Perhaps the most dangerous activity and behavior on the road is driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol (DUI). Drivers who operate vehicles under the influence of drugs or alcohol make poor decisions, drive recklessly, disobey traffic signs and speed limits, drive distracted, and engage in risky behaviors while behind the wheel. When negligent truckers combine drinking alcohol or doing drugs with driving a large commercial 18-wheeler truck, the results are often devastating. The consequences of a truck driver operating a semi-truck after a few alcoholic drinks can turn catastrophic or deadly for other motorists on the roadways.
If you suffered injuries in a commercial truck accident as a result of the truck driver operating a truck under the influence of drugs or alcohol, learn how a Los Angeles DUI crashes lawyer at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm at (800) 794-0444 may help you with your case.
Federal Trucking Regulations
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has stricter regulations regarding alcohol and drug testing for commercial truck drivers than for typical passenger drivers on the roadways. Any truck driver with a commercial driver’s license (CDL) must receive testing by their trucking company employer periodically regarding any drug or alcohol use. Additionally, no commercial truck driver may ever have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level of alcohol above 0.02 when driving a commercial truck. This BAC is much lower than the 0.08 limit for drivers of passenger vehicles. Also, no commercial truck driver may have had any drugs or alcohol in the prior eight hours before their driving shift begins.
Understanding the Connection Between Truck Drivers and the Use of Alcohol and Drugs
Truck drivers are always under tight deadlines and strict schedules, pressuring them to deliver as many goods as quickly as possible to increase profit. There are very specific hours of service regulations required by the FMCSA. They detail the amount of rest a truck driver must have between shifts and before a driving shift begins, many truck drivers fail to follow these regulations in order to get their shipments delivered as quickly as possible. These truck drivers attempt to stay awake longer and, in some cases, abuse alcohol or drugs in order to accomplish that task. In other cases, truck drivers abuse alcohol in an attempt to decompress and relax after a long or stressful day. The physical endurance and mental stress that accompanies being a commercial truck driver are great, and some truck drivers turn to alcohol and drugs.
For a free legal consultation with a dui crashes lawyer serving Los Angeles, call (800) 794-0444
Liability in Trucking Accidents
When an accident occurs with a large commercial truck, law enforcement will typically arrive and do a full investigation regarding the evidence at the scene of the accident, including interviews of all drivers, passengers, and witnesses involved or near the scene of the accident.
Truck Driver Liability
When law enforcement interviews the truck driver, they will determine whether or not there is a possibility that the driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol. They may administer a field sobriety test or take the truck driver back to the police station for additional testing to confirm a suspicion of the use of drugs or alcohol. If the police determine that the truck driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, they will arrest the truck driver and charge him or her with a DUI charge in the state of California.
Trucking Company Liability
If the truck driver in your case receives a DUI conviction, you will have an easier time proving that the truck driver is liable for your injuries and damage. However, you may also have the legal right to file a claim against the trucking company. A trucking company takes responsibility for the actions of its employees under the legal theory known as respondeat superior, presented here by the Legal Information Institute (LII). Trucking companies are responsible to give truck drivers randomized drug and alcohol tests. If a trucking company does not perform these tests, fails to address a truck driver that receives DUIs, or continues to allow a truck driver to operate their trucks even with a history of DUIs, the trucking company will be liable for the injuries a victim suffered as a result of the trucking accident involving a DUI.
If you suffered injuries as a result of a truck driver operating a truck under the influence of drugs or alcohol and receiving a DUI in the state of California, learn how a Los Angeles DUI crashes lawyer at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm may help you understand your legal rights.
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Types of Compensation
In most cases where drunk driving occurs, the results of accidents are often devastating and catastrophic. When victims of drunk driving accidents suffer injuries due to a truck driver operating a large commercial truck weighing substantially more than a passenger vehicle, life-threatening injuries or death can occur. If you suffered injuries, or if your loved one died, due to an accident involving a large commercial truck and a truck driver operating under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you may have the legal right to pursue the following types of compensation:
- Medical bills
- Loss of wages
- Loss of future income
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Disfigurement, paralysis, or amputation
- Mental anguish
- Funeral and burial costs (wrongful death claims)
- Loss of consortium (wrongful death claims)
- Punitive damages (both personal injury and wrongful death claims)
Consider How a Los Angeles DUI Crashes Lawyer May Help You
If you suffered injuries in a trucking accident, and the truck driver received a DUI as a result of the accident, consider how a Los Angeles DUI crashes lawyer at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm at (800) 794-0444 may help you build a personal injury case or wrongful death case on behalf of your loved one. Call now for a free consultation.