Most car accidents can be attributed to some type of driver error, like speeding, running a red light, or driving while distracted. Some of the most devastating accidents, however, are the result of a much more egregious decision, that of driving while impaired. This can have particularly traumatic consequences when the driver in question is operating a commercial vehicle, which often weighs as much as 20 to 30 times more than the average passenger-sized vehicle.
There are a number of ways to prove that a truck driver was intoxicated at the time of a crash, so if you were injured in a collision and believe that impairment was the cause, you should consider reaching out to an experienced truck accident lawyer for help.
Evidence of Impaired Driving
When determining whether the underlying cause of an accident was impairment, our legal team looks for a wide range of evidence, including:
- Certain details about the accident, which could be indicative of impairment, such as whether the truck driver was swerving, drifting into other lanes, or otherwise driving erratically;
- The results of drug tests, which are mandatory amongst commercial truck drivers after certain types of accidents;
- The truck driver’s medical records if he or she was injured in the accident and underwent a blood test; and
- Statements from eyewitnesses who observed the driver prior to the crash.
Obtaining this evidence can be complicated, especially if a trucking company is denying liability for the crash. Having an attorney on your side with the experience and skill to obtain this evidence can be critical to the outcome of your case.
Federal Rules on Drug and Alcohol Testing for Commercial Truck Drivers
Federal regulations require commercial truck drivers to undergo drug and alcohol testing at certain times, including:
- Before employment, when an employer must receive a negative drug test result before a driver can be allowed to operate a vehicle;
- After an accident, as drug testing is required whenever there is a collision that involves a bodily injury, fatality, or damage to a vehicle that requires towing;
- When there is reasonable suspicion that a driver is under the influence of drugs or alcohol;
- Randomly, by their employer throughout the year;
- Upon a return to duty after previously testing positive for drugs or alcohol, for refusing a test, or for violating federal drug testing guidelines; and
- Upon completing the return-to-duty process.
Of these, testing after an accident often proves to be the most important, as the results can help establish whether impairment was the cause of a crash. These tests must be administered within two to eight hours of the accident to be considered valid.
Contact Our Firm for More Information
At Dolan Dobrinsky Rosenblum Bluestein, our experienced team of Miami truck accident lawyers and support staff are dedicated to helping accident victims recover the compensation to which they are entitled. This is especially true for victims who have been injured or killed by negligent or impaired drivers. To schedule an evaluation of your own case, call us at 305-371-2692 or reach out to us via online message.