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Driving Under the Influence and a Semi-Truck Accident

  • 100 Congress Avenue, Suite 2000
  • Austin, Texas 78701
  • (512) 806-0000

Commercial truck drivers do not always get on the road in a sober state. Indeed, there are instances when a semi-truck driver imbibes in some sort of mind-alter substance while operating a rig on a public roadway. Drunk or impaired semi-truck drivers are extremely dangerous and cause horrific accidents in Texas.

Random Alcohol and Drug Testing

Commercial truckers are required to submit to random testing for drugs and alcohol, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. The FMCSA reports that approximately 1 percent of this random tests are positive for alcohol in a driver's system.

Research studies suggest that this positive test rate of 1 percent is deceptive. An exhaustive international study reported that more than 12 percent of U.S. commercial truck drivers test positive for alcohol in their systems.

In the final analysis, there is considerable evidence to suggest that over one in 10 commercial truck drivers is operating a rig under the influence of alcohol. This does not take into account an additional percentage of semi drivers that may be on roadways under the influence of other types of dangerous mind-altering substances.

Avoiding Alcohol and Drug Testing

A sad reality associated with the trucking industry is that intoxicated drivers oftentimes escape detection. This occurs for a number of startling reasons.

There are many situations in which a semi driver is not tested for the presence of alcohol or other mind-altering substances in the aftermath of a collision. In fact, the FMCSA notes that there are trucking companies that actually assist their drivers in avoiding post-accident testing or who even work to hide the results of such tests.

Another practice within the industry involves owner-operators. These are individuals that not only drive a semi but own the rig as well. These drivers are required to join a testing consortium so that they can be randomly monitored for the presence of alcohol and drugs in their systems.

A number of owner-operators simply refuse to comply with the testing requirements or to even join a consortium. Time and again, the administrators of these consortiums fail to report this delinquency to the FMCSA.

There are also situations in which a driver fails a random alcohol test and is fired by a trucking company. The driver then seeks and obtains a position with another trucking outfit, not disclosing the failed alcohol test.

Compensation for Injuries in a Drunk Semi Driver Case

You likely have sustained significant injuries as the result of an accident caused by an intoxicated semi-truck driver. You very well may be entitled to compensation for losses that include:

  • pain and suffering
  • medical bills
  • permanent disability
  • lost wages
  • property damage
  • emotional stress

In addition to compensation for permanent disability that may arise from an accident, you may be entitled for other future losses as well. These can include lost wages, pain and suffering, and medical bills reasonable expected to be incurred in the future.

An Austin truck accident attorney from The Doan Law Firm will fight to ensure that you obtain the full compensation to which you are entitled in a case involving an intoxicated semi-truck driver. You can learn more about the types and extent of compensation to which you may be entitled by calling The Doan Law Firm in Austin at 512-806-0000.

Beware the Statute of Limitations

The state of Texas has a law on the books called the statute of limitations. Pursuant to this law, you have only a set amount of time during which you can file a lawsuit in a case involving a drunk or otherwise intoxicated semi driver.

A lawsuit in this type of personal injury case must be filed within two years of the collision. The failure to meet that deadline very likely precludes you from ever being able to sue those parties responsible for your injuries. The statute of limitations underscores the need to retain an effective, dedicated, compassionate Austin truck accident attorney as soon as possible following a collision with a semi.

Put an Experienced Austin Truck Accident Attorney in Your Corner

Proving a semi driver operated a rig under the influence of alcohol or drugs, resulting in a serious accident, can be a challenging endeavor. An Austin truck accident lawyer at The Doan Law Firm has the tools and experience necessary to help make your case.

An Austin truck accident attorney from The Doan Law Firm will schedule an initial consultation at your convenience to discuss and review your case. An appointment can be scheduled by calling The Doan Law Firm anytime at 512-806-0000. We will take your call any time, day or night.

We charge no fee for an initial consultation and can meet with you at our offices, your home or even at the hospital or rehab center.

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Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer

  1. After an accident, the responsible party's insurance company may try to reduce the claim amount. Commonly, insurance adjusters are trained to get information from the injured to assist in reducing the claim. Though some insurers are less guilty of this practice than others, it is important to realize that insurance companies are profit-oriented corporations and reducing claims results in increased profits for shareholders. This can create a situation for the injured in which they are offered a settlement that does not truly reflect the damages suffered. If you accept this settlement, you lose the ability to get more money should your injuries require further medical treatments. It is critical that victims get legal assistance in any personal injury case, and The Doan Law Firm is prepared to fight relentlessly for your rights.
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