Richmond Impaired Truck Driver Accident Attorney
Representing Virginia accident victims injured by a drunk or drugged trucker
Semi-trucks and 18-wheelers are massive vehicles. When a trucker gets behind the wheel to start their route, they must be rested, prepared, and above all – alert and sober. Impaired driving is a disaster waiting to happen for anyone, but when a trucker in charge of a multi-ton vehicle is drunk or on drugs, if an accident occurs, it is almost assured to be deadly.
The Richmond-based truck accident attorneys at Phelan Petty understand that the best chance for a successful outcome for your case is having strategic legal representation on your side. When we take your case, we take on the trucking company and their army of insurance companies. We untangle the complicated Virginia and federal laws behind the trucking industry, and we work to secure compensation for your injuries.
Statistics on impaired truck drivers
When it comes to driver-related factors in truck crashes, speeding is generally the number-one cause, at 7.6 percent. However, impairment from things like alcohol or drugs are right behind at 4.7 percent.
Further, a 2020 Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Report showed 30,546 truck driver drug and alcohol violations in less than a year – 29,862 for drugs and 684 for alcohol. These violations were found in testing and broke down as follows:
- Reasonable suspicion
- Return to duty
The highest amount of violations reported come from pre-employment screenings and random tests, respectively. Positive drug tests accounted for 81 percent of total drug and alcohol violations.
The most common drugs impaired truck drivers have in their systems include marijuana, cocaine, and amphetamines.
What are common injuries from Richmond commercial truck accidents?
Although injuries from big rig crashes are similar to those from car wrecks, those injuries tend to be much more severe or catastrophic, due to the sheer size of a commercial vehicle. Physical trauma from accidents with impaired truck drivers can include:
- Airbag or seatbelt injuries
- Broken and fractured bones
- Burn injuries
- Cuts and lacerations
- Internal injuries
- Loss of limb
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Wrongful death
After a collision with an impaired driver, it may seem obvious who is at fault for your accident and injuries. However, there may be more than one party liable for your damages and losses. The Richmond injury attorneys at Phelan Petty work to uncover every liable individual and hold them accountable.
Liability in accidents involving impaired and drunk truck drivers
It is always a truck driver’s responsibility to perform their job in a safe and responsible manner, and they may be held responsible if their negligent actions harm others. In fact, truckers are held to a higher standard regarding drunk driving. Commercial drivers can be charged with DUI if their BAC is .04 percent or higher, rather than the standard .08 percent for most drivers.
Although driving while impaired is a criminal charge, victims may turn to civil legal action not only for financial restitution, but to hold a negligent driver accountable in every way.
In some cases, you may also hold the trucking company liable for your accident and injuries. If the truck driver was “on the clock” when they caused the crash, and the company had reasonable knowledge that they were not fit for driving, the company could be also be held responsible.
Our attorneys investigate the circumstances of your accident to determine every liable party, while you take the time you need to recover from your injuries.
What should I do if I’m injured in a drunk driving accident with a semi-truck?
You can safeguard your legal rights after any accident by taking the following steps. These steps can also protect your physical health:
- Call 911. Most commercial truck crashes are serious and require immediate response by the authorities. You or your passengers may need medical attention, and the police will file a report containing important information you will need later for your claim.
- See a doctor for your injuries. Most injuries are obvious at the scene and you’ll receive appropriate treatment. However, if you do walk away from the accident, ensure you get medical attention as soon as possible. Documentation and treatment of your injuries is crucial for your well-being and your case.
- Collect evidence. A strong case is a case with strong evidence. Evidence helps prove that your accident was not your fault. Take photos/video of the accident scene, your injuries, and the contact information of any witnesses to the crash. Our attorneys can also hire expert witnesses and accident reconstructionists to help show exactly what happened to cause your accident.
- Contact an experienced truck accident lawyer. The injury attorneys at Phelan Petty know how to take on the big trucking companies and win. We will work to prove negligence on the part of the truck driver and trucking company, and fight for proper compensation for your injuries.
What is the value of my Richmond impaired truck driver accident claim?
The full value of your claim depends on the circumstances of the accident and severity of your injuries, our attorneys will take into account a variety of factors, including the:
- Ability to return to work and earn income
- Amount of insurance coverage involved in your claims
- Cost of your current and expected future medical treatment
- Extent of your injuries
- Likelihood of fully recovering from your injuries
- Scope of your pain, suffering, and other non-economic damages
- Strength of the insurance company’s defenses
- Strength or weakness of the liability case against the truck driver or the trucking company
Our truck accident lawyers dedicate themselves to ensuring you secure the compensation to which you are entitled, and will not settle for lowball settlements or denial of your claim. It’s important you understand what your case is fully worth, and let us prevent insurance companies from taking advantage of you when your defenses are down.
Experienced Richmond impaired truck accident attorneys
The commercial truck accident lawyers at Phelan Petty hold drivers accountable when they get behind the wheel while impaired by drugs or alcohol. If you or a loved one were injured by a drunk or drugged truck driver, contact us today for guidance on your legal options. We can help you seek financial compensation for your injuries and losses.