Licensing Fraud Truck Accident Lawyers in Dallas
According to Reader’s Digest, “In recent years, 32 states have reported cases of commercial license fraud, with busts ranging everywhere from Florida to Ohio to Colorado. A 2006 report from the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) identified about 15,000 ‘suspect’ license holders in 27 states….” In 2006, more than 15,000 arrests were made for this reason. The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) requires any person who drives a commercial vehicle to first lawfully obtain a commercial driver’s license (CDL).
Last year, the governor of New York announced that an investigation led to the arrests of 51 commercial drivers, “for fraudulently obtaining multiple driver licenses using an alias.” Untrained and unskilled truck drivers are a significant problem–thousands of truck drivers are on the highways illegally.
In one tragic story occurring in Oklahoma, officials were preparing to send out a letter to a truck driver, asking him to retake his commercial driver’s license test – but before they did so, this illegal driver was involved in a fatal accident that took his life and a state trooper’s.
How Illegal Licenses Are Obtained
One truck driving school paid third-party testers to falsify truckers’ exams, with some 623 students being involved. In Illinois, hundreds of commercial driver’s licenses were sold to immigrants who couldn’t speak or read English. Ways that truck drivers can obtain an illegal commercial driver’s license include:
- Committing forgery
- Falsifying residency
- Buying illegal driver’s licenses
- Paying a third party to fabricate test results
DAMAGES & DETERMINING NEGLIGENCE
The Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act was signed into law to help cut down on accidents involving illegally licensed truck drivers. Because semi-trucks can weigh up to 80,000 pounds, when they are in the hands of inexperienced drivers, they become dangerous weapons on the road. If you were involved in a car crash involving a truck and the truck driver was illegally licensed, you may be entitled to punitive damages on top of compensatory ones. Sometimes trucking companies are aware that their drivers have illegal CDLs, at other times they are completely ignorant.
Often, a trucking company can pay a third party to falsify tests or a trucking company fails to perform the necessary background checks. Either way, if the truck driver who crashed into you was illegally licensed, that means that someone was negligent and someone can be rightfully held responsible for the injuries you sustained.
The Three Types of CDLs
There are three classes of licenses, depending on what kind of truck an individual operates and what kind of cargo is placed on board:
- A Class A license is for a driver of a big rig or any vehicle that weighs more than 26,000 pounds or tows a vehicle more than 10,000 pounds
- A Class B license involves anyone who drives a commercial vehicle weighing 26,001 pounds or more, or a vehicle-trailer combination where the trailer does not exceed 10,000 pounds
- A Class C license is for bus drivers operating buses with a capacity of 16 to 23 people or any driver transporting hazardous materials, such as explosives, flammable liquids, flammable gases, radioactive materials, poisons, etc.
For an individual to obtain a CDL, they must pass several tests, including a road skills test, a basic vehicles control test, a pre-trip vehicle inspection test, and a hazardous material handling test administered by the U.S. Department of Transportation.
Get Zinda Law Group on your side today!
If a truck company, truck driving school, or truck driver’s illegal activities accounted for the driver’s poor driving and the crash you experienced, you should fight for damages today! Contact Zinda Law Group today and receive the aggressive representation from a truck accident attorney you are going to need to achieve the recompense you deserve. Call 800-863-5312 for a free and confidential consultation.