If you get into a truck accident, your injuries may be catastrophic. You may need lifelong care, as well as extensive medical treatment and vocational rehabilitation. You may have permanent injuries, such as amputation or disfigurement and scarring. Sometimes an individual truck driver's insurance policy has insufficient coverage for the serious harm that is sustained by an accident victim. However, in some cases, the driver may have been incompetent or fatigued due to an employer's negligent supervision. If so, someone who has been struck by a big rig in the Ocala area can consult the truck accident attorneys at the Dean Law Firm to pursue compensation directly from the driver's employer.Negligent Supervision by Trucking Companies
A trucking company must properly supervise any employee. If an employer violates this duty, it may be directly liable to anyone whom the employee injured. In order to recover damages from a trucking company for negligent supervision, you would need to show a duty to supervise the employee, a breach of this duty, a causal link connecting the breach of the duty to the accident, and quantifiable damages.
In contrast to a case based on respondeat superior, which might allow you to hold a trucking company vicariously liable for an accident, you can sue an employer directly for negligent supervision. If an employer knows or should know that one of its drivers is incompetent, it should not employ the driver to operate a big rig.
For example, if a trucking company notices that its driver is acting erratically and suspects drug use, it should test the driver or investigate in other ways. If the company fails to investigate, or if it finds out there is a drug problem but looks the other way, it has not properly supervised the employee.
Under federal law, trucking companies must not only screen applicants and conduct background checks from the outset but also keep a file on an employee. Negligent hiring is closely related to negligent supervision. The difference between them is timing. If a trucking company does a background check on a job applicant and hires him knowing that he has multiple DUIs in his background, and then he causes an accident, the company may be held directly liable for negligent hiring. If a trucking company hires a driver without adequately checking his background and only after hiring realizes that the truck driver frequently comes in smelling like alcohol, the company can possibly be held directly liable for negligent supervision.Contact an Ocala Attorney to Protect Your Rights after a Motor Vehicle Crash
When confronted with a lawsuit, most trucking companies will mount an aggressive defense. They often have a team of lawyers and insurers on their side that will do everything possible to pin the blame on the accident victim, or they may try to claim that they never suspected their driver had any sort of incompetence or problem. The trucking industry is heavily regulated, and it is important to retain an attorney who is familiar with all the rules, and how to gather the type of evidence that establishes negligent supervision and other relevant causes of action. At the Dean Law Firm, our motor vehicle collision lawyers assist Ocala residents and other individuals in Florida who have been hurt due to the carelessness of truck drivers or their employers. Many of our clients have come from Crystal River, The Villages, and other communities across Sumter, Lake, Marion, Levy, and Citrus Counties. We are aggressive advocates who can take your case to trial if necessary. Contact one of our attorneys at 352-387-8700 or via our online form.