Driving under the influence is dangerous and illegal. However, when a truck driver uses drugs or alcohol, the results can be deadly. Commercial truck accidents cause thousands of deaths and injuries each year.
Drugged or drunk truck drivers have an increased risk of causing truck accidents. For that reason, there are stricter federal, state, and industry standards for the use of drugs and alcohol by truck drivers. Unfortunately, many truck drivers and trucking companies ignore these standards, placing innocent individuals at risk of catastrophic injuries and death.
The Tampa truck accident lawyers of Catania & Catania Injury Lawyers have over 120 years of collective legal experience. Our legal team understands the unique challenges of pursuing a truck accident claim. We have the skills, experience, and resources to take on the trucking industry on behalf of injured victims and their families.
Contact our law office at (813) 222-8545 to schedule your free consultation with one of our experienced Tampa, Florida injury attorneys. Let’s work together to hold the negligent parties who caused your injuries accountable for their wrongdoing.
How Our Tampa Personal Injury Lawyers Help Truck Accident Victims Get the Money They Deserve
Since 1992, Catania & Catania Injury Lawyers have fought for fair and just compensation for accident victims. Our Tampa truck accident attorneys use all our resources to pursue personal injury claims.
The insurance company and the trucking company will aggressively fight your claim. They have unlimited resources to investigate the truck accident and gather evidence. Unfortunately, these companies do not have your best interests in mind.
When you hire our legal team, you even the playing field by putting the full resources of our law firm on your side.
Some of the things that you can expect us to do include:
- Immediately being an accident investigation to gather and preserve evidence
- Notify the trucking company to preserve evidence
- Identify all parties who are liable for your injuries and file claims with those parties
- Handle all matters with the insurance companies for the at-fault parties
- Work with accident reconstructionists and other experts to prove how the truck accident occurred
- Document your damages and calculate the value of those damages
- Work with medical experts to determine the extent of your injuries
- Aggressively negotiate for a settlement amount that compensates you for all damages
- Prepare and file a lawsuit if the other parties refuse to negotiate a reasonable settlement
- Provide guidance and support throughout each phase of your injury claim
Truck accident claims are complex areas of personal injury law. Our legal team understands these claims. Call today for a free appointment with a Tampa personal injury lawyer to discuss your legal options for getting the money you deserve.
Federal Laws Aimed at Reducing Impaired Driving by Truck Drivers
The Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) have standard drug and alcohol testing rules. Commercial truck drivers and their employers must follow the procedures for testing.
The rules specify:
- How frequently tests must be performed
- What substances must be included in the tests
Some of the rules in place to reduce the number of impaired truck driver accidents in the United States include:
- Trucking companies must obtain negative drug tests from all drivers before allowing a driver to operate a truck.
- Drivers involved in a truck accident that results in a fatality, injury, or disables a vehicle must undergo a post-accident drug test within 32 hours and an alcohol test within eight hours.
- Commercial truck drivers are subject to random testing for drugs and alcohol.
- Supervisors trained by the DOT may order tests if they detect signs of drug or alcohol use by a truck driver.
- Return-to-duty testing is required when a company removes a truck driver for drug or alcohol use.
- A truck driver may be required to submit to follow-up testing for a maximum of five years in certain circumstances
- All alcohol and drug tests must comply with DOT policies and procedures.
Unfortunately, these rules and procedures do not prevent alcohol violations and drug use.
Staying awake can be difficult on long hauls. Many truck drivers use drugs such as amphetamines and cocaine to stay awake. However, side effects can include hallucinations, agitation, hypertension, and erratic behavior, increasing the risk of a truck crash.
Damages Caused by Truck Driver Drug and Alcohol Use
Truck accidents are destructive and devastating for accident victims. Roughly three-fourths of the people injured or killed in truck accidents are occupants of other vehicles. Passenger vehicles cannot withstand the impact of a semi-truck. Therefore, these crashes often result in catastrophic injuries and deaths.
Injuries from truck accidents include:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Loss of body functions
- Severe disfigurement
- Internal organ damages
The result may be permanent physical, emotional, and cognitive disabilities.
Damages that a victim may sustain include:
- High cost of medical, personal, and nursing care
- Intense physical pain and suffering
- Emotional and mental anguish and suffering
- Loss of income, benefits, and future earning potential
- Reduced quality of life and loss of enjoyment of life
The types of damages depend on the severity of the injuries and the facts of the case. In many cases, truck accident claims could total millions of dollars.
Who is Liable for Damages Caused by an Impaired Truck Accident?
The truck driver who chose to drive while using drugs or alcohol can be held liable. However, the trucking company may also be responsible for damages if it fails to follow drug and alcohol testing and treatment rules. Negligent hiring and supervision are common reasons trucking companies are held liable for damages.
Proving that the parties are liable can be challenging. Causation, liability, and negligence in a trucking accident case may involve complicated legal principles. You have the burden of proof in a truck accident lawsuit.
However, our legal team handles the investigation and legal matters related to your injury claim. You only need to focus on healing from your injuries.
Schedule a Free Consultation With Our Tampa Truck Accident Lawyers
Drug and alcohol use by commercial drivers should not be tolerated. Whether it is long-haul truck drivers or truck drivers that deliver across town, the use of drugs and alcohol places everyone in danger.
Call now for your free consultation with a Tampa truck accident lawyer to discuss your case. We want to help you receive the money you deserve as you can continue to recover from your injuries.