Drunk Driving Truck Accidents
Motor vehicle collisions caused by an intoxicated driver often lead to debilitating injuries and severe property damage. Drunk driving truck accidents are especially devastating because of the sheer size of most commercial vehicles. The Wheaton and Schaumburg truck accident lawyers at Therman Law Offices help collision victims and their families pursue the justice and compensation to which they may be legally entitled. We work to help our clients assert their legal rights, and seek damages from all responsible parties.Truck Drivers Must Meet Strict Regulations Concerning Alcohol and Driving
Driving while under the influence of alcohol is against the law. The dangerous decision to operate a massive vehicle such as a commercial truck while drunk is also likely to be deemed negligent, and potentially reckless. Drivers as well as trucking companies may be held accountable for any resulting harm.
All commercial truck drivers must meet federal and state standards that ensure their safe operation of the truck. The Federal Motor Safety Carrier Administration (FMCSA) regulations for commercial drivers make clear that drivers are prohibited from being under the influence of alcohol for 4 hours prior to operating a truck. Further, while the blood alcohol limit of .08% exists for motorists, truck drivers with a commercial driver's license have a limit that is half this amount. A trucker can receive a DUI with a blood alcohol concentration of only .04%.Establishing Liability for a Drunk Driving Truck Accident
Drunk driving truck accident cases will often proceed under a legal theory of negligence per se, which presumes negligence upon violation of a law that is intended to prevent harm to a certain group of people. Following a truck driving accident caused by a drunk driver, the injured truck accident victim will not be required to prove that the trucker drove in an unsafe or negligent manner if they are alleging negligence per se. By driving legally impaired, the trucker will be deemed to have breached his duty of care. A dedicated truck accident lawyer can determine whether this type of claim would be appropriate in your case.
In addition to the truck driver, an accident victim may be able to assert a legal claim against the trucking company if there is an employment relationship between the company and the driver. Vicarious liability is a legal theory that holds employers responsible for accidents caused by a driver. The driver, at the time of the accident, must have been acting within the scope of their employment.
Trucking companies may also be liable if they know, or should know, they hired a driver with a record of drunk driving. Additionally, maintaining the employment of a drunk truck driver may subject the employer to direct responsibility for resulting harm. Trucking companies owe a duty to the public to properly hire and train their employees. When a truck company fails to meet its duty to others on the road, they may be held legally accountable.
Proving damages is the final step in a personal injury claim. This form of compensation can include economic and non-economic costs. Physical injuries caused by a truck accident tend to be serious, and if necessary, medical professionals can attest to the severity of harm. In addition to costs for hospital care and medical needs, future costs for treatment may be recovered. Additionally, injured individuals and their families are entitled to seek damages for their pain and suffering from the crash. Punitive damages may be available to drunk driving accident victims. As a form of punishment against the drunk trucker, these damages are in addition to compensatory damages.
If a drunk driving truck accident has led to the death of a loved one, a wrongful death claim may be appropriate. This is a civil claim to recover damages on behalf of the deceased. In most cases, a surviving family member files a wrongful death claim. Illinois law provides that expenses that may be recovered include funeral costs, medical expenses before death, and the pain and suffering endured by the victim.Wheaton and Schaumburg Lawyers for Truck Accident Claims
Truck drivers who operate their vehicles while intoxicated should be held accountable. If you or someone close to you has been hurt in a crash caused by a drunk trucker in Schaumburg or Wheaton, contact Therman Law Offices to understand your legal options. Our experienced truck accident attorneys are prepared to evaluate your case and help you seek compensation. We help people throughout Arlington Heights, Streamwood, Hoffman Estates, Elgin, Hanover Park, Bensenville, Wood Dale, Bartlett, Roselle, Carol Stream, Glendale Heights, and Bloomingdale. Call 312-588-1900 or complete our online form to schedule a free consultation.