Truck accidents often prove fatal as these monster-sized vehicles and trailers travel at freeway speeds. Not to mention most weigh in around 80,000 pounds and some carry dangerous cargo. What makes these accidents all the worse though is that drivers are often tired, lethargic, or distracted. When these accidents prove most fatal, however, is when the driver is under the influence. While everyday people face DUI charges across the country, a truck driver can lose their job, license, and insurance coverage. So why do truck drivers take the risk? Drivers may be under immense pressure from their company to make unreasonable or even nearly impossible delivery times.
General Policies within Trucking Companies
Trucking companies will usually have very generalized zero-tolerance policies on drug use. Usually, that means that when any drug is present during a crash, they will terminate the driver. But these same policies may also excuse them for the responsibility of paying for the accident. That’s where alternative policies come into play, such as the possible consequences of late delivery or how the driver’s log their hours.
If your accident involved a truck driver who was under the influence of any drug, then it’s likely that they were taking it to prevent termination from their job. For you, that means you might only have access to their private insurance, which may not cover even a fraction of your injuries.
Work with a truck accident attorney in Richmond, VA to understand how you can work towards full compensation for the damages caused by this driver and the company as well.
Fatality Rates Among Both Factors
In the most recent study, DUI fatality rates, specifically those associated with alcohol, made up 29% of all vehicular fatalities. With an average of 3.4 deaths per 100,000 people, that’s an astounding number and has dropped significantly since the mid-1980s.
Although this number is dropping it often looks more closely at alcohol than other recreational substances. The CDC estimates that aside from alcohol, other drugs contribute to 16% of all other car accidents. Essentially that is 16% in addition to the 29% of fatal car accidents mentioned earlier. These figures make it clear that drugs and alcohol often result in crashes, and those crashes are often fatal.
In 2018 the number of truck fatalities hit a high that it hadn’t seen in nearly 30 years. This follows a dip in crashes in 2017. From 2017 the fatalities in truck accidents rose by 9%. That made for a total of 4,761 deaths, and of those deaths, about 72% were drivers or passengers of the other vehicle that was involved.
Truck drivers and DUIs together make for a disastrous collision.
What Does This Mean for Your Crash?
If the trucking company involved attempts to back out of responsibility, you might need to pursue compensation from the truck driver directly. For many people, given the serious injuries that come with truck accidents, the maximum amount of compensation available is simply not enough.
Trucking companies usually sit at the helm of truck accidents, but when a driver breaks their policy, it may give them an out to excuse themselves. Working with your truck accident attorney in Richmond, VA, you can explore other opportunities to access your full compensation.
In these cases, you may need to be prepared to go into court and fight for your case. Only an experienced attorney can help you understand what this means for you.
Additionally, there is a concern for outstanding criminal cases. Because truck accident’s often come with fatalities, it’s possible that the driver is facing criminal charges for negligence, recklessness, and more. These cases can impact the outcome of your claim and can help prove fault. However, a guilty verdict in one does not mean that you’ll automatically receive full compensation.
Reach Out to CAIL
Commonwealth Accident Injury Law offices, CAIL, helps those within the Richmond community recover from accidents. It’s shocking how often victims of a car crash are left without any representation and tons of medical bills.
After a wreck with a truck, you need a trucking accident lawyer that specializes in resolving these matters. Not only are you facing the trucking company, and their insurance but often your own insurance company as well. Both companies will have full legal teams in action to make sure that they can keep as much money as possible. However, you still deserve and have a right to a fair settlement or payout.
CAIL offers consultations and full legal services for the victims of truck accidents. Contact your Richmond truck accident attorney today.