Although rare, drunk driving truck accidents can potentially cause catastrophic injuries to passengers in smaller vehicles. Because they are so much heavier than other cars on the road, trucks can crush vehicles, harming motorists around them.
Injuries resulting from these crashes often require hospitalization, ongoing medical care, and extensive rehabilitation. Sadly, these collisions can be fatal. Fortunately, a dedicated and compassionate truck crash attorney could help you recover financial compensation for your injuries. If you or a loved one were hurt in a drunk driving truck accident in Chicago, get in touch with one of our lawyers today.
Warning Signs of Intoxicated Tractor-Trailer Drivers
Like fatigued truckers, drunk semi-truck drivers cannot protect other drivers on the road. Often, these drivers have delayed reaction times and cannot brake fast enough or swerve quickly enough to avoid striking other vehicles. Although trucking companies should regularly test their employees to ensure they are not abusing substances while working, they sometimes fail to do so.
Legal BAC Limits for Truckers
In Chicago, a truck driver with a CDL license can receive a DUI if their blood alcohol level (BAC) is above .04. Although civil cases are handled separately from criminal cases, receiving a DUI citation could be strong evidence of civil liability.
Who is Liable for Drunk Driving Truck Collisions?
While liability is not always clear in trucking accidents, it is usually apparent when an intoxicated driver is involved. In many cases, these claims are worth more than other accidents, especially if another driver sustains significant injuries in the collision.
Frequently, drunk driving truck wrecks occur when a trucker is working, making their employer responsible for damages. However, if a trucker causes a crash while not in the scope of their employment, they may be personally responsible for any accident-related losses. That said, it is difficult to hold truckers personally accountable for collisions of this nature because they often lack the financial means to provide plaintiffs with proper compensation.
If a trucker is an independent contractor and not directly employed by a company, a plaintiff can file a claim against the driver and not the business that contracted them. In some cases, a third party that owns the truck involved in a collision could be held responsible for the driver’s actions.
Unlike other car insurance policyholders, trucking companies have commercial limits. For example, while the state minimum limit for passenger vehicles is typically $25,000, the limit for trucking companies is $750,000. Therefore, injured victims can receive a larger settlement than other civil claims.
Unfortunately, injured motorists sometimes bear partial responsibility for a collision. In these cases, an insurance company or jury will reduce their settlement by their percentage of fault.
Call an Attorney in Chicago to Learn More about Drunk Driving Truck Accidents
Dealing with the effects of a truck accident is undoubtedly an overwhelming process. However, when a driver’s negligent and intentional actions caused you or your family to suffer devastating injuries, you deserve to collect compensation to help you pay for your medical bills, pain and suffering, and lost income.
Additionally, if your loved one passed away because of an intoxicated trucker, you could pursue financial restitution on their behalf. Call an attorney today to discuss drunk driving truck accidents in Chicago and get started on your claim.