Cook County DUI Truck Accident Lawyers
Personal Injury Attorneys for Tinley Park Area Clients Injured In Truck Accidents Involving DUI or Drug Use
With an occupation that often involves 500 miles and 11 hours a day, some truck drivers fall prey to alcohol and drug abuse, both on and off the job. This, unfortunately, means an increased risk for truck accidents on our roadways. An 80,000-pound tractor-trailer going 70 mph with a truck driver under the influence of liquor or narcotics is a recipe for catastrophe.
If you were injured in a truck accident, or if a loved one lost their life in a truck crash, and truck driver DUI or drug use were involved, Schwartz Injury Law will pursue damages and compensation from the driver and trucking company that allowed an inebriated individual to drive the vehicle in the first place.
Truck Driver Drug and Alcohol Policy
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) mandates all commercial truck drivers complete a pre-employment drug screening, and employers must administer annual random drug tests. In 2016, 97 percent of the 5.5 million drug screenings administered by the U.S. Department of Transportation were taken by truck and bus drivers, and certified labs reported 1.98 percent of the individuals tested failed. That might not seem like a large number until you consider there are 3.5 million professional truck drivers in the United States. That means that at any given time, 70,000 truck drivers are driving under the influence.
Drug screens fail to deter many substance abusers, especially those who use prescription pain medicines, which quickly pass through a user's system and rarely show up in a urinalysis. At 26 percent rate of involvement in all truck crashes, prescription drug use was the No. 1 driver-related contributing factor listed in the FMCSA Truck Crash Causation Study.
While in far fewer numbers, some drivers use methamphetamine or cocaine, which can keep them awake for unnatural periods of time, and cause hallucinations or agitation that may endanger other drivers. Marijuana is another frequently used drug, which also negatively impacts driver focus.
While the added delay in reaction time caused by drugs and alcohol can create a deadly situation behind the wheel, so can an intoxicated driver's actions in non-driving functions of the job. With alcohol, federal standards say commercial drivers cannot drink within four hours prior to inspecting, servicing, loading, unloading or driving their vehicle.
Causes for Truck Accidents
Truck driver DUI or drug use might not be the only reason a tractor-trailer or its contents hit your vehicle. Other common reasons for truck crashes include:
Other individuals or related businesses may be liable in addition to the truck driver. Freight loaders, maintenance mechanics, truck leasing companies and trucking employers may be negligent. Schwartz Injury Law attorneys can help determine exactly who contributed to the accident and hold them accountable. Past individual truck accident settlements and judgments for our clients include awards up to $10.95 million.
Contact Oak Lawn Lawyers Skilled in Truck Collision Claims
Our attorneys can determine if truck driver negligence led to the truck wreck that affected you. Contact an Orland Park personal injury attorney at 708-226-9000 for a free consultation. We serve clients throughout northern Illinois, including but not limited to Orland Park, Oak Lawn, Homer Glen, Palos Hills, Mokena, Oak Forest, New Lenox, Alsip, and Markham.