Cape Girardeau Truck Accidents Involving Alcohol and Drug Use
Nationwide, more than 4,000 large trucks were involved in fatal crashes in 2015. According to the Motor Carrier Management Information System, over 53,000 big trucks were involved in injury crashes, and more than 95,000 were involved in tow-away crashes. Many of these wrecks involved the use of drugs and alcohol. If you have been injured in a truck accident involving alcohol or drug use, call our office today to speak with one of our Cape Girardeau truck accident attorneys. We can analyze the facts of your case and determine the best case strategy for achieving maximum compensation for your injuries. Nahon, Saharovich & Trotz is a large regional personal injury law firm.Holding a Drunk or Drugged Truck Driver Liable for Your Bodily Injuries
Missouri law prohibits driving while intoxicated generally and specifically driving with excessive blood alcohol concentration (BAC). A person commits the crime of driving while intoxicated (DWI) if he or she operates a motor vehicle while in an intoxicated or drugged condition. This includes driving under the influence of alcohol, a controlled substance, drug, or any combination thereof. A person drives with excessive BAC if he or she operates a motor vehicle with a BAC of 0.08% or higher. Any person convicted of either of these offenses may be subject to fines, imprisonment, or both.
A truck driver operating a big rig under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a danger both to him or herself and to others on the road. Drunk or drugged drivers typically react slowly, become drowsy, and make poor decisions while driving, which can lead to serious crashes and injuries. Generally, in order to hold a driver responsible for your injuries following a truck accident involving alcohol or drug use, you will need to show that he or she breached a duty of care owed to you that caused you to suffer injuries and losses. If you can show that the other driver was impaired by alcohol or drugs, which caused him or her to fall asleep, speed, merge over into your lane, disregard a traffic light, or commit another driving error, then you may be able to show negligence per se. Under this theory, the defendant’s negligence may be presumed due to a violation of Missouri’s DWI or BAC law.
An employer will typically be vicariously liable for the negligent actions of its employees, so in most cases the trucking company will be legally and financially responsible for your injuries if you are injured in a crash with a drunk or drugged truck driver acting in the course and scope of employment. Additionally, truck drivers are considered to be professional drivers and should be carefully screened by their employers prior to being hired, pursuant to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). If the employee had a history of DWI or BAC convictions, you may also have a claim against the employer for negligent hiring.
Keep in mind that while you typically have five years to settle your personal injury claim or file a lawsuit if your accident took place in Missouri, it is important to hit the ground running and begin investigating your claim and gathering evidence immediately after the accident. Trucking companies usually hire a team of lawyers and investigators to protect their interests, and it is important for you to have a truck accident lawyer in the Cape Girardeau area to fight for you and protect your legal rights as well.Discuss Your Truck Crash Claim with a Knowledgeable Personal Injury Attorney
If you have been the victim of a truck accident involving alcohol or drug use, one of our knowledgeable attorneys can discuss with you the various legal aspects of your case. We can evaluate your claim and determine the steps that need to be taken to ensure that you are compensated for your injuries by the truck driver, his employer, or both. Our firm has been handling personal injury cases for more than 30 years, and our attorneys have recovered more than $1.5 billion for our clients during that time. We represent truck accident victims all across Missouri, including in Cape Girardeau, Caruthersville, Hayti, Poplar Bluff, and Sikeston, among other areas. Call us toll-free at 800-529-4004 or complete our online form for a free consultation with an 18-wheeler crash attorney today. NST is the way to go.