Semi-trucks deliver almost all of the goods that are purchased in the United States. As much as we rely on them, trucks can also be very dangerous under the wrong circumstances. This is especially true when truck drivers drink before they drive.
Drunk driving is a serious problem for truck drivers. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that nearly 5,000 large truck drivers died in alcohol-related accidents in one recent year. That doesn’t include the other drivers and passengers who may have been hurt or killed in those crashes.
While drunk driving accidents aren’t as common among truck drivers as they are among passenger car drivers, truck accidents often cause much more extensive injuries than car accidents, especially if the truck driver was drunk. Trucks already hit with greater force than a car because of their size and weight. If the driver is drunk, they may be speeding, fail to brake, fail to swerve, or engage in other factors that can make accident injuries worse.
If you were hurt in an accident caused by a drunk truck driver, the compassionate and dedicated semi-truck accident attorneys at Tomeny | Best Injury Lawyers want help you seek justice and the full compensation you need to move forward. Call us today to set up a free consultation with a Baton Rouge drunk driving accident lawyer.
Our Baton Rouge Semi-Truck Accident Lawyers Help Drunk Driving Crash Victims
A serious truck accident can leave you with disabling injuries, massive financial burdens, and an uncertain future. We know the physical, mental, and emotional toll a truck accident can take on victims and their families. Whatever help we can provide, we will.
Once you’ve scheduled your initial consultation with our firm, our first step will be to launch a thorough investigation into the accident that hurt you. We’ll ask you some questions about what happened, then we’ll start gathering additional evidence to support your claim.
The type of evidence needed in your truck accident injury claim includes:
- The report from the law enforcement agency that investigated the crash
- Evidence that could indicate the driver was impaired
- Photos or video you took of the crash scene
- Footage from traffic cameras or store surveillance systems
- Eyewitness testimony
- Medical records
- “Black box” data from the truck
- The driver’s daily logs
- Company training materials
It’s important to start gathering this information quickly, as a trucker’s employer may attempt to avoid responsibility for an accident by hiding or destroying documents or data that could implicate them or their driver.
While we’re gathering evidence to support your claim, we’ll also be handling communications with the truck driver, their employer, and their insurance carriers. We’ll send them the evidence we’ve gathered that backs up your claim, while making sure that you don’t say or do anything that could jeopardize your compensation.
It’s crucial to hire a personal injury attorney before giving any statement to the truck driver’s insurance provider, because they may try to use your statement to deflect blame and avoid paying for your injuries.
At this point, we’ll start negotiating with the insurance company to seek a settlement for your injuries. An acceptable settlement offer should cover all your losses, including the cost of any future medical care you might need and other damages. As these negotiations continue, we’ll be preparing your case for trial. While most truck accident claims are settled out of court, we’re not afraid to use litigation to get our clients what they deserve.
What Are the Baton Rouge Laws Against Drunk Driving in Large Trucks?
Driving under the influence of alcohol is a major offense in Baton Rouge and Louisiana, just as it is throughout the United States. However, there are a few differences when it comes to truck drivers who drink and drive.
The most important difference in drunk driving laws for passenger cars vs. commercial vehicles is that there’s a lower blood-alcohol content (BAC) threshold for truck drivers. While the legal limit for most drivers in Louisiana is 0.08 percent, the legal limit for commercial drivers is 0.04 percent.
This means that truck drivers can be considered legally drunk after drinking much less than someone driving a passenger car.
Who Can Be Held Liable After a Drunk Semi-Truck Driver Accident?
The truck driver may be the most obvious person to pursue for damages after a drunk driving accident, but they may not be the only one liable. Depending on the circumstances of the crash, multiple parties could bear partial responsibility for the claim.
Potentially liable parties for a drunk truck driver crash include:
- The truck driver – In many ways, the ultimate responsibility for any drunk truck driver accident lies with the driver. They’re the ones behind the wheel, and all drivers are required by law to exercise care while driving and not injure anyone else on the road. Any claim for damages after a drunk truck driver accident will almost certainly involve the driver in some way.
- The truck driver’s employer – Trucking companies are generally responsible for their drivers’ negligence under a legal concept called vicarious liability.
What Should You Do If a Trucker Injures You While Drinking and Driving?
It’s important to take the proper steps to protect your rights if you’re involved in a truck accident, especially if the truck driver was drinking. Here’s what you need to do:
- Call 911. Truck accidents often cause serious, potentially life-threatening injuries to anyone involved, so your first step is to call for emergency assistance. Calling 911 will also get the local law enforcement agencies involved so they can investigate the crash. You’ll want that accident report when you make your claim for damages, especially if they cite the truck driver for DUI.
- Get the information you need from the truck driver. Get their name, their phone number, their driver’s license number, the license plate number for their truck, and the name and phone number of their employer. If possible, you should also try to get information about the truck’s insurance coverage.
- Photograph the scene. If you’re able to, take as many pictures of the crash scene as you can. Be sure to photograph any damage to your vehicle, the damage to the truck, the surrounding roadway, any intersections or traffic lights nearby, any hazards that might have contributed to the accident, adverse weather conditions, and so on.
- Get contact information for any witnesses. Eyewitnesses can be vital in establishing fault in a truck accident claim. If you notice anyone who saw the accident, get their name and contact information.
- Seek medical treatment. Even if your injuries seem minor at first, see a doctor right away. There may be internal injuries that aren’t readily obvious, and other injuries may not manifest for a few days after the accident. The sooner you start treatment, the better your chance of a full recovery.
- Hire a personal injury lawyer. If you wish to pursue compensation for a truck accident, you have a significant legal battle ahead of you. You’ll need an attorney’s help to gather the necessary evidence to substantiate your claim, and an attorney can help you all identify everyone who may be potentially liable for your injuries. A lawyer will also make sure you don’t give any damaging information to the truck driver’s insurer and that any settlement offer you receive reflects the full value of what you lost in the accident.
Contact Our Experienced Baton Rouge Drunk Driving Truck Accident Attorneys Today
The dedicated attorneys at Tomeny | Best Injury Lawyers have helped hundreds of clients recover damages after crashes. We want to do the same for you. Securing the compensation you deserve after an accident is not easy, and you only have one year from the date of your accident to file a claim.
To get started, schedule your free initial consultation today by calling our office or visiting our contact page. A Baton Rouge drunk driving truck accident lawyer can walk you through your legal options and help you seek out the payments you deserve.