If you have been the victim of a truck accident, you probably have a personal injury claim on your hands. If a truck driver drives while impaired, this puts everybody on the road at risk, especially much smaller vehicles.
At West Law Firm, our primary truck accident attorney is a fourth-generation resident of Moncks Corner, SC with many years of courtroom experience. Contact us today to discuss the details of your intoxicated truck driver accident case with a skilled lawyer.
Drug Testing Requirements for Truck Drivers
Truck drivers are required to maintain specific standards when it comes to drug testing. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the Department of Transportation regulate these drug tests.
The Department of Transportation requires truckers to receive a drug test at the beginning of their employment and randomly each year.
If the truck driver has gotten into an accident, they must complete a drug test within 32 hours after the fact. If the truck driver failed the drug test, this could become substantial evidence for your truck accident claim.
Something to remember is that the FMCSA and DOT will also maintain a database of drivers who failed drug tests in the past. If a truck driver gets into an accident, their records can be consulted later and be used to show a history of drug use.
Urinalysis vs. Hair Follicle Testing
There are several important aspects of how truck drivers are drug tested that could impact your claim. It helps to understand the different tests that could be used, and how effective they are in screening for certain drugs.
The most common form of drug testing for truck drivers is a urinalysis. This accessible option is when the urine is tested for any signs of intoxicants.
Even though urine tests are very accessible and affordable, they have some disadvantages. For example, it is not incredibly difficult for truck drivers to cheat or create inaccuracies in their test results due to how urinalysis works. The main reason for this is that urine tests only show drugs if they were used in the past 1 to 3 days.
A more modern option for drug testing is testing the hair follicles. These tests show drug use over a more extended period of time and are virtually impossible to cheat or trick.
One downside to hair follicle testing is that the hair needs to be 1.5 inches long. If the hair isn’t that long, the window for testing is smaller, and if the driver is bald, the test may not be possible at all.
Hair follicle testing is also much more expensive than urinalysis testing, which is why many employers are resistant to making the switch.
How an Attorney Collects Drug Abuse Evidence
The national clearinghouse of commercial driver drug tests has shown an increase in drug violations by 18% from 2021 to 2022. This increase is quite alarming since large trucks account for about 4% of all registered vehicles. These vehicles already have the potential to be quite dangerous, but that risk is heightened if the driver is impaired.
There are even plenty of legal drugs that could impair a truck driver’s ability to safely drive.
Things like prescriptions and over-the-counter medications can come with dangerous side effects or the driver may abuse them.
If you suspect that you were involved in a truck accident due to the driver being intoxicated, it is important to find evidence for your case. When you hire a truck accident lawyer, they will handle this aspect for you since they have access to more forms of evidence.
Your lawyer will look into the drug test history of the driver in question when they are collecting evidence. Records will show whether or not the truck driver has failed a drug test in the past, which could strengthen your case against them.
Your attorney can also look for past arrest or criminal records regarding drug use and dangerous or reckless driving.
Black box data
Trucks are required to have a black box installed, which collects data from the truck. Your lawyer can request this information to see how the driver was driving around the time of the collision.
This can show important data such as driving speeds, how they were braking, and other signs of reckless driving that can demonstrate impairment.
Anyone who witnessed the truck accident could possibly become a witness for your case.
Witnesses include bystanders and other drivers who may have noticed the truck driver driving recklessly or distractedly.
If possible, it is a good idea to get witness information at the collision scene. However, the police will also include witness accounts in their police report.
Contact a Truck Accident Lawyer in Moncks Corner, SC
Trucks pose a substantial risk to other vehicles, which is why truck drivers need to be held accountable if they fail a drug test and cause a collision.
At West Law Firm, we are dedicated to helping victims of negligent truck drivers and trucking companies get the compensation and representation that they deserve. Contact us today at 843-483-8630 or online for your free consultation.