Arkansas tractor-trailer accident lawyers discuss the dangers of impaired truckers.
Truck drivers under the influence of drugs or alcohol cause many serious tractor-trailer accidents. But just how common are these truck accidents? What are injury victims' legal options? Can they file a lawsuit? And if so, who can they sue?
Below, you can find the answers to all of these questions and much more information, courtesy of the Arkansas truck accident attorneys at McDaniel Law Firm, PLC. We know how to handle such complex legal cases based on years of representing injury victims and their families throughout Arkansas.
How often do impaired truckers cause 18-wheeler wrecks?
The numbers are clear – commercial truck drivers cause thousands of collisions while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Specifically, truck drivers with a commercial driver's license (CDL) cause more than 400,000 truck accidents each year, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).
On average, those truck accidents result in more than 4,800 fatalities each year nationwide. And in terms of truck accident fatalities, roughly 5 percent are caused by commercial truck drivers under the influence of drugs or alcohol, according to FMCSA data.
What laws apply to truck drivers regarding drug & alcohol use?
Many state and federal laws concerning drug and alcohol use apply to commercial truck drivers. In particular, the threshold for being considered legally intoxicated or impaired is lower compared to non-commercial drivers.
Under the FMCSA regulations, a commercial truck driver is considered intoxicated if their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is 0.04 percent or higher. In contrast, most other drivers are not considered legally drunk unless their BAC is 0.08 percent or higher.
Other laws apply to commercial truck drivers involving drugs and alcohol and can be found in Title 49, Subtitle B, Chapter III of the Code of Federal Regulations.
Are truck drivers tested for drunks and alcohol?
Yes. Commercial truck drivers are regularly tested to determine if they are driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. In addition, title 49, Subtitle B, Chapter III, Part 382 ("controlled substances and alcohol use and testing") of the Code of Federal Regulations contains many rules concerning drug and alcohol testing.
Along with being tested for drugs or alcohol if they are involved in a collision, commercial truck drivers are subject to random alcohol or controlled substances tests every 12 months. Truck drivers can also be tested for drug or alcohol use if there is a "reasonable suspicion" that the driver is under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Many other federal testing rules and regulations also apply to commercial truck drivers.
What can you be compensated for after a truck accident?
If you are involved in an accident caused by a commercial truck driver, you should be financially compensated for all your related expenses, now and in the future. Such expenses may include the following:
- All your medical care related to your truck accident injury.
- The cost of repairing or replacing your damaged vehicle.
- Replacement income while you're recovering from your accident.
- Future income if you cannot return to work due to a permanent disability.
- Pain and suffering in certain circumstances.
Who's liable in a tractor-trailer wreck?
Commercial truck accidents are different than other motor vehicle collisions in many ways. This is especially true when it comes to who injury victims can file a lawsuit against seeking damages, a legal term for financial compensation.
Depending on the circumstances of your case, you may be able to file a lawsuit against one or more of the at-fault parties:
- The truck driver who caused your collision.
- The trucking company that employs the truck driver.
- The company that loaded the tractor-trailer.
- The company that packaged the contents in the trailer, especially if the contents of the truck shifted and contributed to the truck accident.
Injured in a truck wreck? Contact McDaniel Law Firm to review your legal rights and options.
Many commercial truck accidents turn out to be complicated legal cases. That's because there's often a lot at stake, and multiple at-fault parties might try to avoid responsibility. This is why you need an experienced attorney to ensure your injury claim or lawsuit gets the attention it deserves.
At McDaniel Law Firm, PLC, our legal team can work with you to build a strong, successful case. Our attorneys thoroughly understand the rules and regulations that apply to commercial truck accidents. But, more importantly, we're prepared to do the work needed to do the job right and fight for the compensation you deserve.
Learn more about your legal rights. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation. Our law firm handles truck accident injury claims and lawsuits throughout Arkansas.