An accident can happen in an instant, and suddenly, your whole world turns upside down. When a crash occurs involving a truck, the resulting injuries are more likely to be severe or life-threatening. The negligent driver or trucking company should pay for your damages, which may include medical expenses, rehabilitation therapy costs, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. After an injury from a truck accident, it is essential to contact an attorney as soon as possible. Your lawyer will handle all of the legal aspects of your case while you focus on your health and recovery.
What is Impaired Driving?
Most often, we associate impaired driving with drunk driving. However, drug use can also cause impairment. Both illicit and prescription drugs can lead to impaired driving. Distracted driving and driving while fatigued may also be considered impaired driving. Generally, impaired driving is driving while you do not have full control or function of your mental or physical abilities. They were driving while impaired is negligent because the driver knows or should know that his actions could cause harm to someone else.
Testing for Impairment
The best way to know if a truck driver is impaired is through testing. In minor accidents, the police do not always require testing. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires employers to drug test drivers in some situations. Trucking companies must test a driver as soon as it is practical to do so following an accident in which there was a fatality, someone was injured, and the police cited the truck driver. Also, when there was damage that required any vehicle to be towed from the accident, and the driver was cited.
Drivers have to be tested within 32 hours of the crash. If the trucking company fails to test, they must provide a report to the FMCSA with an explanation. The test must follow specific criteria. A urine test must be conducted for the presence of controlled substances. The test must conform to the current state, local, and federal laws, and has to be undertaken by an approved independent authority. If the driver were tested, your attorney would seek to obtain the results.
Electronic Logging Devices
Electronic logging devices (ELDs) are now a requirement for most commercial trucks operating in the United States. The device records specific information, including how long the driver has been behind the wheel. Laws require drivers to take regular breaks and to have sufficient rest periods before they start another shift. If a driver was driving too long, he could be fatigued. Fatigued or drowsy driving can cause a driver to have slow responses and can lead to accidents. Your attorney will gain access to the logbook data to determine whether fatigue may be a factor in your particular accident.
If you were hurt in a crash with a truck, it is critical to contact an 18-wheeler accident attorney as soon as possible. Your lawyer will immediately work to obtain essential data that will be helpful in your case. Contact Baumgartner Law Firm for a free phone case evaluation after any commercial vehicle accident.