Alcohol and drug use is a problem for many drivers. When the driver is a professional truck driver, the consequences can be even more devastating. The sheer size and weight of trucks, as well as the high speeds at which they frequently travel, can make them capable of inflicting huge amounts of damage to other vehicles on the roads.
In some cases, truck drivers are allowed to continue driving after they have been charged and/or convicted of drunk driving. Trucking companies have a duty to the public to carefully screen their employees who have a history of driving under the influence. Trucking companies can reduce the chances of a drunk driving accident by refusing to hire drivers who have had prior offenses. Trucking companies can also perform random drug and alcohol screenings on their employees.
Even the consumption of small amounts of alcohol can have a serious effect on the ability of a driver to react quickly. At a blood alcohol content of .04 percent, drivers have delayed reaction times and increasingly erratic behaviors.
A truck driver who is found to be driving under the influence will probably face criminal charges, which can be personally satisfying for accident victims, but will not normally compensate accident victims for their damages. If you are involved in an accident in the Oakland-San Francisco area with a truck driver who is under the influence, you should consider filing a lawsuit against the truck driver and the trucking company. You may be entitled to compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.
Trucking companies can be held liable for the actions of their drivers, as well as for knowingly hiring drivers who have a history of involvement with drugs or alcohol. If the driver has ever had a DUI or a DWI in his or her past, your case becomes much stronger against the trucking company.
If you have been involved in an accident with a truck driver who you suspect was under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the accident, you should consult with an attorney. Insurance adjusters are likely to push you to make a settlement shortly after the accident, so that you will be unable to seek compensation later. They know that immediately after the accident you will be nervous about the accident and how you will pay for your damages, so an immediate cash settlement may sound appealing. However, know that as soon as you agree to the settlement, you will lose your ability to seek compensation in the future. The insurance adjusters are not on your side, and you may not know the full extent of your injuries at the time you meet with them.
Instead of settling your case on your own, speak with a personal injury attorney. At Liberty Law, Micha Star Liberty and Seth I. Rosenberg believe that everyone involved in an accident with a tractor trailer needs competent legal representation. Call us today at Liberty Law at 415-896-1000 or 510-645-1000. We will provide you with a free consultation, and you pay us nothing unless we obtain compensation for you. You may be entitled to compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, damage to your vehicle, pain and suffering, and more. Your family members may also be entitled to compensation. We work with clients throughout the Bay area, including Oakland, San Jose, Hayward, Tracy, Fairfield, Sacramento, Berkeley, and the surrounding areas. Call us today to learn more or to schedule your free consultation.