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Dealing with a Truck Accident Caused by an Impaired Driver

Posted on behalf of Stephens, Anderson & Cummings on Aug 07, 2019 in Truck Accidents

Trucker MadNo one should operate a motor vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol. This is particularly important when the driver is operating something as large as a commercial truck, which can cause catastrophic damage in a collision.

If you were injured in a truck accident, there are a few ways to obtain evidence proving the truck driver was intoxicated at the time of the crash. The experienced Fort Worth truck accident lawyers at Stephens Anderson & Cummings can help you determine if you have a case and  if you do and hire our firm, we can help you gather evidence to establish the truck driver was under the influence. 

Evidence of Impaired Driving

Our experienced truck accident lawyers may be able to gather evidence to determine the underlying cause of the accident, such as driving impaired. Some of the things we may look into include:

  • Factors involved in the accident – There may be certain factors involved in the accident that may suggest impairment was the issue. For example, the driver may have been driving erratically or switching back and forth between accelerating and constant braking. The driver may have drifted into other lanes without signaling and without reason.
  • Drug tests – Federal laws require mandatory drug testing of commercial drivers after certain types of accidents.
  • Medical records – After the driver is injured and transported to a hospital, he or she may undergo various medical procedures, including having blood withdrawn and tested for drugs and alcohol.
  • Eyewitness statements – Eyewitnesses may have observed the way the driver was operating the vehicle before the collision.

Federal Rules on Drug Testing

Federal rules require drug and alcohol testing at the following times:

  • Pre-employment – An employer must receive a negative drug test result before allowing the driver to operate a vehicle.
  • Post-accident – Drug testing is required when there is a fatality, bodily injury or damage to a vehicle that requires tow away.
  • Random – Truck drivers must also be randomly drug tested throughout the year.
  • Reasonable suspicion – Truck drivers who appear to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol can be tested at any time without warning.
  • Return to duty – Drivers who tested positive for drugs or alcohol, refused a test or violated federal drug testing guidelines and who completed the return-to-duty process must receive a negative result before they are able to resume driving.
  • Follow up – For those who have successfully completed the return-to-duty process, follow-up tests are required.

Testing Following Accidents

Testing after an accident must be administered within two to eight hours of the accident. If testing is not completed within 32 hours of the accident, the employer must prepare a record explaining why the test was not administered.

Contact a Skilled Lawyer for More Information

If you were involved in a truck accident that you believe was caused by an impaired driver, it is important that you seek the assistance of an experienced truck accident lawyer. The legal team at Stephens Anderson & Cummings may be able to help you hold the trucking company responsible for negligent hiring while we pursue favorable compensation for the damages you suffered.

Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.