According to a report compiled by the Ohio Department of Public Safety, there were more than 16,000 crashes involving tractor trailers and other large trucks in Ohio during 2014. Statistics also show that errors made by the commercial truck driver caused about 60 percent of these accidents. If you suffered injuries in an accident caused by a drunk truck driver, you may eligible for compensation.
Do employers have to test drivers after an accident?
Federal law requires post-accident alcohol and drug testing for truck drivers in only specific situations and under certain circumstances. Employers must test commercial drivers when:
- The accident is fatal.
- Any vehicle in the crash receives disabling damage, and the truck driver receives a citation for a moving violation.
- Anyone involved in the accident requires transport to a hospital, and the truck driver receives a citation for a moving violation.
The law states that employers must test drivers within a short time period, however. If employers do not collect testing samples within eight hours after the accident, alcohol testing will not be possible. The window for drug testing is 32 hours after an accident.
What role do eyewitnesses play after an accident?
If an employer did not complete alcohol or drug testing, the best evidence you will have to support your claim will probably come in the form of the police report and eyewitness testimony. In many cases, the police officer will note possible impairment in his report about the accident. He will also record the statements of eyewitnesses who may have seen reckless or erratic driving.
Bressman Law can help locate and interview witness as well as review eyewitness statements included in police reports. In some cases, we have also been able to find witnesses who will testify that they saw the driver drinking or using drugs before the accident.
Do trucking companies electronically monitor their trucks?
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s new rule requires that all trucks have electronic data records installed by the end of 2019, but many are ahead of the curve in the implementation. This means that there may be electronic records showing how long the truck has been on the road, speed and braking patterns, and GPS data.
This information will probably not prove the driver drove while impaired, but it may be useful in demonstrating that the driver was not driving in a responsible manner, e.g. driving over allowed hours. Attorney David Bressman can work with the trucking company to learn if electronic records exist, and to ensure the trucking company preserves this evidence.
Could I have a claim against the trucking company?
The trucking company is often held liable through the theory of vicarious liability. Vicarious liability essentially means that a company is liable for the actions of its employees if the accident occurred in the scope of the employee’s employment.
How can Bressman Law help me?
If you were the victim of a truck wreck in Ohio, you may be eligible to receive compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. This is especially true if an impaired truck driver caused the accident. Truck accident lawyer David Bressman will evaluate your case in a free, no-obligation initial consultation. Contact us today at 877-538-1116 to schedule an appointment.