Despite strict federal and state laws prohibiting drugged and drunk driving in Fort Worth, TX, commercial truck drivers continue to drive under the influence. In August 2022, Texas had the most violations reported for substance use in the nation.
When a truck driver decides to use drugs or alcohol, their decision can have devastating consequences for others on the road. The Fort Worth truck accident lawyers of Anderson Injury Lawyers fight to get victims the compensation they deserve after a truck accident. Since 2007, our law firm has recovered hundreds of millions of dollars in settlements and jury verdicts for accident victims.
Contact our law office to schedule a free consultation with an experienced truck accident attorney in Fort Worth. Call us at (817) 294-1900.
How Anderson Injury Lawyers Can Help You After an Accident Caused by Truck Driver Drug and Alcohol Use in Fort Worth
Proving fault for a truck accident can be complicated. Trucking companies and their insurance providers have unlimited resources to investigate and fight your claim. Instead, they fight to keep you from receiving the compensation you deserve.
Attorney Mark Anderson is Board Certified in Personal Injury Trial Law. With decades of combined legal experience, our team at Anderson Injury Lawyers have the resources, experience, and skill to take on the trucking industry.
When you hire our award-winning legal team, you can expect us to:
- Conduct an independent truck accident investigation while monitoring the investigations by local, state, and federal agencies
- Determine the parties liable for your damages, including the truck driver and trucking company
- Gather evidence proving causation, fault, and liability for damages
- Verify insurance coverage and file insurance claims
- Work with expert witnesses to gather additional information and evidence to build a solid case
- Aggressively negotiate for the top-dollar settlement amount for your claim
- File a lawsuit and litigate the case in court if the parties refuse to agree to a fair settlement amount
Your initial consultation is free of charge. An experienced Fort Worth truck accident attorney evaluates your case and provides legal advice regarding your options. Since we work on a contingency fee basis, it does not cost you anything for legal services unless we recover money for your claim. Reach out to our personal injury law firm in Fort Worth, Texas, today to learn more or to begin forming an attorney-client relationship.
Why Do Truck Drivers Use Alcohol and/or Drugs?
It is difficult to understand why a truck driver would use alcohol or drugs and drive a commercial truck. Operating an 18-wheeler, semi-truck, or other large truck is challenging. Anything that distracts the driver’s focus or reduces the driver’s reaction time could result in a catastrophic truck accident.
However, thousands of truck drivers use drugs and alcohol each day. The actual numbers could be much higher than reported because many trucking companies are not aggressive about following the testing rules and regulations.
Some reasons why a truck driver might use drugs and/or alcohol include:
- Trying to stay awake when on the road for long hours, including violating the FMCSA hours of service restrictions
- The loneliness of being on the road for extended periods
- The stress of meeting unrealistic delivery deadlines
- The ease of getting alcohol and drugs at truck stops
- To relax and go to sleep quickly during rest periods
Drivers commonly use amphetamines to stay awake for long periods. Even though the DOT regulations require random drug and alcohol testing for truck drivers, truck driver drug and alcohol use continues.
Injuries and Damages Caused by Truck Driver Alcohol and Drug Use
Truck accidents cause life-threatening injuries. Accident victims may sustain permanent impairments and disabilities. Truck accident injuries include:
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injury
- Fractures and broken bones
- Crushing injuries
- Significant scarring and disfigurement
- Internal organ damage
- Wrongful death
The parties who contributed to the cause of the truck crash can be held liable for economic and non-economic damages. In some cases, the parties may also be liable for punitive damages.
Who Is Responsible for a Truck Accident Caused by Truck Driver Alcohol and Drug Use?
Texas is an at-fault state for personal injury claims. Therefore, you must prove that the other party owed you a duty of care and breached that duty of care to establish liability. You must also prove that the breach of duty was the direct cause of your injuries and damages.
Drugged and Drunk Truck Drivers
A drunk or drugged truck driver is liable if they cause an accident. The legal limit for BAC (blood alcohol concentration) is .08%. However, the FMCSA has set a legal limit of 04% for commercial truck drivers to be considered driving under the influence of alcohol.
If a drunk truck driver causes an accident, the driver can be held personally liable for damages. Evidence of impaired driving can help prove causation and fault for a truck accident. The violation of the law is an element used to prove a negligence per se claim.
Negligent Trucking Companies
The trucking company could also be liable for damages caused by a truck accident. Employers can be held vicariously liable when their employee’s negligence leads to an accident or injury.
Furthermore, the trucking company could be negligent by:
- Failing to conduct required random alcohol and drug testing
- Failing to screen applicants correctly
- Not removing truck drivers from service when they test positive for drugs or alcohol
- Failing to implement DOT drug testing programs
- Using drug and/or alcohol tests that are ineffective or inaccurate
- Failing to report violations
Holding the trucking company liable for damages can help ensure sufficient funds to pay the claim. The trucking company generally has extensive liability insurance policies covering their trucks. The companies also have substantial assets to pay claims.
Restaurants and Bars
Establishments that serve alcohol could be partially liable for damages under the Texas Dram Shop Law. An attorney analyzes the case to determine if the business that sold the alcohol to the drunk truck driver could be liable for a civil claim.
Schedule a Free Consultation With Our Fort Worth Truck Accident Lawyers
At Anderson Injury Lawyers, we handle all types of commercial truck accident cases. Call us today to schedule a free consultation to talk with an experienced Fort Worth truck accident attorney. We are here when you need a strong legal advocate fighting to get you the money you deserve.