Over-the-Counter Drug Use and Truck Accidents
When we hear about impaired truck driving, we tend to think of drunk driving or driving under the influence of illegal drugs. Over-the-counter drugs, however, are a leading cause of truck accidents in Illinois and throughout the United States. If you or someone close to you has been injured in an accident caused by an impaired truck driver, you need to reach out to a Wheaton or Schaumburg truck accident attorney who can assess the merits of your case. At Therman Law Offices, we know how to gather evidence and build a strong case to pursue the compensation that you deserve for your harm.Over-the-Counter Drug Use Causes Serious Truck Accidents
Unfortunately, some truck drivers abuse over-the-counter drugs, which can seriously impair their ability to operate a large truck. According to the largest study of heavy truck accidents ever conducted in the United States, over-the-counter drug use was among the top 10 most frequent causes of truck accidents. Commercial drivers are required to submit to drug testing as part of Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) standards. However, this drug testing program fails to take over-the-counter medications into account, which can pose a serious threat to a truck driver’s ability to drive safely. Instead, the FMCSA tests truck drivers for illicit amphetamines and methamphetamines, as well as substances such as cocaine and opiates.
If you or someone close to you has been injured due to an impaired truck driver’s conduct behind the wheel, you can likely recover compensation through a negligence claim. Negligence occurs when a driver fails to act as a reasonably prudent driver would have acted under the same or similar circumstances and ends up causing an accident and resulting injuries. For example, one side effect of many over-the-counter drugs is drowsiness. If a truck driver caused an accident because they operated a commercial truck while drowsy from an over-the-counter medication, that driver would likely be liable for any accident and injuries to victims. This is because a reasonably prudent truck driver would understand the dangers associated with driving while drowsy.
Under Illinois law, truck companies that knew or should have known of a truck driver’s substance abuse problems may also be liable for any injuries caused by the driver. In such a case, it would be necessary for your lawyer to establish that the company knew or should have been aware of the driver’s drug use. This could be shown through various types of records, including internal records from the company showing that the truck driver had been disciplined for the behavior but continued to engage in it, or that the company had noted the behavior but taken no measures in response to it.
Commercial trucks can weigh as much as 80,000 pounds, and when these trucks are involved in an override accident or another crash, the consequences can be devastating. In Illinois, victims of truck accidents can recover compensation for their harm. The compensation is intended to place the victim in the position in which they would have been if the accident had not taken place. Certain expenses that are typically recovered from the at-fault party include medical expenses, rehabilitation costs, property damage, lost wages, and costs of future care.Discuss Your Situation with a Truck Accident Lawyer in Schaumburg or Wheaton
If you have been hurt in an accident caused by a truck driver who was impaired due to using over-the-counter drugs, you need to reach out to a motor vehicle collision attorney without delay. At Therman Law Offices, we can advise you of your rights, including the right to compensation for your losses. We understand how to investigate truck crash cases and hold negligent parties accountable for their conduct, whether it involves drug use, fatigue, a wide turn, or a failure to check a blind spot. Our lawyers represent people in Schaumburg, Wheaton, Norwood Park, Edison Park, Harwood Heights, Norridge, Elmwood Park, Park Ridge, Des Plaines, Rosemont, Mount Prospect, and Arlington Heights, among other cities. To talk about your case in more detail, call us at 312-588-1900 or contact us online.