Commercial drivers are under a lot of pressure. They drive enormous vehicles. They are up against strict deadlines and schedules. They are often far from home for long periods of time. And they spend a lot of time alone in their vehicles.
For some, the loneliness or the stress (or both) gets to be too much. For those drivers, it might be all too easy to try to deal with the challenges by turning to either drugs or alcohol. And if they get behind the wheel while drunk or high, they put themselves and all the drivers with whom they share the road at tremendous risk.
If you are hurt in an accident involving a commercial truck, you will want to know whether or not the driver of that vehicle was impaired at the time of the accident.
Odds are the driver of the other vehicle isn’t going to waltz over to your car and announce that they are high or drunk. So, how would you be able to find out?
Indicators the Driver Was Impaired
There are a variety of documents that can give a sense of whether a commercial driver was impaired at the time of an accident. We’ll start with the most general and work our way toward evidence related to your specific incident.
- Do they have a criminal record that includes driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol? If the truck driver has a history of arrest and/or conviction on DUI charges, a court may be convinced that it is reasonable to suspect the driver was high or drunk at the time of your crash.
- Do they have moving violations on their record? A driver who has been stopped for speeding—or even for something like having an open container of alcohol in their truck cab—may not have ever been arrested. But these moving violations, including whether or not they have caused accidents in the past, can be considered by the court.
- What was their blood alcohol content at the time of the collision with your vehicle? If the police asked the trucker to take a breathalyzer test or ran a chemical blood alcohol test, the results of those tests are, of course, extremely important to your case.
- What details are revealed in the police report? When the police arrive on the scene of the crash, they will begin keeping a record of what they learn. They will write down key details about the scene of the accident, and they will also make a list of factors that may have been related to the crash. For example, they will note whether one or more of the drivers involved was speeding or otherwise driving recklessly. The report will also include whether the truck driver was arrested and whether or not they were suspected of being under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the incident.
You Should Hire an Attorney to Represent Your Interests
First things first: make sure you get medical attention for any and all injuries you sustained in the crash. This is important to your case, of course, but what is far more important is that you get on the road to healing as quickly and completely as possible.
But the next step may well be to hire a personal injury attorney. Your lawyer will have experience in such matters—and will also know how to get access to the sorts of documents we listed above. Armed with the details of the incident, your attorney will be able to vigorously argue on your behalf to make sure you receive appropriate compensation.
We Are Ready to Help
The lawyers of SJ Injury Attorneys work on a contingency basis, which means you don’t pay unless we win your case. As a result, you can afford the expertise and experience of a personal injury attorney to make sure you are treated fairly. Let’s talk about the ways we can help.