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Alcohol, Drug Abuse & Trucking Accidents in Chicago

Drunken driver sleeping on wheel

Truck driver alcohol and drug abuse is a serious problem. It can lead to devastating accidents. Passenger vehicles are no match for large commercial trucks on the road. Because an intoxicated truck driver may not swerve, skid or brake as a driver normally would do, the results of these truck crashes can be grave.

If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident where truck driver alcohol and drug abuse played a role, you should seek legal help right away. The lawyers of Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C., represent victims of truck accidents in Chicago and across Illinois. We want to put our legal experience to work for you and help you to get the money damages you deserve.

Call our toll-free number or use our online form to get in touch with us when you are ready to discuss your case. Our initial consultations are always free.

Liability for Alcohol, Drug Abuse & Trucking Accidents

When Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C., takes on your truck accident case, we will thoroughly investigate the accident. We also will explore all options for holding the careless truck driver and / or trucking company behind your crash accountable for their actions.

Potential grounds for liability include:

  • Negligence – Truck drivers owe a duty of care to others on the road. When a driver breaches that duty by getting drunk or using alcohol or drugs before getting behind the wheel, legal liability is imposed. The driver can be held responsible for all damages arising out of his or her reckless actions.
  • Negligence per se – When a truck driver violates the law by drinking or using drugs and driving, that driver is violating a safety law. Someone who violates a safety rule and causes harm as a result is automatically deemed to be negligent. The injured car accident victim doesn’t have to prove that the trucker drove unsafely. It is enough for your lawyer to show that the driver was legally impaired. By definition, this means he wasn’t being a safe and responsible driver.

Both legal theories can help you to make a clear case for damages against a truck driver who caused you to suffer injury due to alcohol or drug abuse.

Holding Trucking Companies Responsible for Drunk Driving Accidents

The driver may not be the only one to blame in a trucking accident involving alcohol or drugs. Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C., can help you to identify other potential parties who may be liable for covering the cost of your injuries.

The employer or trucking company may have to pay damages as well. Identifying and making a claim against the company, employer or other defendants is important. They may have “deeper pockets,” or a greater ability to pay damages if they are liable.

Liability may be imposed upon the employer or trucking company through one of several legal theories.

One option is a legal rule that says that an employer is a principle, and the employee is an agent that acts on the principle’s behalf. When the agent acts in the course of his work, it is legally equivalent to the employer doing the acts. So, if the truck driver drives while drunk, the employer is as responsible as if he had taken a drink and gotten behind the wheel himself.

The employer also may have been negligent in its own right. For instance, the employer may have failed to identify a history of drug and alcohol abuse when hiring the driver or failed to put safeguards in place to make sure they had sober drivers. The employer may be considered to have breached a legal duty to ensure that it employed safe drivers.

Potential Damages for Alcohol, Drug Abuse & Trucking Accidents

Whether you are making a claim against an employer / trucking company or against the drunk driver, or both, an experienced truck accident attorney can help you to collect damages. These damages may include medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering and emotional distress. These damages are designed to make you whole or put you back in the position you would have been in if the accident had not occurred.

You may also be entitled to punitive damages. These damages punish individuals or companies who engage in bad behavior that goes beyond negligence. If a commercial truck driver who drinks and drives is considered to have been reckless and shown complete disregard for the safety of other passengers on the road, punitive damages are highly possible. Punitive damages can be equal to several times the actual damages.

Contact Our Chicago Truck Accident Lawyers Today

At Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C., our truck accident attorneys have the resources, experience, and dedication to develop a strong case for compensation if you were in a truck crash caused by a drugged or drunk driver. To learn more, give us a call at our toll-free number or contact us using our online form.

Sources:

  • Illinois Crash Facts, 2011, Illinois Department of Transportation
  • Illinois Crash Data, 2007-2011, Illinois Department of Transportation
  • 2009 Large Truck Crash Overview, U.S. Department of Transportation Truck driver alcohol and drug abuse is a serious problem. It can lead to devastating accidents. Passenger vehicles are no match for large commercial trucks on the road. Because an intoxicated truck driver may not swerve, skid or brake as a driver normally would do, the results of these truck crashes can be grave.