[GRAPHIC: Company Negligence 1. Hiring Process 2. Truck Maintenance Program 3 Record Keeping]
STEVEN GORDON: Truck company negligence to me is, I don't know, I, I think it's sort of an interesting area because here you've got a company that knows it's going to be employing drivers to go out on the road and potentially kill somebody. So what standards does that company follow in hiring the truck drivers?
And we know that sleep apnea is a big issue in our society and people don't get good quality REM sleep. Conversely, the truck driver should not drive fatigued. So I have a question for you, should that truck company assess that truck driver's medical records to see if he has sleep apnea? Should they do that? And if they don't do that and they hire a driver and then he has an accident because of fatigue, are they negligent for not doing so? I say yes.
And so, a truck company needs to have in place a set policy to review its drivers. They should assess their medical records. They should assess their driving history. And in my opinion, they should make the driver swear under oath that they don't have certain tickets because what a driver will do sometimes, they'll get a ticket, they'll pay it and ask for deferred adjudication so it doesn't show up on their record. So just running a Motor Vehicle report on them may not be enough. I think they should submit under perjury that they don't have any tickets.
So medical records, driving history, social history, work history, and they should have this policy in force. And then finally, of course, they should go on a very decent check run with the driver. That's one area of company negligence.
The other area of company negligence is their maintenance policy on the trucks. If a truck drives a certain amount of miles, can it go over those miles with, without having the brakes checked or the fluids checked? Is that something that is a requirement?
In addition to these matters and in addition to their maintenance program, the other is record keeping. Do they require their truck drivers to turn in their driving records? And do they keep them and do they make sure that there's no falsification of them?
Sometimes a truck company or, or any type of company will turn its eye to reality. They'll know that the driver is driving more hours than they should but they don't say anything because it's a productive driver. Well when that driver, that productive driver has an accident and injures or kills someone, that company should be held liable.
[GRAPHIC: Gordon, Elias & Seely, L.L.P. Truck Accident Attorneys at Law Call Toll Free 1-800-773-6770 www.TruckAccidentLaw.org]