Rogue Trucking Companies: The Alarming Truth
When a trucking company is called “rogue,” it means they have a long record of practices that are unsafe. They may hire drivers without proper background checks and vetting. They may set up driver requirements, such as driving to pick up a rig before work officially begins, that result in driver fatigue and error.
Rogue trucking companies may have a history of violating state and federal laws and regulations that cover the trucking industry. They may routinely neglect adequate truck maintenance, or contract out to operators who they know are not doing a proper job. They may improperly load cargo, increasing the risk of accidents.
Trucking companies hiding their record
Most tellingly, perhaps, rogue trucking companies deal with these violations and possibly a government order to shut down by simply establishing a new company. The corporation name is entirely new, and so is the Department of Transportation (DOT) number and record it operates under. The rogue companies may list officers who have not previously been involved in a company, but they may actually be operated by people accused of violations in the past. Company personnel may use aliases to conceal their identity.
Because of these practices, rogue trucking companies pose a danger to California motorists.
Driver inexperience or a poor past record may cause accidents and fatalities on U.S. roadways. So can fatigue or inadequate training. Inadequate maintenance is a leading cause of truck accidents. Trucking systems are complicated, and a failure of brakes or other systems can cause collisions or other accidents as the truck spins out of control.
The cargo in trucks also needs to be loaded properly, with attention to weight and balance. If the cargo is not loaded or secured in the right way, the truck may be much more likely to overturn or fail to make turns safely.
The danger rogue trucking companies pose is heightened by the fact that the poor practices involving its drivers, maintenance failures, and ongoing loading failures may be intentional. When upstanding trucking companies have an issue or a violation, they fix it. Rogue trucking firms act the way they do because they are cutting costs and time. Operating unsafely is, unfortunately, their way of doing business in the Los Angeles area.
Pursuing a truck accident claim
Because of the attempt of rogue companies to conceal their past record, pursuing a claim against them is complicated. It can be done, but research and resources are needed to review the history of both the company and the people involved. The officers, their associations, and past aliases for both people and company need to be determined. The history of safety violations must be found once this is done. Any contractor or subcontractor also needs to be investigated for past violations.
It is important to conduct research into these companies promptly because of the potential for spoliation of evidence. “Spoliation” means that a person or company has deliberately lost or destroyed evidence so that legal claims cannot proceed.
Fortunately, experienced truck accident attorneys have the resources to research rogue companies and to do it promptly and confidentially.
Personal injury or wrongful death cases can be brought against trucking companies or contractors for negligence if it can be proven that these entities knew or should have known that its practices, drivers, or trucks were unsafe and did not fix or rectify the situation.
Plaintiffs must be able to prove both negligence and that the negligence was the cause of any injuries or deaths that occurred.
Speak with a Los Angeles personal injury lawyer
Do you need to discuss a personal injury or wrongful death related to a trucking accident? The Ellis Law Firm has two decades of experience in litigation regarding truck accidents. Trucking laws and regulations are complex, but we will fight to bring rogue trucking companies to justice. Please call now for a free appointment to discuss your case, at 310-641-3335.
Additional “rogue trucking companies” resources:
- Abramson, Howard. “The Trucks Are Killing Us.” New York Times. August 21, 2015. https://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/22/opinion/the-trucks-are-killing-us.html?_r=2
- U.S. Department of Transportation. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Regulations Section Guidance List. https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/regulations/title49/b/5/3/list
- U.S. Department of Transportation. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Regulations. Parts. Driver. https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/regulations/title49/b/5/3/list?filter=Driver