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Truck Driver Substance Abuse and Truck Accidents

Were You Injured in a Truck Accident Caused by an Impaired Driver?

Truck driving is known to be a difficult and lonely job. Truck drivers are meant to cover thousands of miles each week to speed up deliveries for the major retail companies we all buy from every day. To fight loneliness and fatigue, many truck drivers turn to drugs and alcohol. We all know the dangers of driving under the influence. However, when you add an 80,000-pound tractor-trailer, that danger greatly increases. If you or your loved one were injured in a truck driver substance abuse case, call a Regan Zambri Long truck accident lawyer today for a free initial consultation.

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Justice for Truck Accident Victims

Our personal injury lawyers are constantly praised by past clients because we stick to our mission: we work tirelessly to secure the maximum compensation for you and your family in the quickest timeline possible. Our truck accident lawyers are professional but compassionate and we will fight fiercely on your behalf in the courtroom.

Because the trucking industry has to follow local, state, and federal laws, truck accident claims can become complex very quickly. This is why it is very important to have an expert legal team behind you during the claims process. The Regan Zambri Long truck accident attorneys have secured millions for their clients, including a $15.2 million settlement for a man who was injured in a dump truck accident.

$77 Wrongful Death Settlement

$20M Brain Injury Verdict

$19.5M Wrongful Death Verdict

$16M Premises Liability Settlement

$15.2M Wrongful Death Settlement

$15.2M Wrongful Death Verdict

$14M Personal Injury Settlement

$11M Personal Injury Settlement

$8M Premises Liability Settlement

How Do We Investigate a Truck Accident Due to Drug and Alcohol Abuse?

When you work with a Regan Zambri Long truck accident lawyer, your focus will be on your recovery, while ours will be on winning your case. To do so, we will follow a few basic steps.

  • Who is Liable in a Truck Accident?Determine liability: In truck accidents there can be multiple liable parties. Not only is the truck driver responsible for the accident, but his employer may be held accountable as well. We will investigate all possible parties to determine who is liable for the accident. Then, we will pursue damages against each party.
  • Gather evidence: Accidents due to truck driver substance abuse are common and in order to have make a good case we will obtain a copy of the police report, interview eyewitnesses, work with professionals who specialize in accident reconstruction, and medical experts to prove the truck driver’s negligence led to your accident and injuries. We will also specifically look into medical and police reports pertaining to the drug and alcohol testing of the driver.
  • File the claim: There are time restrictions on filing truck accident claims in the DC Metro Area. In Washington, DC and Maryland, the truck accident victim has three years to file a personal injury claim. In Virginia, however, the victim is limited to two years. Medical bills pile up quickly, so it is in your best interest to file a claim as soon as possible. Our lawyers will make sure the claim is filed correctly and on time.
  • Negotiate with the insurance company: Insurance companies are known to lowball victims. Insurance adjusters are notorious for offering the lowest possible settlement. We know their tactics and we will not allow that to happen to you. Our lawyers are very knowledgeable in various DC insurance policies and are expert negotiators. We will not stop until a settlement is reached in your favor.
  • Go to trial: Sometimes, insurance companies do not want to pay the victim fair compensation. In those cases, we will take your claim to court. Regan Zambri Long has the financial backing and resources to see your claim through until the very end. In fact, many smaller law firms in the DC Metro Area refer their clients to us when the lawsuit gets too big. Your Regan Zambri Long lawyer will be with you until the very end.
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Why Are Truck Drivers Vulnerable to Drug and Alcohol Abuse?

Unfortunately, alcohol and drug use are high among commercial truck drivers. There are two main problems 18-wheeler and semi-truck drivers have while on the road: fatigue and loneliness. Many trucking companies encourage their drivers to listen to podcasts or audiobooks and stay in touch with family and friends on the phone to lessen the loneliness.

However, the same trucking companies demand extremely long hours from their drivers and force them to be on the road for days or even weeks at a time.

