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Was Your Truck Accident Caused by an Intoxicated Driver?

Posted on in Personal Injury

DuPage County trucking accident lawyerDriving an 18-wheeler takes focus and skill. It is critical that truck drivers are completely sober when working. Drugs and alcohol can impair the driver’s focus and coordination, making it impossible for them to safely drive a large vehicle. Substance use among truck drivers is more common than you might hope. The job can be demanding. Truck drivers are away from home for weeks at a time and often work long, monotonous, hours. Some resort to using substances to cope. Stimulants are a popular choice, as drivers may believe that they will help, rather than hurt, their driving ability. It is, of course, illegal for a truck driver to operate their rig while impaired. If you suspect that an impaired truck driver caused your accident, it is particularly important that you contact an attorney within a day or so of the accident and alert them of your suspicions.

Will the Truck Driver Be Drug or Alcohol Tested?

It depends. There are a number of rules set out by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association that pertain to drug and alcohol testing after a truck accident. If there was a fatality, the driver should be automatically tested. If the driver was given a citation for causing bodily injury that required urgent medical attention, then testing should also be automatic.

Commercial truck drivers can also be tested upon reasonable suspicion. This is a fairly low standard. If there is an articulable reason to think that the driver was under the influence, then the reasonable suspicion standard is likely met.

There is also the chance that the police who respond to the accident may pick up on the truck driver’s intoxication and make a DUI arrest. However, even if the driver was not criminally charged, you may still be able to show that the driver was intoxicated for the purpose of proving your civil claim.

How Does It Affect My Claim If the Truck Driver Was Intoxicated?

If the truck driver was intoxicated, then they were breaking a law designed to keep the public safe. A legal rule called negligence per se likely applies. The idea behind this rule is that if someone was purposely violating a safety law and ultimately caused the type of harm that law was designed to prevent - in this case, a DUI crash - then they should be automatically declared negligent and held liable.

Again, the truck driver need not face criminal prosecution for negligence per se to apply on the basis of intoxicated driving. Establishing negligence per se creates a sort of legal shortcut to proving liability and getting you the compensation you deserve.

Call a DuPage County Truck Accident Attorney

Mevorah & Giglio Law Offices is committed to holding intoxicated truck drivers liable for the harm they cause. Our experienced Naperville truck accident lawyers will fight to get you the highest possible amount of compensation. Contact us at 630-932-9100 for a free consultation.

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