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How could a truck driver’s disqualification affect my lawsuit?

The commercial tractor-trailer business is an extremely time-sensitive industry. In the delivery business, trucking companies are judged based on how fast they can transport their goods and deliver them reliably to their destinations. This is true whether a tractor-trailer is hauling fresh Maine lobsters to an Atlantic City, New Jersey casino or simply transporting Hurricane Sandy debris to a local area dump.

Like any business, trucking companies often experience difficulty maintaining their staff of qualified employees. This can be especially problematic in an industry that requires nearly all of its employees to maintain relatively clean driving records in order to keep their Commercial Driver's Licenses. The federal agency that regulates commercial driver's licensing, known as the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, is constantly looking for bad drivers and disqualifying those drivers if they find evidence of driver's negligence.

Some examples of truck driver negligence that could result in CDL disqualification are: exceeding driving hour limits, falsifying or altering driver logbooks and driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. As you might imagine, a trucking company that has many disqualified drivers will likely suffer an inability to deliver their goods on time to their customers.

This can be important to you if you have been injured as a result of a tractor-trailer accident. That is because some trucking companies will continue to allow some of their disqualified drivers to operate; even in situations where they know about a driver's CDL disqualification.

An attorney with experience in New Jersey's truck accident laws can investigate the truck driver and his or her employers to determine whether a disqualified driver may have been responsible for causing your accident. If so, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical costs, as well as any wages you may have lost as a result of your injuries. An attorney can review the facts of your case and determine whether those particular set of circumstances are likely to result in a favorable outcome for you.

Source: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, "Disqualifications," accessed July 09, 2015

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