Georgia Trucking Accidents: Negligent Supervision
In many cases, the actual operator of a truck that causes an accident and injuries is not the only party responsible for compensating those affected. The civil law has a doctrine that applies in the context of a trucking related injury that may hold owners responsible for hiring poor drivers.
The logic is clear: An employer hired an employee to follow their direction and serve them. The employer then profits from the relationship. Therefore, the employer cannot just take the good and leave the bad. If the employee causes damage while trying to turn a profit on behalf of their boss, the boss is also on the hook for any harm caused in the scope of employment. This is called vicarious liability or respondeat superior.
However, a good attorney also knows that an employer can be held liable for their own negligence rather than through the employee/employer relationship. This can come about through several methods like negligent hiring or negligent retention.Dangerous Drivers with a Poor Driving History
According to Georgia case law, an employer can be held responsible for the negligent actions of their employees when they knew or should have known that the person they hired was not able to properly perform the duties they were hired to do. This means that if a driver with a poor safety record behind the wheel is hired, or a driver accumulates such a history during employment and is allowed to keep their job, the employer has violated their duty of care to other drivers on the road. Employer liability can also be created if the employee simply has a reputation for being a bad driver.
For example, if a driver has been fired from a previous job or had their license suspended for reckless driving or operating under the influence, hiring that person could be negligent behavior. This legal concept can also be applied if employers do not use reasonable care to screen potential employees and filter out applicants who have been a danger in the past.
Additionally, employers can be held liable if they keep bad drivers on the pay roll. If an employee exhibits sufficiently hazardous conduct after being hired, they should be let go. Otherwise, an employer may be liable for negligent retention.Drivers with Lack of Training
Another source of potential liability for a trucking company is not preparing employees for the job in a satisfactory manner. This can come about when an employee has not been taught how to inspect the vehicle. For example, he may not know how to monitor tire pressure or dangerous wear to the brakes or wheels. Companies are responsible for educating employees on how to do their jobs safely. If a company does not and injury occurs, you are entitled to compensation for the company's negligence.
Experienced Georgia Truck Accident Attorney The legal details surrounding negligent hiring and retention cases in Georgia are complex. Significant analysis and investigation is required to collect sufficient evidence to prove these claims. That is why it is important to consult with only experienced, proven legal professionals on these matters.
If you or someone you know has been injured in a trucking accident contact the Persons Firm by calling 770 424 5125 immediately for a free consultation.