Mark Roman | July 21, 2017 | Personal Injury
Trucking companies and truck drivers have an obligation to take reasonable measures that ensure public safety. They must also comply with numerous rules and regulations. This is because the risks of truck accidents, especially risks for catastrophic injuries and wrongful death, exceed those posed by most other auto accidents involving smaller vehicles. After all, commercial trucks and 18-wheelers are among the most massive machines that travel our public roads and highways.
When it comes to trucking industry regulations, state and federal agencies, including the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), focus heavily on ensuring that truckers are fit and qualified to operate their rigs. With most trucking accidents being caused by driver error and negligence, these regulations and other similar laws governing motorist conduct are essential to preventing accidents, injuries, and deaths on our roads.
Unfortunately, as our Clearwater truck accident lawyers have seen in many cases we have handled, truckers and trucking companies do not always obey the rules. This is especially true when it comes to substance use and testing of truckers who pose extreme risks when they step behind the wheel while under the influence. Here are a few important things to note about drugged driving truck accidents:
- Drugged driving is illegal – Driving under the influence of drugs is illegal for all drivers. This includes controlled substances and prescription medications that impair a person’s ability to safely operate a vehicle. If a trucker drives while under the influence, they are committing a criminal offense and can be subject to serious penalties if arrested. If it important to note that any criminal proceedings are conducted separately from civil lawsuits regarding personal injury or wrongful death. This means that if you were injured by a drugged truck driver, you will need to pursue compensation through the civil justice system.
- Trucking companies have responsibilities – Trucking companies are ultimately responsible for the conduct of their employees. Additionally, trucking operators must comply with regulations during when hiring employees who do not pose unreasonable risks to the public. This includes ensuring that their drivers pass health examinations and drug screening. They must also test for substance abuse to ensure their drivers are not operating rigs while impaired. Negligently hiring or retaining drivers with known substance abuse issues can mean that trucking companies could be held liable for any accidents and injuries they cause.
- Liability and victims’ rights – Drugged driving is an egregiously negligently act any reasonable person would know places others at risk of suffering harm. As such, victims harmed by drugged drivers have a right to hold the driver, or the company employing them, liable for their damages. These can include a range of economic and noneconomic damages resulting from a crash and subsequent injuries, including pain and suffering, lost income, and past and future medical expenses, among others.
Roman & Gaynor is helmed by two Board Certified Personal Injury Attorneys (Mark Roman and Morgan Gaynor) who together utilize over 50 years of combined experience to advocate on behalf of individuals and families who have suffered harm due to the negligence of others. Over the years, our team has accumulated invaluable experience handing auto accident cases involving drugged and drunk motorists, as well as many trucking accident cases. We are prepared to put this insight to work for you.
If you wish to discuss a recent truck accident case in Pinellas County, Pasco County, or any of the surrounding areas of Florida, do not hesitate to speak with a member of our legal team about your accident and legal rights. Our firm is available 24/7 to take your call. Contact us today.