Dallas Law Firm Blog

Truck Driver Disqualification and Negligence

Truck Driver Disqualification and Negligence Although it is often challenging to win a personal injury or wrongful death claim for compensation against a negligent trucking company – and virtually impossible without the aid of an experienced trial attorney – both Texas and Federal law hold professional CDL truck drivers to a far greater standard than to other motorists. Having a knowledgeable Dallas truck accident lawyer on your team means that you have someone who is experienced in investigating a semi-truck driver’s history in order to uncover any possible disqualifications.

Any time the driver of a semi-truck, 18-wheeler, or tractor trailer is found to be in breach of a Federal safety guideline or local traffic law, they can be cited and prohibited from driving for a certain amount of time. These offenses are recorded in the truck driver’s history and are known as periods of disqualifications. Generally, truck drivers are given one warning before being disqualified from driving.

The following offenses carry a 60 day period of disqualification after a second offense:

  • Any type of reckless driving
  • Speeding 15 mph or more over the legal speed limit
  • Following too close behind another vehicle
  • Changing lanes in an unsafe, improper or erratic manner
  • Violating any law with regards to involvement in a wreck resulting in a fatality
  • Driving a commercial vehicle without a valid CDL license

The following offenses carry a 365 day (one year) period of disqualification:

  • Driving while intoxicated (DWI) (regardless of whether driving a commercial or private vehicle at the time)
  • Driving while under the influence (DUI) of drugs or any other controlled substance (regardless of whether driving a commercial or private vehicle at the time)
  • Fleeing the scene of any traffic collision (regardless of whether driving a commercial or private vehicle at the time)
  • Being found at fault for a fatal crash (while driving a commercial vehicle only)
  • Driving a commercial vehicle when disqualified from doing so

Holding the Driver’s Employer Responsible

When you hire a Dallas 18 wheeler accident attorney to represent you after an accident caused by a negligent trucker, the claim is generally not actually made against the individual driver, but against that driver’s employer (and their insurance company). It is important to thoroughly investigate a driver’s history therefore, because if the driver was supposed to have been banned from driving at the time of the wreck – or if they have a history of disqualifications on their record – then it may be possible to bring a claim of negligent hiring, entrustment or retention against the shipping company because they allowed that driver to operate a semi-truck or other heavy goods vehicle.

Talk to a Dallas Truck Accident Lawyer Today

If you or someone you love has been injured in a Dallas-Fort Worth auto wreck caused by a negligent 18-wheeler truck driver, call Guajardo & Marks to discuss your case with an experienced Dallas truck wreck attorney today. You may be entitled to substantial compensation. Call toll free at 877-290-1382 or Dallas at 972-774-9800.