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Lack of Truck Driver Training

Motor Vehicle Collision Attorneys Helping Residents of Ocala

Truck accidents can have devastating consequences. It is not uncommon for them to result in catastrophic injuries, such as traumatic brain injury, paralysis and other spinal cord injuries, or disfigurement. In order to protect against the risk of these serious events, trucking companies are required to train their drivers under federal and state law. The training is rigorous, and once a trucker starts driving, he or she must follow detailed rules about hours worked and record keeping. If you suffer catastrophic injuries in an Ocala collision, you should contact a truck accident lawyer at the Dean Law Firm to discuss the legal action that you may be able to take.

Holding a Trucking Company Accountable for Inadequate Driver Training

Commercial truck drivers need training both in a classroom and on the road. There are multiple situations that can be very difficult to handle, including wide turns. However, training can be expensive. Moreover, there is a shortage of trained truck drivers, which means that some trucking companies in Florida may choose to retain less experienced and knowledgeable job applicants. As a result, there are commercial drivers on the road who are not trained to handle some difficult situations.

A truck driver's own insurance may not compensate for all the treatment, lost income, and pain and suffering that result from a devastating accident. If a trucker is negligent while performing work on behalf of an employer, the employer may be liable for the resulting harm under a theory of vicarious liability. However, a trucking company may not be held responsible if its negligent truck driver is off the clock and not doing anything for the employer's benefit when the accident happens. Similarly, if the truck driver is determined to be an independent contractor, vicarious liability will not apply.

However, if a truck driver's negligence is the result of improper training, an injured individual can directly sue a trucking company or other entity responsible for the training and seek the full extent of damages. The victim must show that the trucking company or other training entity failed to use due care to train the truck driver, and that it knew or should have known the driver was likely to cause an accident. It also must show that the lack of training caused the accident and that damages resulted.

Suing directly for negligent training may also permit a plaintiff to present evidence of other accidents associated with the truck driver or other employees of the trucking company. Under evidence rules, a truck driver's driving record usually is not admissible in a case against the individual trucker for negligence. However, if a plaintiff alleges the trucking company negligently trained the driver, the record may become relevant and admissible. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations require trucking companies to maintain a driver qualification file and to look into the driver's record. Presenting evidence that a trucking company ignored a truck driver's other accidents or has a pattern of failing to train other drivers may be useful to an accident victim’s case.

Consult an Experienced Truck Accident Lawyer in Ocala

At the Dean Law Firm, our motor vehicle collision attorneys represent Ocala residents and others who have suffered injuries as a result of a lack of truck driver training. We have assisted injured individuals throughout Florida, including in Crystal River, the Villages, and other communities in Marion, Sumter, Lake, Citrus, and Levy Counties. Our attorneys provide aggressive representation against truck drivers, their employers, and their insurers. Call us at 352-387-8700 or contact us via our online form.