Drunk driving is a serious offense, and the perils of driving under the influence are well-known. Despite the obvious danger to others, sometimes truckers hit the road while under the influence of alcohol. When a truck driven by a drunk driver crashes, the occupants of other involved vehicles often suffer severe injuries–if they survive.
If a drunk driving truck accident in Temple left you injured, a local personal injury attorney could help you get justice for the trucker’s outrageous conduct. You could be entitled to monetary damages that cover your medical expenses, lost wages, and compensate you for the impact on your quality of life.
Drivers in Temple can be arrested for driving while intoxicated if their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is .08 or higher. When the driver is a trucker, more stringent rules apply.
Because operating a tractor-trailer safely requires a high degree of attentiveness and skill, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has set .04 as the maximum allowable BAC for a holder of a Commercial Driving License operating a commercial vehicle. Violating the rule and driving a truck with a BAC exceeding .04 could result in revocation of the trucker’s commercial license, as well as all the penalties the state applies to intoxicated drivers.
Drunk driving that results in a crash that causes serious injuries is a crime in most states, including Texas. A savvy attorney representing the victim of a drunk driving trucker in Temple could use police reports, arrest records, BAC results, and other evidence to prove that the trucker’s behavior was reckless or grossly negligent.
When an intoxicated trucker gets into a wreck and injures someone, the trucker is liable to pay the injured person’s damages. Depending on the specific circumstances of the wreck, other potentially responsible parties could contribute to any settlement or award of damages.
If the trucker was on duty at the time of the incident, their employer could be liable. Employers are responsible for the negligence of their workers while they are performing their duties. If the trucker’s shift had ended, it still might be possible to assign liability to the employer if the employer was aware that the trucker had a history of alcohol abuse or had prior drunk driving incidents.
The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code §2.02 makes restaurants and bars liable if they serve alcohol to someone who is drunk and that person injures someone else while driving under the influence. The injured person’s attorney must show that the driver was visibly intoxicated, and prove the staff at the establishment should have recognized their impairment. This standard could be a difficult to meet but the law offers an additional source of compensation to victims in some circumstances.
Compensatory damages are available to everyone who brings a personal injury lawsuit. In cases in which a defendant’s conduct involved malice or gross negligence, a court might award punitive damages.
Compensatory damages include economic damages, which comprise the actual out-of-pocket expenses the plaintiff incurred or will incur in the future due to their injury. Non-economic damages are also compensatory damages. Non-economic damages pay an injured person for the subjective losses they suffered because of their injury, such as physical pain, disfigurement, disability, and loss of companionship.
Punitive damages are also called exemplary damages, and as the names imply, punitive damages punish a defendant and make an example of them. Although they are not meant to compensate an injured person’s losses, the plaintiff collects any punitive damages awarded in a personal injury case. Texas caps punitive damages at either $200,000 or twice the economic damages plus the non-economic damages up to $750,000, whichever sum is larger.
Truck accidents are violent, traumatic experiences under any circumstances. If a truck driver was so reckless as to drive their rig while drunk, it could be impossible to move forward until you have held them accountable.
If you were involved in a drunk driving truck accident in Temple, call on a zealous local attorney to help you find justice. Call today to schedule a consultation.