Business owners that are required to maintain business trucks as part of their company face different liabilities than those with storefronts that only require a client to enter the establishment to make a purchase. The very second that the ignition is started in the truck opens the door to new responsibilities and liabilities. The business owner must take into account that they are responsible for the driver and all of their actions on the road. Additionally, if the driver of their vehicle acts in a manner that causes an accident, the business owner is held liable for any and all damages they cause, even if the driver was not following company policy at the time the event occurred.
Legal Issues A Business Faces With Company Trucks
• Driving Records. You must diligently review the driving records of your company drivers. Drivers that have tickets or convictions off the clock can reflect poorly on your company. Insurance rates can soar if you employ a driver with a personal DUI conviction, and in the event of an accident, their personal driving records will be held against your business.
• Maintenance Issues. You must follow a routine maintenance schedule on your company fleet to ensure the safety of your employees and others. If an accident is caused by equipment failure, you can be held liable for the injuries to your employee as well as others involved in the accident.
• Employee Safety Training. Your company should establish a training program for all company drivers that is on-going. Safety issues relating to driving and operating the vehicle, road condition training, and defensive driving should all be included. As part of this training, you should also include company policies about how long a driver can be behind the wheel each day. Limiting the amount of time a driver can be behind the wheel each day will help avoid accidents and liability issues surrounding drivers that are too tired to operate a vehicle safely.
How A Texas Accident Attorney Can Help
When most people think of an accident attorney, they think of a lawyer that helps the injured party claim compensation. However, an accident attorney can also be very beneficial to business owners in preventing liability issues or handling them if they arise.
An accident attorney can help the business can review company policy for the prevention of accidents and make any recommendations that will decrease liability and stay within compliance of the law. They can also review current insurance policies to determine if the company is covered for all liable events.
If an accident does occur in Texas, hiring one of the accident lawyers in Houston to represent your business in any proceedings is also to your advantage. Experience and expertise in a specific field is always beneficial to a case.
What all business owners should remember is that there is a liability to the employees and the public that comes with business ownership. When you put a company truck on the road, you increase those responsibilities. Taking steps before any accident occurs, such as establishing a safety plan, checking driving records, and consulting with an attorney about liability, is the best way to avoid unnecessary problems if an accident occurs.
A former investigative news writer, Ann Bailey posts these reminders for any business doing truck service through Texas. The Doyle Raizner accident lawyers in Houston know every aspect of liability for trucking accidents and work diligently for their clients in all manner of accident fault issues.
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