Drug and Alcohol Use Among Truck Drivers
Drug and alcohol use among commercial truck drivers has become a serious concern in recent years, and the National Transportation Safety Board1 has been studying the root of this problem.
It goes without saying that drug and alcohol use by truck drivers behind the wheel leads to motor vehicle accidents with often catastrophic injuries. If you have been injured in an accident as a result of an impaired truck driver’s negligence, our experienced truck accident attorneys are here to help you obtain the monetary compensation to which you may be entitled.
Causes of Drug and Alcohol Use by Truck Drivers
Both trucking companies and truck drivers reap significant financial benefits when truck drivers work long hours and drive for long periods of time without stopping. Truck drivers oftentimes receive bonuses if they drive for long hours and reach their destinations sooner.
In many cases, truck drivers use methamphetamines (which are readily available at truck stops) in order to stay awake longer, log more miles, and deliver cargo to their destinations faster and more efficiently. Unfortunately, this kind of activity has the potential to create hazardous conditions for other drivers on the roadway.
Some of the more common reasons why truck drivers use drugs and alcohol while driving include the following:
- Long hours behind the wheel
- Loneliness and lack of communication with others
- Tedious nature of the job
- Night driving
When a person is injured in a motor vehicle accident resulting from a truck driver’s negligence, he or she may have a legal cause of action against the truck driver and/or the trucking company. In order to receive compensation for injuries sustained in an accident, the injured plaintiff must prove that the truck driver failed to act reasonably under the circumstances and that this breach proximately resulted in injuries and damages.
The injured plaintiff may also have a cause of action against the trucking company based upon an agency theory of liability, referred to in the legal world as respondeat superior.2 In other words, the injured plaintiff would need to prove that an employment relationship existed between the driver and the trucking company, that the truck driver was under the company’s control at the time of the accident, and that the truck driver had the company’s express or implied consent to operate the truck at the time of the subject accident.
In the trucking accident context, the agency can sometimes be difficult to prove, since many truck drivers are independent contractors and do not work as employees for trucking companies.
Potential Plaintiff Damages in Trucking Accident Cases
Due to the large size of commercial trucks, the injuries sustained in trucking accident cases caused by impaired driving have the potential to be catastrophic. Potential damages may include the following:
- Payment of medical bills
- Lost wages
- Past, present, and future pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of earning capacity
- Loss of companionship
- Mental anguish
Contact a Clearwater Truck Accident Attorney Today to Discuss Your Case
Our experienced Clearwater truck accident attorneys can review all of the facts and circumstances of your case and take the necessary legal actions to maximize its value. You can contact the experienced Clearwater truck accident attorneys at Dolman Law Group by calling 727-451-6900, or contact us online.
Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33756