Truck Accident Caused by Alcohol or Drug use
(We have other offices throughout Upstate, New York)
Due to the weight and size of commercial trucks, truck accidents can result in devastating injuries and deaths, often to more than one person in a smaller vehicle. For that reason, there are regulations prohibiting a truck driver's use of alcohol or drugs while operating the truck. Under the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) interstate truck drivers are subject to drug testing and other strict regulations to avoid drunk driving accidents. If you were injured by a truck accident caused by alcohol or drug use, you should consult the seasoned Syracuse truck accident lawyers of DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Attorneys. Our trial counsel has received numerous peer recognitions and earned many millions on behalf of clients over the last 30 years and counting.Truck Accidents
A civil lawsuit for damages is independent of any drunk driving charges that may be pursued under criminal statutes by a prosecutor. While the standard for criminal DUI, homicide, and criminal assault charges is very high —beyond a reasonable doubt—the civil standard required to recover damages is the lower "preponderance of the evidence standard." We may be able to pursue damages in civil court for a truck accident in or around Syracuse, even if charges were not pursued by a prosecutor.
Under the FMCSA, controlled substances and alcohol tests should be given to interstate truck drivers in particular circumstances. Before being hired, truck driver applicants should go through testing for controlled substances. They should also be tested if there is reasonable suspicion they are under the influence and after a truck accident. When they return to duty or for follow-up, they should also go through alcohol and drug testing. Among other evidence, our lawyers will seek the results of the truck driver's testing in order to establish liability after an accident that appears to be caused by a DUI.
In order to establish a truck driver's liability after an alcohol or drug-related crash, our experienced truck accident lawyers will need to prove: (1) the truck driver owed a duty of reasonable care, (2) the truck driver breached the duty to use reasonable care by operating a commercial truck under the influence of alcohol or drugs, (3) causation, and (4) damages. For example, if a truck driver takes amphetamines to stay awake during a long shift after getting insufficient rest during a rest break, and then recklessly speeds while going downhill, resulting in jackknifing and serious injuries to you and others, he may be held accountable for the breach of his duty of care to others with whom he shares the road. For another example, if a truck driver drinks late in a rest break and then gets on the road while still under the influence and kills your spouse at an uncontrolled intersection, he may be held accountable in a wrongful death lawsuit.
Even when a truck driver's liability seems clear because he was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, it's important to explore all contributing causes to the accident. In some instances, a truck driver's drunk driving combines with other negligence to produce a collision. Other parties that may bear also responsibility in a truck accident caused by the truck driver's inebriated driving are the trucking company, mechanic, a third-party loading company, and other drivers on the road. Trucking companies may be held liable under theories of negligent hiring, supervision or training or negligence maintenance of the vehicle.Damages
When our Syracuse lawyers can establish liability, we may be able to recover compensatory damages like medical losses, lost wages, lost earning capacity, pain and suffering, mental anguish, and out-of-pocket costs. For egregious behavior such as driving under the influence while operating a commercial truck, we may be able to pursue and recover punitive damages, which are intended to deter and punish misconduct.Consult an Experienced Law Firm About Your Truck Accident Injuries
If you need to retain counsel because you were injured in a collision and believe the driver or another party was at fault, call the tenacious Syracuse truck accident lawyers of DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Attorneys. We seek best results for truck accident victims and their families in Canandaigua, Lowville, Rochester, Utica, Auburn, Ithaca, Watertown, Herkimer, Oswego, Wampsville, Lyons, Cooperstown, Oneida, Binghamton, Elmira, Buffalo, Albany, and all of Upstate New York. Complete our online form or call us at 315-479-9000 for a free consultation.