Lack of Truck Driver Training
Operating large tractor-trailers is a huge responsibility that must be earned after several hours of training, both in the classroom and on the road. Unfortunately, some trucking companies and commercial drivers take shortcuts when it comes to satisfying these requirements. The consequences can be devastating for other motorists on the road who are involved in a collision as a result of a driver’s lack of proper training. Attorney Matt Uhrig has helped numerous truck accident victims in Columbia and elsewhere in Missouri seek the compensation they deserve for their injuries. Our team of skilled professionals is ready to help you assert your rights.Establishing Negligence due to Inadequate Driver Training
Truck drivers are subject to regulation by the United States Department of Transportation. This entity creates and revises laws that require drivers to complete a certain amount of in-class training before getting behind the wheel of these powerful vehicles. According to the Department of Transportation’s laws, it is the trucking company’s responsibility to ensure that all of its employees have complied with the necessary training requirements. Additionally, drivers are subject to recurring training and must recertify on a periodic basis in order to continue operating large trucks.
In order to recover compensation for harm sustained as a result of a collision due to a driver’s lack of training, the plaintiff usually must bring a negligence claim, which has four elements. First, the plaintiff must show that the defendant owed the victim a duty of care. In general, the duty of care requires motorists to operate their vehicles with the same amount of ordinary skill and care that a reasonably prudent motorist would use in a similar situation. Commercial drivers are subject to some heightened duties of care. In many cases, each party will hire a trucking industry expert to testify about the regulations and requirements that truck drivers must satisfy, and about the applicable standard of care in a given case.
The second element of a negligence action requires the plaintiff to show that the defendant breached the standard of care. Unfortunately, many truck drivers consume alcohol or drugs while operating their vehicles despite the Department of Transportation’s strict no-tolerance drug and alcohol abuse policy. Companies are typically required to submit their drivers to random drug testing to prevent substance-related accidents. If a driver was intoxicated at the time of the collision, or if the company failed to comply with applicable drug testing requirements, a breach has occurred. Other breaches include speeding, running red lights, and failing to comply with basic traffic laws.Pursue Compensation for Your Injuries
After establishing duty and breach, the plaintiff must show that he or she would not have suffered injuries but for the defendant’s breach. This element is known as causation, or cause-in-fact. Finally, the victim must submit evidence of his or her damages, often including medical expenses, physical therapy, medications, lost wages, loss of future earning capacity, and pain and suffering. If you have been involved in a truck accident, it is critical to see a medical provider immediately to determine the nature and scope of your injuries. This also creates a record of your treatment to be used during negotiations, or at trial.
Due to the massive size of these vehicles, many trucking accidents result in the tragic death of one of the victims. In this instance, the surviving heirs can bring a wrongful death claim to seek compensation for the loss of their loved one.Enlist a Columbia Attorney after a Truck Accident
Suffering injuries as the result of a truck driver’s lack of training is a devastating and avoidable situation. If you or someone you know has been involved in a collision with a truck or commercial vehicle in the Columbia area, the dedicated injury lawyers at the Law Office of Matt Uhrig can help. We can assist you along every step of the way, including the gathering and preservation of evidence and negotiating with opposing counsel and insurance companies. We offer a free consultation, so you have nothing to lose. Call us now at (573) 657-2050 or contact us online to set up your appointment. We also serve residents of Ashland, Jefferson City, and other communities throughout Missouri.