If you got hurt in an accident because a truck driver was driving under the influence, contact Jonathan R. Brockman, P.C. immediately. Our Fayetteville truck accident attorneys will work diligently to resolve your case and recover the financial compensation you need to pay for your medical treatment, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. You can depend on us to seek justice and hold the truck driver accountable for their actions.
You’re entitled to pursue legal action if you get hurt in a car crash caused by a negligent driver. The monetary award you receive should cover all the losses associated with your injury. Driving under the influence is against the law in Georgia. The trucker could face not only criminal charges but also liability in an insurance claim or civil lawsuit. When you hire Jonathan R. Brockman, P.C., we’ll use our experience, resources, and knowledge to obtain sufficient evidence that proves you deserve the maximum compensation available.
To find out more about the legal services we provide, call (855) 465-4407 today. We’ll schedule your free consultation to review your case and discuss your options.
Common Types of Commercial Vehicles
There are commercial trucks of all shapes and sizes. Even the smallest one is larger and heavier than a standard passenger car. Many transport cargo within the state and throughout the country. Some goods are everyday products you use to get ready for work in the morning or cook your family dinner. Others are hazardous chemicals that increase the risk of harm if there’s a crash.
The most common commercial trucks include:
- Dump truck
- Cement mixer
- Garbage truck
- Refrigerator truck
- Heavy hauler
- Tow truck
- Delivery van
- Cargo tank
- Firetruck and emergency vehicles
What Does It Mean to Drive Under the Influence?
Driving under the influence includes both drugs and alcohol. When someone is under the influence, that means they have a legal or illegal substance in their system that affects their ability to drive safely. A truck driver could get arrested for DUI (driving under the influence) in Georgia if:
- Their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is .04% or higher;
- They’re in actual physical control of their vehicle while under the influence of any drug, alcohol, or controlled substance, or
- A chemical test shows any amount of marijuana or illegal drugs in their system.
Examples of substances that could impair a driver while they’re operating a motor vehicle include:
- Prescription medication
- Controlled substances
- Over-the-counter medicine
Whether there’s alcohol or drugs in the body, it can impact someone’s physical and mental functioning. Even a small amount could increase the risk of an accident. Common side effects the driver might experience that could lead to a crash include:
- Blurry vision
- Slowed reaction time
- Poor judgment
- Lack of coordination
- Decreased depth perception
- Inability to make good decisions
- Reduced ability to focus
- Impaired motor skills
If you’re driving and think there’s a truck driver under the influence, maintain a safe distance from their vehicle and call local law enforcement. The usual signs are swerving and unnecessary braking. Don’t engage or try to get them to pull over. Stay as far away from them as possible and let the police deal with it.
Determining Liability After an Accident Caused By a DUI Truck Driver
When a motor vehicle accident occurs, the person at fault becomes automatically financially responsible for the victim’s damages according to Georgia’s fault system. Every motorist must carry auto insurance with minimum liability limits, and you can file a claim to recover compensation for your damages.
Damages fall under two separate categories: economic and non-economic. Economic damages include monetary losses, such as the cost of medical care. Non-economic damages include intangible losses, such as physical pain and emotional distress. When you get hurt in a truck accident, you’re probably going to incur various damages, especially if the injury is severe, and you require months of treatment.
The liability limits truck drivers must purchase depend on the vehicle’s weight and the type of cargo they’re transporting. The most common coverage includes:
- $300,000 for vehicles under 10,0001 pounds carrying non-hazardous cargo
- $750,000 for vehicles over 10,000 pounds
- $1 million for vehicles transporting hazardous materials
- $5 million for vehicles containing a tank over 3,500 pounds and carrying hazardous materials
These liability limits are much higher than the standard driver’s insurance requirements. That’s because commercial trucks tend to cause more damage than compact cars. Truck drivers need adequate coverage if an injured victim decides to file an insurance claim or lawsuit against them.
