Liability for Accidents Involving Unqualified Truck Drivers

February 20, 2018 — by Mark T. Flickinger, JD
Tags: Personal Injury Trucking Accident Unqualified Driver

Trucking accidents cause serious injuries due to many factors. The sheer size of a truck versus the size of a passenger vehicle sets the stage for catastrophe when the two collide, and passengers in a car typically suffer several significant injuries. Recovering compensation for losses caused by a trucking accident requires finding causation, and then holding the responsible party accountable. One of the top causes of trucking accidents is being involved in incidents with unqualified truck drivers. If you have been hurt in a trucking accident in or around Provo, UT, reach out to Flickinger, Sutterfield, and Boulton. We have a thorough understanding of the specialized laws that apply to trucking accidents, and can put that knowledge to work for you.

What Causes a Driver to be Unqualified?

The phrase “unqualified truck driver” bears certain legal significance. It goes beyond an everyday understanding of the definition of unqualified, and includes a truck driver who has:

  • Had their license revoked, or
  • Does not have the requisite commercial driver’s license (a CDL)

In order to obtain a CDL, a driver needs to undergo specialized training. Driving a truck requires a different skill and knowledge set than is required to operate a passenger vehicle. Truck drivers take courses on topics including mandatory driving hour requirements, how to safely enter and exit a roadway, how to check the weight load of the cargo, how to use the larger mirrors trucks are outfitted with, and the need to perform a vehicle check before embarking on a delivery trip.

When a driver has not taken these classes, they do not possess the requisite skills to safely operate a large truck, and will not qualify for a CDL. In this regard, a driver who lacks these qualifications is considered unqualified. It is important to inspect the training and educational records of all drivers involved in a trucking accident to determine whether they are qualified or unqualified.

car driver holding head

How to Proceed Against an Unqualified Driver

If you have been in an accident with an unqualified truck driver, an attorney will likely recommend holding the trucking company responsible. Most drivers lack the assets needed to satisfy a large judgment, and that leaves the victim without the resources needed to obtain necessary medical care and ongoing treatment. However, attributing an accident to the trucking company requires an in-depth analysis to identify the pieces of evidence required to show culpability.

Only a thorough investigation can unearth the documents and data necessary to prove a trucking company engaged in negligent hiring of a driver, or implemented prohibited practices. Company records can reveal a history or hiring pattern, and can be beneficial in showing the trucking company bears responsibility for the accident. Our team of legal professionals has knowledge in this area and can help build a case that is designed to secure maximum recovery.

Schedule a Consultation

If you have been in a truck accident, it is critical to explore all avenues related to liability. We may find that the truck driver was unqualified, which can help determine the cause of the accident and assign fault. Reach out to Flickinger, Sutterfield, and Boulton to learn more. Contact us online or call our office at (801) 341-8424.