and 80 hours of advanced training. After drivers receive this training they will try to get certification via testing for a commercial drivers license (CDL).
In the state of Florida, a CDL driving test must be passed in which the driver completes a 2 part exam that includes a knowledge and skills test. Once the skills test has been passed, a driver can be issued a CDL license. A prospective truck driver can take both tests at either a Florida Department of Driver Services or approved 3rd party testing site
Trucking Companies May Choose to Hire Unqualified Drivers
There are occasions where a trucking company may feel that it is necessary to take shortcuts when it comes to hiring drivers. Generally, this is considered negligent behavior and it will usually put people on the road at rick for a semi-truck accident. These shortcuts can actually take a variety of forms. For starters, many trucking companies do train their driver’s in-house and have their own education programs. Sometimes a driver may be fast tracked and not get the level of training that they should have.
The reason that this kind of negligence can occur changes from case to case but a major factor is the truck driver shortage that our country is facing right now. More than ever, trucking companies are struggling to find experienced drivers that can haul cargo to supply the massive demand that faces these companies. Some grow desperate and try to get as many drivers as possible on the road while sacrificing quality. They may choose to hire drivers that may not have the level of training that is needed to ensure maximum safety. In other instances drivers with histories indicating that they are unfit to work may slip through the cracks and end up on the road. A driver could have a history of alcohol or drug abuse. In some instances they may have a criminal history or even have caused accidents before. Each of these things can make a semi-truck driver a risk to other drivers on the road.
Contact an Experienced Florida Truck Accident Attorney
The best thing you can do when you are severely injured in a semi-truck accident is seek a lawyer experienced in semi-truck accident injury claims. You technically could pursue a claim on your own but the odds of you successfully navigating the many pitfalls of insurance tricks and legal process is greatly diminished. Insurance companies have everything they need to successfully deny a claim; as that is their goal since profits are their main priority. Insurance companies have the experience, personnel, resources, lawyers, and money to fight a claim to any extent necessary. If it turns into a “who can withstand the storm longer” type of situation, the answer will always be the insurance company when competing against an injured victim on their own.
It doesn’t cost you anything to get an injury attorney to look at your case. Likewise, truck accident lawyers don’t cost anything out of your pocket since they work on a contingency fee basis. This means they take a percentage of the settlement once the claim is seen through and don’t get paid at all if the injury victim doesn’t recover financial compensation. You or your loved one are likely significantly injured if you are even considering hiring a car accident attorney in the first place. So you should focus on your recovery while a professional works to maximize your settlement with the insurance companies and courts.
If you have been injured in a truck accident in the Stuart, Florida or Gainesville, Florida area, contact the experienced personal injury team at The Eberst Law Firm. We are ready to handle your case. You can contact us online or call us at 772-225-4900.
Stuart, Florida Office
101 SE Martin Luther King Jr Blvd
Stuart, FL 34994
Gainesville, Florida Office
716 E. University Avenue
Gainesville, FL 32601