Trucking crash deaths have been on the rise in recent years. In fact, over 4,000 people died in crashes with semi-trucks in 2019. Fatalities have increased for several years in a row, and the amount of pedestrians who were killed after being hit by trucks increased by 13%.
Truck drivers have limited visibility, nor can they slam on their breaks and stop quickly. This combined with their 40 tons of mass makes accidents with truckers very deadly. Although tractor-trailer trucks account for only 4% of the 268 million motor vehicles on U.S. highways, they play a role in 1 in 10 highway deaths.
Even if speed is not a factor in an accident with a trucker, cars can slide underneath semi-trucks, often decapitating or severely injuring other drivers. It’s not uncommon for drivers who get into accidents with trucks to end up with severe head, neck, or spinal cord injuries. Sherman Oaks injury lawyers see these kinds of tragic injuries from truck accidents all the time.
Injuries in Truck Accidents
Other injuries that doctors often see with truck accidents are:
- Broken bones: Emergency room doctors often see broken legs, ankles, arms, hands, collarbones, facial bones, or ribs on car crash victims. Even a simple fracture requires you to wear a cast for weeks, which makes life difficult. If you suffered a compound or complex fracture, then you may require a lengthy hospital stay and multiple surgeries, all of which will put pressure on your bank account.
- Soft tissue injuries: Flying shards of glass, sheared metal, or loose cargo can cause lacerations to the skin. If it hits you in the eyes, neck, or hands, you may suffer lasting injuries.
- Burns: All vehicles run on gasoline, but some tanker trucks may carry flammable materials that can lead to an explosion or fire. It’s very common for people to suffer burns from hot water that is emitted from a ruptured radiator or from the hot metal debris.
- Internal injuries: The blunt force of a 40 ton truck hitting your vehicle may cause damage to internal organs like the heart, liver, stomach, spleen, bowels or kidneys.
- Emotional anguish: Many do not realize the trauma that a traffic collision can cause. It’s possible that your crash gives you lasting emotional scars, such as PTSD or nightmares. It may be extremely difficult to drive after the accident, which will interfere with your everyday life. If you watched a loved one die in the accident, your trauma may be even worse. A traffic accident attorney in Sherman Oaks can ensure that you receive additional compensation for the emotional damages you sustained in the accident.
Because the injuries that result from trucking accidents are so severe, truckers have to face additional regulations in order to get behind the wheel. One of these regulations involves taking regular drug tests.
Drug Testing for Truckers
When you have a commercial driver’s license and drive for a commercial trucking company, you have to pass a drug test. It doesn’t matter which company you work for; these regulations are country-wide. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, truck drivers are legally required to pass a drug test before operating a commercial vehicle.
Drug tests for truck drivers also involve random drug testing that takes place throughout the course of their employment. This way, drivers cannot prepare for the test or by a detox drink to pass.
The average drug test that truckers take detects marijuana, opiates, amphetamines, cocaine, and PCP. Tests compare the trucker’s urine, saliva, or blood to established thresholds for each drug, and testing above the approved level for any of them will result in a positive result.
While the typical BAC that is considered too high to drive is .08%, truck drivers must meet stricter regulations due to the severity of their accidents. A BAC of 0.04% or above is too high, meaning that the driver is deemed to be driving under the influence of alcohol and subject to dismissal from their job.
Drug Testing After an Accident
Drug test requirements change after a driver has been involved in an accident. Regardless of whoever is at fault for the incident, professional semi-truck drivers must take a drug and alcohol test after any accident involving vehicular damage, injuries, and fatalities.
The drug test must occur within 32 hours of the crash, and the alcohol test must occur within 8 hours of the incident. Drivers who fail to take these tests must have a valid reason, and their employer is subject to penalties for noncompliance. Employers are off the hook if the police have already tested the driver for drugs and alcohol within this time frame. There is no need to take the test twice.
Driving a commercial tractor-trailer while under the influence is not just illegal; it’s reckless. If you were injured in a truck accident where you believe the driver was using drugs, contact a Sherman Oaks truck accident lawyer.
A trucking accident injury attorney in Sherman Oaks can investigate your accident with the help of traffic collision experts. Knowing that a skilled injury lawyer in the Sherman Oaks area is handling your case can give you peace of mind, allowing you to focus on recovering from your injuries.
If your truck crash lawyer in Sherman Oaks finds that the trucker was over the legal limit for commercial drivers, you can sue them for compensation for your damages.
Why Choose Okhovat Law?
Were you or a loved one in a recent accident? Did you sustain minor to severe injuries due to the negligence of another person? Any time you are experiencing an emotional, financial, or physical toll from an accident, you should work with an attorney to take legal action.
The multilingual legal staff at Okhovat Law Firm works hard to give clients the results they deserve. Several years ago, Anna Okhovat started her mission to establish a firm centered around personal injury law. Her goal is to provide legal counsel, support, and the highest level of care. Not only does this firm have a reputation for getting clients the results they need, but also for:
- Having a proven track record
- Providing one-on-one contact with clients
- Not charging fees unless the case is won
- Taking a personalized approach to every case
Whether you were injured in a car accident or slip and fall, or if you want to file a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of a deceased loved one, you can feel confident with Okhovat Law on your side. Before, during, and after every legal consultation, we will answer any questions to provide you with the best service and support possible. Don’t wait and lose your opportunity to file a claim for compensation. Instead, give us a call at 310-362-6740 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.