Every day, we pass dozens or even hundreds of commercial trucks on Cincinnati roads, mostly without incident. These trucks are heavier and wider than passenger vehicles, making them a potential danger to other drivers. Because of their heavy loads and large trailers, truck drivers are specially trained to operate and maneuver their vehicles appropriately to keep other drivers safe. Yet, continually Cincinnati drivers are injured in car accidents involving a commercial truck.
A number of errors can contribute to truck accidents. Distracted or fatigued driving, improperly loaded trailers, and vehicle malfunctions all can cause collisions. But just as drunk driving is a leading cause of car accidents for drivers of passenger vehicles, many truck accidents are caused by truck drivers who are under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Federal law requires that drivers of passenger vehicles have no more than .08 blood alcohol content (BAC) when they are driving. Commercial truck drivers are held to an even higher legal standard. Federal and state regulations require truck drivers to meet a lower BAC limit, .04, because of the increased difficulty of operating a truck, and the damage a commercial vehicle can cause even in the safest conditions.
Truck drivers can receive a DUI with a .04 BAC. However, most truck companies have severe penalties and strict regulations for alcohol consumption on the job or even during off-duty times.
Truck drivers are expected to not consume alcohol before or while driving, but they are also usually discouraged or not permitted to drink at the following times:
- While inside the truck at any point, even while resting or off duty
- While conducting routine repairs or maintenance inspections
- While loading the vehicle’s trailer
- While waiting on the truck to be loaded, repaired, or modified at any stop, station, or facility
These regulations are meant to limit the driver’s ability to become even slightly impaired by alcohol during times when they have to operate the truck in any way. A DUI or DWI for truck drivers usually results in the driver having their commercial license permanently suspended.
Even so, the Ohio State Highway Patrol found that in 2018 that there were 121 heavy truck related fatalities in total. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found in 2017 that that, across the nation, 116 truck drivers with a BAC of .08 or higher were involved in fatal crashes.
These numbers show the prevalence of truck accidents in Ohio and how great the risk is that those accidents are caused by alcohol impairment. In spite of the risks, however, dozens of truck drivers continue to consume alcohol while they are on the job, and cause serious injuries or fatal accidents every year.
If you or a loved one was hurt or killed by a drunk truck driver in Ohio, you don’t need to be told how detrimental and traumatic these accidents can be. One minute you are in complete control of your vehicle and your life, and in the next, your life is changed forever because of a negligent and reckless driver with a huge trailer.
You deserve compensation for all of your injuries. Medical bills, lost time from work, compensation for pain and suffering, and even punitive damages to deter the driver from committing the same crime again are all types of compensation that your attorney can recover for you as part of your settlement against a drunk truck driver.
A case for a truck accident caused by drunk driving can be brought against either the driver or the company, depending on the specifics of the case. Liability can sometimes be difficult to determine, and is based on a number of factors.
One doctrine of “respondeat superior” considers employers, such as the truck company, fully liable for their employees’ actions. Therefore, in the case of an drunk driving truck accident, the truck company is sued. This can be good for a case, since truck companies generally have more money set aside for settlements than an individual driver does.
But for respondeat superior to apply to any personal injury case, a lawyer must prove that the driver was acting within the scope of employment. A lawyer can build a case that shows the contract the driver was hired under, the constraints of that contract limiting the driver’s conduct, and the driver’s intent to drink while working.
Whether the truck driver or the company they work for is held fully responsible for their drunk driving, you deserve full compensation for your injuries under Kentucky and Ohio law. The Cincinnati drunk truck driver accident lawyers of Lawrence & Associates Accident and Injury Lawyers, LLC can fight for you. Contact us at (513) 351-5997 for a free consultation.
Why Do I Need an Attorney?
You deserve to be represented after a truck drunk driving accident by a highly skilled and experienced attorney who can help you recover damages. The person who has caused you such emotional and physical pain, despite being held to a high degree of care in their line of work should be held responsible for their actions.
Retaining an attorney is the most important step you can take after suffering from a truck accident with a drunk driver. Taking this step relatively soon after the collision is crucial, as it allows your lawyer more time, under Ohio’s two-year statute of limitations for personal injury claims, to build a strong case.
You and your lawyer will be able to do this in a number of ways. As the victim of the accident, your lawyer will suggest that you or a family member document the scene of the accident, if possible, taking as many pictures from as many angles as you can. This should be done as soon after the accident as possible, since it may be used as evidence in court later.
You will also be instructed on how to deal with insurance companies who want to settle your case directly with you. In most cases, securing an attorney to seek the full extent of justice for you will be better than accepting a deal by a trucking firm’s insurance company.
Beyond these simple steps, a lawyer will be able to take the burden of the case from your shoulders. A lawyer has the resources and skills that enable them to demand evidence such as witness testimonies from law enforcement agencies and driver records from truck companies.
A lawyer can secure hiring documents and background checks, alcohol and drug testing documents, and notifications of misconduct that may implicate the driver or the truck company for a previous violation. Other relevant records to your case may be uncovered by your attorney during the investigative process.
Why Should I Choose Lawrence & Associates Accident and Injury Lawyers, LLC?
The truck accident lawyers of Lawrence & Associates Accident and Injury Lawyers, LLC have all of the investigative resources needed to gather the compelling evidence to win a settlement. But they also couple those capabilities with a strong sense of compassion, personalized attention, and dedication to winning you the maximum compensation you deserve.
Justin Lawrence was rated a Super Lawyer in 2018 and 2019 by Thompson Reuters, a service which highlights the outstanding work of lawyers based on peer reviews and independent evaluations.
These are a few recognitions of Justin’s work that attests to his eagerness to fight on behalf of his clients in personal injury cases to win the best results possible in Ohio and Kentucky courts.
Lawrence & Associates Accident and Injury Lawyers, LLC has also been awarded designations by Avvo, which conducts comprehensive reviews of law firms in every state. Our firm was named a Client’s Choice by Avvo in 2013, and it continues to enjoy a 10.0 Avvo rating, based on the satisfaction of our clients and our high success rate. Year after year, we continue to secure thousands and hundreds of thousands of dollars for our clients who have been injured by the negligence of other parties.
Lawrence & Associates Accident and Injury Lawyers, LLC is avid about getting our clients the justice they deserve after they suffer from truck accidents. We want to be the ones to make the legal process as painless as possible and help you get back on your feet after a terrible truck accident.
Contact Lawrence & Associates Accident and Injury Lawyers, LLC
If you or a loved one has sustained serious injuries after being involved in a truck accident, nothing should stop you from obtaining the compensation you deserve. Lawrence & Associates Accident and Injury Lawyers, LLC will make sure that your medical bills are paid, that you get adequate time for rest and recovery, and that any emotional trauma you experience is considered in a court of law.
We offer all of our personal injury services on a contingency fee basis, which means you never have to worry about paying anything until you receive the maximum settlement you deserve for your injuries.
Call us today to receive a free evaluation of your claim so we can begin to help you move forward after a truck accident. We have offices in Kentucky that can be reached at (859) 371-5997 and offices in Ohio that you can contact at (513) 351-5997 today.