There are several different types of drugs truck drivers consume to fight loneliness and fatigue. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, over 25,000 commercial truck drivers who were tested for drug and alcohol use tested positive. The main types of drugs truck drivers consume while on the road are:

  • Marijuana: This drug can impair the user just like alcohol. It slows down reaction times, impairs memory, and creates difficulty in problem-solving and critical thinking. It can also cause delusions and psychosis.
  • Cocaine: This drug can increase the driver’s blood pressure, cause tremors, increase the overall body temperature, cause muscle twitches, and lead to erratic behavior and restlessness. Many drivers take cocaine to help them stay awake.
  • Methamphetamine: This drug can cause paranoia, insomnia, and mood changes. It can also decrease reaction times and motor speed.
  • Amphetamines: These drugs can cause heightened blood pressure, nervousness, and insomnia. They lead to loss of appetite and malnutrition. Amphetamines are usually used to help drivers stay awake.
  • Oxymorphone: This drug can cause confusion, anxiety, hallucinations, rapid or slowed heartbeat, fainting, and seizures.
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Regulations on Drug and Alcohol Use Among Truck Drivers

Washington DC has strict laws regarding the behavior of truck drivers, especially when it comes to driving under the influence. In DC, a commercial vehicle is defined as any four-wheeled vehicle that is longer than 22 feet and used for transporting commercial loads or property. The DC trucking regulations for commercial vehicles include:

Washington, DC drug and alcohol regulations

The maximum penalty for driving under the influence is up to 75 days in jail, a $2,500 fine, and getting your license taken away for 1 year. For commercial truck drivers, Washington DC issues a 5-day mandatory minimum sentence. Regular car drivers are considered under the influence at .08%, but in Washington DC, a truck driver is considered under the influence at .04%.

FMCSA regulations

Not only do trucking companies and drivers have to follow local DC laws, but they also must follow the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regulations.

Contributory Negligence Laws in Washington DC, Maryland, and Virginia

Contributory negligence is a law that is practiced in Washington DC, Maryland, and Virginia (as well as Alabama and North Carolina). It is a law that is considered outdated by many and can make personal injury lawsuits difficult for the claimant (the truck accident victim who files the claim). Contributory negligence law states that if the claimant had any responsibility in the accident, then he or she cannot collect any compensation.

For example, if your truck accident was caused by the truck driver’s substance abuse, who was under the influence of alcohol or drugs, but you were also speeding at the time of the accident, you may be found to be partially at fault for the accident. This would keep you from recovering damages. This is different from comparative negligence laws, which allow you to receive some compensation even if you are at fault. Under comparative negligence laws, if the drunk truck driver was 80% at fault for the accident, and you were 20% at fault, you would be able to claim 80% of the damages. Lawmakers in Washington DC, Maryland, and Virginia are trying to move toward comparative negligence laws because many believe they are fairer than contributory negligence laws.

The Regan Zambri Long truck accident lawyers deeply understand contributory negligence laws in DC, Maryland, and Virginia. Our practice extends to all three jurisdictions and we are confident we can secure the maximum amount of damages in all three states. In over 30 years of being in practice, we know that defense lawyers will be quick to use contributory negligence laws to try to get their clients out of trouble. Our truck accident lawyers will build a rock-solid case and prove that you were not at fault for the accident and that you deserve the highest amount of compensation possible. We offer free initial consultations for truck accident victims. During the consultation, you will speak with a seasoned truck accident lawyer who will guide you through the claims process and answer any questions you may have. Call today to speak with one of our esteemed truck accident attorneys.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Truck Accidents Caused by Substance Abuse

Q: How much compensation can I get for a truck accident claim?

A: There is no one estimate for how much you can collect for your claim – it all depends on the severity of your injuries. However, your Regan Zambri Long truck accident lawyer will pursue the maximum amount of damages, which can include:

This monetary compensation will help offset the sudden and ongoing medical bills from the accident. At Regan Zambri Long, we firmly believe you should not have to pay for someone else’s negligence. We will work hard to make sure you and your family are not put under financial distress because of a negligent truck driver.

Q: What steps should I take if the truck driver who caused the accident was impaired?

A: There are several steps to take following an accident to ensure your safety and also to help your truck accident claim:

Q: What are other causes of truck accidents?

A: Truck accidents can be caused by several factors, including:

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Have you or your loved one sustained injuries in Washington DC, Maryland or Virginia? Regan Zambri Long PLLC has the best lawyers in the country to analyze your case and answer the questions you may have.

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