When you file a liability claim with the at-fault truck driver’s auto insurance company, you could seek damages such as:
- Medical bills
- Pain and suffering
- Car repair or replacement costs
- Disability or disfigurement
- Out of pocket expenses
- Lost wages and earning capacity
- Rental vehicle
- Mental anguish
Sometimes, the trucking company could bear some responsibility even though the truck driver got behind the wheel after consuming drugs or alcohol. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regulates the trucking industry. Specific standards require companies to:
- Perform a thorough background check on all prospective employees
- Issue routine and random drug and alcohol testing
- Provide training on safety procedures
- Investigate after an accident occurs
Any violation of these standards could result in the trucking company being held liable for an accident victim’s damages.
You Have Options If the Truck Driver Doesn’t Have Insurance
Although rare, there are times when you might come across someone who doesn’t carry auto insurance. Federal and state laws require liability coverage; however, if you get into an accident with a truck driver who doesn’t have insurance, you could file a claim with your auto insurance company.
Uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM) is an optional type of insurance all motorists can choose to add to their policy when they sign up for liability coverage. It provides reimbursement of some damages if the at-fault driver doesn’t hold liability insurance. If you file a UM claim, you might be entitled to the following:
- Medical costs
- Out of pocket expenses
- Car repair or replacement
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
You also have the legal option of filing a civil lawsuit against the truck driver for driving under the influence. There’s a two-year statute of limitations you must follow. It’s a strict deadline that requires you to filing your suit within two years of the accident date. If the statute passes, you could lose your right to financial compensation in this matter.
There are three circumstances where you could toll (pause) the statute of limitations:
- You were under the age of 18 at the time of the accident. The clock wouldn’t begin until you turn 18 years old.
- You were legally incompetent when the crash occurred. The clock would start once you become legally competent.
- The at-fault truck driver left the state temporarily. Their absence would not count towards the two-year statute, and the clock would begin upon their return.
Why You Should Hire Jonathan R. Brockman, P.C. To Handle Your Case
Whether you’re filing an insurance claim or lawsuit, it can be an overwhelming experience. You shouldn’t have to go through this alone. We have an experienced legal team that can handle every legal aspect of truck accident cases. When you hire us, we’ll immediately launch a complete investigation into what happened and who was at fault.
We’ll locate sufficient evidence that proves the truck driver was driving under the influence and you sustained injures in the accident. Examples include:
- Footage from security videos
- Your medical records and other associated documents
- Statements from eyewitnesses
- Accident scene photos
- Traffic crash report
- Chemical test results (blood, urine, breath)
- Legal documents from any ongoing criminal case against the trucker
- Estimates for vehicle damage
We understand state laws and the procedures we need to follow to protect our clients’ rights and ensure they receive the maximum compensation they deserve. Time is of the essence in situations like this. Evidence can get lost and destroyed if too much time passes. That’s why you must retain our services immediately after the accident so we can begin our work.
You won’t have to worry about anything except recovering while your case is ongoing. We’ll file the insurance claim or lawsuit, complete necessary forms, and communicate with the opposing party on your behalf. We want this process to be as stress-free as possible. You can depend on us to take care of every step and provide guidance and support from start to finish.
Contact an Experienced Accident Lawyer in Fayetteville
At Jonathan R. Brockman, P.C., we have been helping truck accidents victims pursue the justice they deserve for over 30 years. We know the trucking laws and how to uphold your rights as we pursue your insurance claim or lawsuit. We’ll utilize every resource at our disposal to build a strong case and hold the at-fault party liable.
We understand the importance and value of customer service. While we’re working on your case, we’ll provide regular updates, so you know what’s happening and what to expect next. You will always be a priority when you’re working with our legal team. We provide one-on-one attention to our clients in Fayetteville and the surrounding areas.
If a truck driver was driving under the influence and caused your accident, call Jonathan R. Brockman, P.C. at 770-205-2231 for your free consultation with a dedicated lawyer.