You need help after a serious truck accident. While you are dealing with the physical side of recovery, financial damages like medical bills and lost wages are steadily piling up. McMath Woods P.A. can provide the guidance and support you need to secure compensation after an accident.
We know that going up against the trucking company and its insurer is no small task, but we have what it takes to collect evidence that not only proves liability, but that can also help establish a pattern of poor driving behavior. Here’s what our attorneys are looking for when they request truckers’ employer records.
Professional truck drivers are required to have a commercial driver’s license, also known as a CDL. There are different classes of CDL licenses, such as Class A or Class B, that demonstrate a driver has the knowledge and experience to drive certain classes or types of vehicles. Special endorsements are also required to operate vehicles with double trailers, triple trailers, tanks, or those carrying hazardous materials.
A driver who only has a non-commercial driver’s license should never be behind the wheel of a large truck like a tractor-trailer. If a driver manages to gain employment without the proper licensure, they can be held liable for any injuries and damages they cause in an accident, as can their employer. When an attorney requests a trucker’s employer records, they will look to see whether the employer knew about the trucker’s licensure status. There are multiple situations in which a trucking company might be held liable for a non-licensed driver’s accident, including:
- If they knew the driver did not have a CDL but looked the other way.
- If they were unaware the driver did not have a CDL because they failed to adequately look into their credentials.
According to 49 CFR § 391.23, trucking companies must complete multiple background checks on drivers. One of those background checks should include a check of the last three years in any state where the prospective employee has held a license. There should never be a situation in which a trucking company is not aware that one of its drivers does not have a CDL with the correct endorsements.
Past Driving Offenses
As part of the required background checks for prospective drivers, trucking companies must also check for any past driving offenses. These background checks are meant to exclude drivers with proven histories of reckless driving from the trucking industry. Truck accidents are serious, and often cause much greater harm to passenger vehicle occupants than to truck drivers themselves. It is a trucking company’s responsibility to ensure that they only hire drivers who follow the rules of the road and behave well behind the wheel.
When your attorney requests a trucker’s employer records, they will look for evidence of the following:
- Speeding tickets
- Citations for other traffic violations
- A documented history of reckless driving
- Driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI) arrests
- Hours-of-service (HOS) violations
Trucking companies are obligated to only hire those who will drive safely. The trucking company can be found liable for an accident if they conduct a pre-employment background check on a driver, notice a lengthy history of driving offenses, and hire them anyway. Liability can also be assigned to these companies when they fail to do a background check for driving offenses, or when they perform a background check but do not look at the results.
Employer records can also document any prior accidents. Although accidents can happen to even the safest drivers, any evidence of a truck driver causing past accidents could help show that they have a pattern of reckless or negligent behavior.
Pre-employment background checks include more than just information about a person’s CDL history. This means that even an accident caused while driving a personal vehicle and using a non-commercial driver’s license should show up in a background check. Drivers might be found liable for an accident for a number of reasons, including if they:
- Were speeding at the time of the accident
- Ran a red light or stop sign
- Were under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Tailgated or followed too closely
- Did not take driving conditions like rain or ice into account
- Failed to check their mirrors or blind spots
- Engaged in road rage or aggressive driving behaviors
If the reason for a trucker’s prior accident lines up with the reason for your accident, you can use that information to support a claim that the driver was negligent and knew that what they were doing was unsafe.
Additional Information Found in Trucker Employer Records
When performing the pre-employment background check, trucking companies must check for information regarding alcohol and drug screenings. This includes both passed and failed tests, as well as any refusals to submit to screenings.
Trucking companies should also verify employment with any past employers that an applicant has cited. Anyone may list any employer on their application, so it is up to the trucking company to verify that this information is true and accurate. Information about driving behavior, violations, and crashes can also be obtained from former employers when possible.
Getting the Compensation You Deserve
Injuries associated with trucking accidents are notoriously severe. Victims often come to us after suffering:
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Broken bones
- Internal organ damage
- Spinal cord damage
- Back injuries
These are life-altering injuries, many of which have long-term or even permanent implications. At McMath Woods P.A., we believe that every truck accident victim deserves compensation to address the full scope of their injuries. You’ll need help paying your medical bills, replacing lost income, and paying for any auto damages. Perhaps you even need the finances to find a new place to live if your current home does not support any disabilities you developed as a result of the truck accident.
Requesting truckers’ employer records is just one way in which we will work tirelessly on your behalf. From requesting the truck driver’s employment records to collecting evidence that proves liability, we will be there for you every step of the way. Do not delay; contact us to schedule a confidential consultation and give us the opportunity to get to work for you.