When a truck driver consumes alcohol and gets behind the wheel, this reckless behavior endangers the lives of others on the road. Operating a commercial vehicle can be dangerous on its own, let alone under the influence.
If you suffered injuries in a drunk driving truck accident in East Hartford, you could hold the trucker, their employer, and perhaps others responsible for your losses. Consult with a skilled truck collision lawyer to discuss your options for pursuing fair compensation.
High Standards in the Trucking Industry
Driving a commercial tractor-trailer requires significant skill and elevated standards of caution. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) lays out extensive rules regarding driver working conditions and conduct for persons holding a commercial driving license.
Under FMCSA rules, the maximum allowable blood alcohol concentration (BAC) for a commercial license holder driving a commercial vehicle is .04. This is half the allowable limit for drivers of passenger vehicles. Operating a commercial truck with a BAC exceeding .04 could result in a truck driver’s license being revoked. This is in addition to any penalties the trucker might face arising from drunk driving charges.
According to Connecticut General Statute §14-227a(g), prosecutors could charge drunk drivers who cause serious injuries in an accident with a felony, even if it is the driver’s first DUI offense. However, any possible criminal proceedings in East Hartford or elsewhere do not necessarily impact an injured person’s negligence case against a drunk truck driver and their employer, and an injured party could still pursue a civil action with the help of a knowledgeable attorney.
Establishing Negligence after a Drunk Driving Truck Wreck
The person claiming damages for personal injuries (plaintiff) must prove that the negligence of another party or parties directly led to the event that caused their injuries. Trucking companies and their drivers are held to a higher standard than non-commercial drivers, so demonstrating that their negligence contributed to a crash requires a plaintiff to show that they failed to meet that high standard.
Violation of any law or work rule could be negligence per se, which means that the violation itself is proof of negligence. In the case of a drunk truck driver, an injured person could assert negligence per se by showing:
- Evidence that the trucker’s BAC exceeded .04
- Police citations to the driver for driving under the influence
- Trucker’s admission that they consumed alcohol before driving
- Witness testimony that the trucker consumed alcohol before driving
- Bar or restaurant receipts proving the trucker purchased alcoholic beverages before driving
- A conviction or a guilty plea to an alcohol-related offense arising from the accident
Even if an East Hartford accident attorney is unable to assert negligence per se in a drunk driving truck wreck case, it is still possible to prove negligence by showing that the trucker failed to use reasonable care, causing the plaintiff’s injuries. Once negligence is established, the at-fault party is responsible for paying the plaintiff’s damages, which could include medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.
Discuss Your Drunk Driving Truck Accident Case with an East Hartford Attorney
If you were injured in a drunk driving truck accident in East Hartford, you have the right to hold the driver accountable and get compensation for your injuries. Unfortunately, insurance companies for the trucking industry might try to settle your claim for far less than it is worth.
A seasoned attorney could negotiate with insurers to help you secure a settlement that adequately compensates you for your losses. Call today to schedule a consultation with a dedicated member of our legal team.