What If the At-Fault Truck Driver Was Under the Influence?
By Chris Dixon
Federal regulations for truck drivers are extensive, and the consequences for negligence and violating a regulation is severe. If you are in a crash where the at-fault truck driver was under the influence, they could face serious consequences such as loss of their license, fines, and more. If you were injured, sustained property damage, or other damages in the crash, the truck driver could be liable to pay for your damages from the accident.
What Should I Do If the At-Fault Truck Driver in My Accident Was Under the Influence?
Driving under the influence is one of the most dangerous things a driver can do. When a driver is under the influence, their cognitive abilities are impaired, they aren’t able to think rationally, and time seems slower than it actually is. Operating a vehicle in this state can cause severe injuries or be fatal to other drivers on the road.
If you are involved in an accident where the at fault truck driver was under the influence, it’s crucial to call the police and file a police report. Even if the truck driver denies that they are intoxicated or on drugs, the police have other methods to determine if someone is under the influence. If the at fault truck driver is under the influence, this will be recorded in the police report along with other evidence from the accident such as:
- The truck driver’s contact information
- Statements from both parties about the accident
- Pictures of property damage caused in the crash
- Details of injuries caused by the accident
- Where, when, and what time the accident occurred
- Statements from witnesses
Copies of police reports are easy to obtain and are powerful pieces of evidence, especially in accidents that involved an at-fault truck driver that was under the influence. A police report can be used by your attorney to prove that the truck driver’s negligence caused the crash and that they are liable for your damages from the accident. If the truck driver’s insurance company tries to deny your claim, your lawyer can dispute this in court until an acceptable settlement is reached.
Penalties That Truck Driver’s Face for Driving Under the Influence
There are strict federal regulations in the U.S. that dictate how truck drivers must behave when operating a commercial vehicle. If a truck driver is in an accident, they must report the incident to their employer and undergo extensive post-accident drug and alcohol testing that’s enforced by the Department of Transportation. If the at-fault truck driver in your accident is confirmed to be under the influence, this can result in severe penalties such as:
- Suspension or revocation of their CDL license
- Being fired by the trucking company they work for
- Hefty fines and fees for driving under the influence
- Potential jail time depending on the severity of the accident
If you are injured in an accident caused by a truck driver that was under the influence, you could be eligible to recover damages from both the driver and their employer. Obtaining proof of the truck driver’s employment can be difficult, but your lawyer has the knowledge and resources needed to acquire this information.
Recovering Damages From an At-Fault Truck Driver That Was Under the Influence
If your lawyer obtains proof that the driver was operating as an employee for a company when the accident happened, you can recover damages from both the driver and the company that they work for. The truck driver’s insurance company might try to deny your claim if the driver is an independent contractor, but this is an attempt to get you to accept a lower settlement. Vicarious Liability laws regarding commercial truck drivers have been revised over the years to include independent truck drivers. If an independent contractor is operating a truck with a company’s logo or name, the company can be held liable for the truck driver’s negligence in the accident.
Damages that you can recover with a truck accident claim include medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, and other injuries and financial damages caused by the accident. Your lawyer can help you gather evidence to support your claim, protect your rights, and negotiate for the maximum amount of compensation for your case. If you or someone you love has been in an accident where the at-fault truck driver was under the influence, you need an experienced lawyer to represent your case. To schedule a FREE consultation with a personal injury lawyer that will care about your case and your well-being, contact the Dixon Injury Firm today.