It takes special training to operate a semi-truck. Operating these large vehicles takes skill and concentration. Large commercial trucks operate differently than passenger vehicles, placing these vehicles at higher risks for accidents.
Operating a commercial vehicle under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or even some prescription medications places everyone on the road at risk. Dulled senses and the inability to react quickly to road situations make a driver of any vehicle dangerous. You add the size and weight of a commercial truck to the equation, and you have a deadly situation.
DUI Laws Are Stricter For Commercial Drivers
Every state has set a limit for commercial drivers for blood alcohol content. A majority of states have set a 0.04 percent limit for commercial drivers, or half the amount that is legal for passenger cars. Some states even have a zero-tolerance policy. Any driver that is driving while under the influence not only places themselves at risk for an accident, they also place themselves at risk for losing their commercial driver’s license.
Driving under the influence of illegal or prescription drugs also places everyone at risk. Drugs of any kind can slow your reflexes, inhibit your decision-making skills, or cause you to become drowsy. Accidents caused by someone that is under the influence of drugs are just as catastrophic as those caused by alcohol.
Helping Those Who Have Been In A Drunk Driving Trucking Accident
Trucking accidents generally result in life-changing injuries for those who were in the smaller passenger vehicle. Many of these injuries will require extensive care, and some may even require care for the rest of the victim’s life.
Because these injuries are often catastrophic, your attorney may seek punitive damages against the trucking company or driver if alcohol or drugs were the cause of the accident. Punitive damages are different than regular compensation, and the limit for these damages are not capped by state laws.
Your attorney will seek compensation from every available source. In some cases, based on the evidence of your case, Dram Laws or Social Host laws may apply to your case. These laws vary from state to state and may not apply in your state at all. If this does apply to your case, your attorney will discuss this option with you while negotiating your settlement.
What To Do If You Have Been Involved In A Drunk Driving Truck Accident
When you have been involved in a truck accident of any type, it is important that you preserve as much evidence about the accident as possible. Take pictures of the scene when possible, and document everything you can remember. Of course, since many of these accidents cause serious injuries, it may not be possible to do this right away.
Your attorney will send a demand letter to the trucking company stating that they must preserve all evidence surrounding the accident. This includes any drug or alcohol testing results of the driver. Federal law requires that commercial truck drivers be tested for drugs or alcohol immediately when they have been involved in any type of accident.
While you are focused on recovering from your injuries, your truck accident attorney will build a case that will help you get the compensation that you deserve for your injuries and losses. And, if applicable, will seek punitive damages on your behalf because alcohol or drugs was involved in the accident.
Related: Truck Accidents Due to Speeding