Truck Accidents Involving DUI
Commercial trucks are large and unwieldy. One wrong move by a commercial truck driver can result in a catastrophic accident. To minimize the risk of a truck accident, truck drivers are held to strict standards and regulations, that include drug/alcohol use restrictions.
Unfortunately, despite regulations, many truck accidents involve DUI. Anyone injured in a truck accident who suspects that drugs or alcohol may have played a factor should work with a knowledgeable truck accident lawyer, such as those at Moody Law. Our lawyers can assist accident victims in Lakeland, FL, Winter Haven, FL, and surrounding areas in proving accident liability, and pursuing maximum compensation for accident damages.
Trucking DUI Regulations
In Florida, as in most other states, the legal limit for drivers aged 21 and over is a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08. However, regulations are much stricter for drivers who are operating a commercial vehicle. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires commercial motor vehicle operators to be completely free of drugs or alcohol when operating a commercial vehicle. Truck drivers are not only restricted from consuming or being under the influence of alcohol while they are behind the wheel, but also within the four hours prior to commercial truck operation.
To enforce these regulations, commercial truck drivers are subject to regular drug and alcohol testing. A failure of a substance test can warrant a one year suspension of the driver’s commercial license. The suspension can extend up to three years if the driver was transporting hazardous materials at the time, and repeat offenses can result in a lifelong suspension of the commercial license.
Uncovering Evidence in DUI Truck Accidents
It can be difficult to uncover evidence of DUI in a truck accident, especially if claims are not made at the scene of the accident. If someone is injured in a truck accident and suspects that a DUI was involved, it is essential that they work with a lawyer. Our accident lawyers can subpoena vital DUI evidence, including:
- Police reports
- Medical records
- DUI breath and/or blood test results
In addition, our investigators can conduct a thorough search of the accident scene. We look for evidence of drug or alcohol use, including prescription drug bottles, alcohol bottles, or drug paraphernalia.
Liability for Truck Accidents Involving DUI
In most cases, if a truck driver is under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and an accident occurs, they are personally liable for the accident, as well as all resulting damages. However, in some cases the employer or trucking company may hold vicarious liability.
Vicarious liability holds an employer responsible for accidents caused by employees during normal business hours. In situations involving DUIs, vicarious liability may come into play if the employer was neglectful in their hiring practices (i.e. they failed to run a proper background check) or if they failed to administer regular drug and alcohol testing.
When investigating DUI truck accidents, our lawyers consider all potential sources of liability, so that we can maximize compensation for our Lakeland clients.
Damages in DUI Truck Accidents
Truck accidents tend to cause catastrophic injuries and costly financial losses. It is important that accident victims are compensated for the full extent of their losses, which may include:
- Current and future medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Loss of wage earning potential
- Pain and suffering
In the event of a DUI, victims may also be awarded punitive damages. Punitive damages punish the at-fault party to discourage repeat offenses in the future.
Contact Daniel D. Moody
If you have been injured in an accident, Daniel D. Moody and his legal team can help you pursue financial compensation for damages. To discuss the details of your claim, call (863) 284-9090 to schedule a personal consultation, or contact our law firm online.