Commercial Truck Driving While Impaired
Because of this, allowed blood alcohol concentration level is lower for commercial drivers, meaning that truckers and bus drivers may not test at or above .04 BAC, or about half as much as the .08 legal limit for everybody else.
Most people think of impaired driving as drunk driving, but driving under the influence of any drug, legal or illegal, is also dangerous if the drug affects your ability to think, respond quickly and remain alert. We have all seen over the counter medications with a label warning to use caution or not to use while driving or operating machinery.
If a commercial trucker used a substance that could impair their driving skills (under the influence while driving) including:
- Street drugs,
- Over the counter, and
- Prescription medications
and an accident occurred, that driver was negligent, therefore liable for damages. In order to recover for your injuries, harms and losses, you may have to prove the truck driver was impaired.
Federal law requires a trucking company governed by the Federal Carrier Motor Safety Administration to perform a drug and alcohol test within two hours (or explain why it was not done) on any driver who was involved in an auto accident which resulted in a death. Drug and alcohol testing is also required when the police officer issues a citation and the accident caused bodily injury requiring the injured person to be taken for medical treatment or causes disabling damage to the vehicle requiring it to be towed from the scene.
If the trucking company cancels the post-accident drug and alcohol test, then this is admissible to show that the trucking company was trying to conceal their driver’s potential use of drugs or alcohol.
What is Comparative Negligence?
Even if both you and the truck driver were negligent in causing the collision which contributed to your injuries, you may still be able to make a claim for your injuries in most states. Kentucky follows this rule of “comparative negligence” which compares the degree of your fault with the fault of the drivers. If they can show you are partially responsible, then a jury can reduce the amount of your damage recovery to the extent of your percentage of fault.
For this simple reason, you should not talk to anyone but the police at the collision. Never talk to anyone investigating the collision for the trucking company or their insurance company.
For example, you should not:
- Talk to any insurance people from the other side;
- Answer any questions;
- Say anything to anybody regarding what you were doing at the time of the crash.
Instead of answering questions you can direct people to ask your lawyer. This is provided that you do have an experienced truck accident attorney in your corner.
What if you have a pre-existing injury or condition?
Your Isaacs & Isaacs truck accident attorney will also protect you by helping you to establish the injuries you suffered. Sometimes insurance adjusters want to say that you had a pre-existing condition, therefore the accident did not cause the level of injury you are suffering. They will use this to try to lower your award of damages.
This is an attempt to put the cause of your injuries on anything but the accident so the trucking company and their truck driver are not responsible for compensating you for those harms and losses.
Your attorney would investigate and gather medical records and information on your prior condition to see if they show that your pre-existing injury was aggravated by the accident. This may require a doctor’s testimony or report and providing them with your prior medical records to prove it. These cases are complicated, and if you have suffered a grave injury caused by an impaired truck driver, you may be fighting to recover physically. You do not need to fight the insurance company at the same time, in order to be compensated for your physical, emotional and financial damages.
Getting in an accident with a huge commercial truck that is way bigger and heavier than your car can cause devastating damage. And fighting to recover a just compensation from the truck insurance company, you will find that you are up against an opponent that has more experience, more money, and fewer scruples than you. You really do need an experienced law firm in your corner to even up the odds.
What To Do After a Truck Accident – A Conversation With Darryl Isaacs
Attorney Darryl Isaacs sat down to address questions for those who have been involved in a crash involving big rig trucks or other large commercial vehicles. Join us in this radio episode of “Ask The Hammer,” the podcast exploring the legal matters that matter most. Play the episode directly below.
Begin Your Financial Recovery With A Truck Accident Law Firm
Isaacs & Isaacs trucking accident lawyers will represent you on a contingency fee basis. You don’t have to pay us anything until and unless we win your case. We will bear the cost of investigating your claim and, if necessary, we will file a lawsuit in order to get you the just compensation you deserve as the victim of an impaired driver. We have recovered over $890 million dollars for our clients.
Call us day or night at 800-800-8888. We are here to help by answering your questions, advising you on whether you have a case or claim, and helping you decide what you should do next.