What Duty Do Trucking Companies in North Carolina and Elsewhere Have to Investigate Would-Be Drivers?

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What responsibility does a company have to investigate a potential employee prior to hiring that person to fill a particular position? The answer to that question depends upon several factors, including the potential for harm to the employer’s clients and the general public if the “wrong” type of individual is hired.

Exactly what amounts to “wrong” varies from industry to industry, with there being considerable variation in what should trigger a red flag during the pre-employment investigative process. For instance, a school looking to hire a pre-school teacher would probably be very concerned about an accusation of child sexual abuse at a prior job, and a bank would be very unlikely to hire a person convicted of armed robbery.

Proper Hiring Practices in the Trucking Industry

The trucking industry also has a responsibility to protect the public – including motorists with whom big rigs must share the road – from harm by exercising reasonable care in the hiring process of professional drivers. According to an article on a website directed at those in the heavy duty trucking industry, motor carriers should exercise “due diligence” in screening new hires, or else they may find themselves a defendant in a negligent hiring lawsuit if a driver causes an accident.

The article goes on to define “due diligence” as taking steps such as pulling a potential driver’s pre-employment screening program (PSP) records from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, reviewing the applicant’s motor vehicle record (MVR) from the state department of motor vehicles, and verifying his or her previous employment.

The article also cautions that driver hiring practices should be put in writing and that employers should re-evaluate employees if they receive a negative report from a co-worker or if the employee’s job responsibilities change.

How Does a Person with 55 Prior Arrests Get Hired as a Truck Driver?

There has been a lot of online discussion recently concerning a fatal accident in New Jersey allegedly caused by a truck driver who, according to media reports, had a lengthy arrest record. That driver, who reportedly smelled of alcohol when he was removed from his truck after ramming a car and fatally injuring its occupant, had been arrested dozens of times prior to being hired as a truck driver. As a result of this most recent incident, he is now facing charges of aggravated manslaughter, vehicular homicide, and aggravated assault.

Although no civil lawsuit has been filed as of yet, it is very possible that the family of the person killed in the accident could file suit against the trucking company that hired the driver who caused the accident. If the suit proves successful, the family could receive a substantial damages award.

Get Started on Your North Carolina Truck Accident Case

The insurance companies that represent truckers and trucking companies have large staffs and deep wallets. They can – and often do – have an investigative team on the scene within days (or even hours) of a major accident. If an injured person is to have any chance at a fair settlement or judgment, it is imperative that he or she retain legal representation as soon as possible after a serious truck wreck. To talk to an experienced North Carolina truck accident lawyer, call Nagle & Associates at (888) 841-7177 and ask for a free case evaluation. The sooner you make the phone call, the sooner our team of legal professionals can be advocating for your side of the case!

Related Blog Posts:

North Carolina Truck Crash is 56th Fatal Accident in Two Years for Trucking Company

Criminal Charges Filed in North Carolina Truck Wreck Case – How it Could Affect Possible Litigation

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