According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), drunk driving can cause trucking accidents by impairing the truck driver’s ability to:
- Safely maneuver his truck
- Maintain effective brain function
- Reason and discern other drivers
- Make appropriate judgments
- Concentrate on the flow of traffic
- Maintain critical visual acuity
- Control movements and responses
- Remain alert and cognitively aware
Having a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level of 0.08% of alcohol or higher is considered legal intoxication. The Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports the annual cost of drunk driving at nearly $44 billion. These costs include medical care for injured victims and loss of income and productivity.
The officer who investigated your trucking accident might have requested a field sobriety test from the truck driver if he suspected him of drug or alcohol use. The crash report generated after your trucking accident might indicate the at-fault truck driver’s level of intoxication. Obtain a copy of the report as soon as it becomes available and share it with your legal team.
Your Crash Report Is an Important Part of Proving Your Case
The personal injury law firm that represents you in your pursuit of financial compensation might be required to prove the following four elements of negligence on the part of the at-fault truck driver in order for you to qualify for financial recovery:
- Duty of care
- Breach of duty
- Cause of injuries
- Financial damages
Your crash report might help your legal team establish these elements by providing your lawyer with suspicion of alcohol abuse, BAC test results, and the truck driver’s actions and appearance at the time of the collision. It can also provide your legal team with additional information, including:
- Contact information for the trucker and his employer
- Statements from other drivers and accident witnesses
- Accident date details to support your filing deadline
Do not underestimate the importance of your crash report or its value to your legal team. Your lawyer may supplement your crash report with photos, video footage, and notes, and testimony from the law enforcement officer who investigated your trucking accident.
File Your Potential Lawsuit on Time
Like every state in the U.S., yours has a predetermined timeline for filing a personal injury lawsuit. Called the statute of limitations, it defines the amount of time you have to file your potential lawsuit in your state. Failure to comply with the time statute could put the possibility of receiving monetary compensation at risk.
Your crash report and medical records may help your legal time determine the relevant date for filing your lawsuit. According to the American Bar Association (ABA) guidelines, the risks of filing your lawsuit after the statute of limitations has expired may include:
- An inability to file your lawsuit at all
- Outright dismissal of your lawsuit
The timeline for personal injury lawsuits and wrongful death lawsuits may vary in your state, but both will face the same risk of dismissal if not filed on time.
Continue to Build Your Evidence File
The file that supports your potential right to financial compensation may start with your crash report but might also include the following evidence to help establish the cost of your injuries and their related expenses:
- Employment and salary records to prove your income loss
- Medical records and bills to prove your health care expenses
- Mechanic bills to prove the cost of repairing your damaged vehicle
- Kelly Blue Book values to prove the cost of replacing your vehicle
Provide your legal team with any additional documentation that might point to the cause of the accident or prove its cost. They might be able to help you obtain the proof you need and build a solid evidence file before working to negotiate a favorable financial settlement on your behalf.
Seek Compensation After a Drunk Driving Trucking Accident
Drunk driving can cause trucking accidents by impairing the driver’s ability to safely operate his vehicle. Drinking and driving can lead to a lack of judgment and focus and an inability to react quickly enough to avoid a dangerous collision. If you or someone you love was injured, or if a loved one was fatally injured in a trucking accident, you might have the basis of a personal injury lawsuit. Contact Morelli Law Firm by calling (212) 751-9800 when you are ready to pursue financial compensation.