Did Negligent Hiring Cause My Accident?
While it is a relatively recent phenomenon, the concept of negligent hiring can be used against a company when one or more of their employees commit a civil wrong, known as a tort. In order to hold an employer liable for negligent hiring, it must be shown that the person who committed the tort should never have been hired to perform that job – which can be difficult, though not impossible, to prove to sufficient legal standard. Having a knowledgeable attorney on your side can help.
Intentional vs Negligent Conduct
In Florida, negligent hiring is a tort alleged against a business that accuses them of failing to do their due diligence when hiring employees – for example, turning up information during a pre-hiring background check that would disqualify the person, but choosing to hire them anyway – after the employee’s intentional actions injured a third party. It is important to remember that a negligent hiring claim revolves around an employee’s intentional conduct, rather than their negligent conduct; in other words, the employee must have committed an intentional tort rather than merely failed to exercise a reasonable duty of care.
If you have been injured in an auto accident that involved a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) or a tractor-trailer, you may look to try and hold the driver or their employer civilly liable for the damages you sustained – for example, medical bills, lost wages, and pain & suffering. However, if you have reason to believe that the driver committed an intentional tort, rather than simple negligence, you may try and hold their employer liable for the fact that they hired the driver in the first place.
Presumption Of Due Diligence
While an injured plaintiff has the right to try and hold an allegedly negligent company liable for negligent hiring, it is important to be aware of the fact that in Florida, most start behind the proverbial eight-ball. Florida’s legislature has passed a law which states that as long as they perform a sufficiently in-depth background check before hiring someone, and do not discover information which might reasonably might make the prospective hire unfit, a presumption exists that the employer did their due diligence (and thus, the hiring was not negligent).
There are certain steps that will make up a “sufficiently in-depth” background check, including:
- Having the prospective hire fill out an application and answer questions about any past criminal record or any past as a civil defendant;
- Actually contacting references and previous employers whose names are provided by the prospective hire, and evaluating their comments with regard to the person’s hireability;
- Interview the person;
- Check the driver’s license and driving record of the person if applicable, and it would certainly be applicable when hiring a person to be a commercial driver.
A failure on the part of an employer to complete even one of these steps may allow a metaphorical foothold on which to build a case of negligent hiring. Consulting an attorney may help to clarify your options.
Call A Tampa CMV Accident Attorney
There are many reasons that CMV-related accidents happen, but if yours occurred due to the intentional conduct of a driver, you have the right to try and hold their employer liable for putting them on the road in the first place. Contact a Tampa truck accident attorney from the Rinaldo Law Group to discuss how best to proceed through the legal process. Call our office today at (813) 831-9999 for a free consultation.