Truck Driver Drug and Alcohol Use
Despite strict laws and regulations, many truck drivers still get behind the wheel to operate their rig while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. And, sadly, these decisions can end up turning someone else’s life upside down. In many Houston truck accidents, drugs and alcohol do play a factor.
If you’ve been injured in an 18-wheeler accident and suspect the truck driver was under the influence, it’s important to call an attorney for help. The Houston truck accident lawyers at Attorney Brian White & Associates, P.C., can help you seek financial justice from those responsible.
Contact our award-winning personal injury law firm to learn more about how we can help. Your first case evaluation with our team is absolutely free, so don’t hesitate to reach out now.
How Brian White & Associates, P.C. Can Help After an Accident Resulting from Truck Driver Drug and Alcohol Use in Houston
If you’ve been in an accident with an intoxicated or impaired truck driver, things can get complicated. Their employer will probably have to get involved, and there’s a chance that they’ll face criminal DUI charges. Hiring an experienced Houston personal injury lawyer to represent your interests and fight for compensation on your behalf is among the best decisions you can make.
At Attorney Brian White & Associates, P.C., our top-rated lawyers have more than 45 years of experience handling disputes just like yours. Our founding partner is Board Certified in civil trial law, which means that we have the tried-and-true experience you need and have achieved the kind of results you want.
When you hire us to handle your truck accident case, expect us to:
- Coordinate an independent investigation into your truck accident
- Gather evidence to support the fact that the truck driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Determine who, other than the drunk truck driver, might be liable for your injuries
- Negotiate aggressively on your behalf, and
- Litigate your trucking accident case at trial, if necessary.
Give our law office a call to discuss your legal rights and options today. Your first consultation is absolutely free. And, since we work on contingency, there’s absolutely no cost to you unless we win your case.
How Often Do Truck Accidents Involve Drunk Drivers?
According to data from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, 6% of truck drivers involved in fatal crashes on America’s roads in 2018 tested positive for at least one type of drug.
But, it’s important to note that 60% of drivers weren’t screened for drugs or alcohol. So, the percentage of truckers who were intoxicated when fatal accidents occurred could likely be much, much greater.
Truck Drivers Can Cause Catastrophic, Fatal Injuries When They Drive Under the Influence
Many factors can influence the types of injuries you might sustain in an auto accident. The size of the vehicles involved is a significant one. A large commercial truck has more potential to cause harm than a small car or motorcycle.
Injuries that may result from a truck accident include the following:
- Broken and/or fractured bones
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Internal organ injuries
- Wrongful death
The injuries you could sustain in a truck accident will almost certainly require costly medical treatment. They can even have a permanent impact on your mobility, quality of life, employment opportunities, and more. Our Houston truck accident attorneys will factor in all relevant losses and consequences resulting from your accident when determining how much compensation you should pursue.
Do Trucking Companies Have to Screen Drivers For Drugs and Alcohol?
Yes. Under the Omnibus Transportation Employee Testing Act of 1991, trucking companies must screentest drivers for drug and alcohol abuse. Section 382.303 of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations also requires commercial trucking companies to test truckers for drugs or alcohol in their system as soon as possible after an accident.
Unfortunately, not all trucking companies comply with state and federal law. Some might fail to regularly test its drivers to see if they are, in fact, abstaining from using intoxicating substances on the job
Other trucking companies might ignore a history of drug or alcohol abuse when hiring its big rig drivers. This can put those sharing the road with their drivers at significant risk of injury.
Who’s Liable When Truck Driver Drug and Alcohol Abuse Causes Accidents?
Several parties could be liable for damages resulting from a truck accident when a drunk truck operator is involved.
The Drunk Truck Driver
It’s against the law for commercial truck drivers to operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Under rules established by the FMCSA, this means having a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .04 or higher. If a truck driver’s BAC is higher than the legal limit, they can face criminal charges – especially if they cause an accident.
Additionally, the truck driver could be personally liable for harm caused in an accident. If a trucker is arrested and charged with a DUI, that could help a victim’s case. Evidence of drunk driving can be used to establish that the truck driver was negligent per se. This can ultimately make the path to financial recovery less challenging for crash victims.
Truck companies have a responsibility to screen and hire competent employees, provide training, and monitor performance. If a trucking company is negligent in doing any of these things and an accident happens, it could be financially responsible for resulting injuries.
Bars and Restaurants
Texas has a “Dram Shop Law,” which prohibits establishments from selling alcohol to drivers in amounts that are likely to intoxicate them.
The consequences for violating the Dram Shop Law may consist of loss of an establishment’s liquor license or even criminal charges. That said, it’s sometimes possible to also pursue compensation from a negligent establishment that sold a trucker large quantities of alcohol before an accident.
Other parties directly or indirectly involved in the accident might also be liable. This could include other motorists or parties on the road (e.g., motorcyclist, bicyclist, pedestrian) or the company that manufactured a vehicle or piece of safety equipment that failed.
Our personal injury lawyers in Houston will carefully review the circumstances of your accident to determine who might share liability. Then we’ll be aggressive in seeking full compensation from all responsible.
Schedule a Free Consultation With Our Houston Truck Driver Drug and Alcohol Use Lawyers
After a trucking accident involving a drunk truck driver, you might be entitled to compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, and suffering. Attorney Brian White & Associates, P.C., can help you seek a full and fair financial award from those responsible. Contact our law office to schedule a free case evaluation and learn more about how we can help you get through this difficult time.