Spilled Cargo Truck Accident Lawyers
DUI Truck Accident Lawyers

DUI Truck Accident Lawyers

A DUI (driving under the influence) involves someone driving a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Because drugs and alcohol can cause someone to drive recklessly, DUI accidents tend to be more severe than other types of accidents, and are considered serious crimes.

One of the cruelest things about a DUI accident is that it is preventable. The dangers of getting behind the wheel after doing drugs or drinking alcohol are well known, and there are many laws against driving under the influence that can result in severe punishments. Even if someone doesn’t get into an accident while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, a DUI conviction can be damaging and costly.

Along with alcohol, drivers could be impaired by illegal, prescription, and/or over-the-counter drugs. Any impairment caused by these substances could lead to a DUI charge or accident. Drugs that boost the danger of truck accidents include but are not limited to allergy medicines, sleep aids, anti-anxiety drugs, marijuana, cocaine, and methamphetamines.

Kansas DUI Regulations for Commercial Truck Drivers

It is against the law to operate a vehicle while significantly impaired by drugs or alcohol in every state. Alcohol seriously limits a driver’s capacity to safely drive a vehicle. Because alcohol can make you feel euphoric, most people fail to realize that their driving ability is compromised by just a few drinks. These are some of the effects you will feel after drinking alcohol.

Two drinks. A person’s blood alcohol content depends somewhat on their physical makeup. However, most people having two drinks will be at the legal limit for BAC in most states. Even though driving after two drinks might be legal, it does result in some loss of coordination that is needed to drive a vehicle.

Three drinks. Someone who has had three drinks in a short amount of time will be over the legal limit for BAC. They will have difficulty with focus, awareness, short-term memory, rational thinking, and coordination.

More than three drinks. Someone drinking more than three drinks in a short period will be well over the legal limit. They will have difficulty staying in their lane, controlling their vehicle, and paying attention to driving.

In Kansas, motorists operating a passenger vehicle must be under the limit of .08 percent BAC, but drivers of commercial vehicles are held to a higher standard. On-the-job truck drivers with a BAC of .04 percent or greater could be charged with a DUI offense. Kansas law enforcement frequently uses both checkpoints and saturation patrols to identify and arrest drivers who are under the influence. While checkpoints are stationary roadblocks where police officers stop vehicles, saturation patrols consist of officers patrolling the streets for impaired drivers.

Commercial drivers are treated differently in Kansas in regard to penalties for DUI convictions, with harsh CDL suspension terms. If a truck driver is convicted of a first DUI offense, their CDL will be suspended for 12 months. After the second conviction, the CDL is permanently suspended.

These heavier suspensions are carried out regardless of whether the person is driving a non-commercial or commercial vehicle. So, a truck driver who gets a DUI after a Saturday night out with friends will still get their CDL suspended for 12 months if it’s the first offense and permanently if it’s the second conviction.

Drunk Driving Statistics in the United States

Drunk driving statistics continue to drive home the tragic consequences of driving under the influence of alcohol. It’s important to note that behind each one of the following statistics are countless people whose lives have been ruined by irresponsible actions.

  • 31 percent of all car crash fatalities across the United States in 2021 involved a driver with a BAC of .08 percent or higher
  • 13,384 people died in DUI-related crashes in the same year
  • Approximately 37 people die each day in a DUI accident.
  • The cost of DUI accidents in 2020 was more than $123 million.

While there is limited data on accidents involving people under the influence of drugs, one study of seriously injured drivers at trauma centers found that 54 percent of them had drugs or alcohol in their blood.

Of these drivers under the influence, 22 percent tested positive for alcohol, 25 percent tested positive for marijuana, 10 percent tested positive for stimulants, 9 percent tested positive for opioids, and 8 percent tested positive for depressants.

Who Can Be Held Liable After a Drunk Truck Driver Crash?

If you were hurt or lost a family member in a DUI truck accident, we know that the consequences can be too much to handle. You might deal with substantial financial problems once medical bills start arriving. An injury that has made you unable to work means you cannot earn an income, making the situation even worse.

In most situations, a truck driver who was under the influence will be liable for any damages. The most challenging step in this situation is proving that the driver was under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Even if it is relatively straightforward to prove the truck driver was under the influence, the trucking company that employed them at the time could also be held responsible. A principle called “vicarious liability” refers to situations when an employer can be held liable for the actions of an employee that occurred during working hours.

For example, if a trucking company hires a driver with several previous DUI convictions because the company did not conduct a proper background check. If a trucking company doesn’t conduct regular drug and alcohol screenings, it could support a liability claim against the business from a DUI truck accident lawyer.

How Can I Recover Damages from a Kansas Drunk Driving Truck Accident?

Victims of a DUI truck accident and their families can suffer many different kinds of damages. Although it can seem trite to place a dollar value on something like pain and suffering, financial compensation is the approach used to help victims and their families recover from a DUI truck accident. Monetary damages suffered in an accident can include the following:

Medical Costs

Semi-trucks are massive machines that can cause devastating injuries in the event of an accident, and the resulting medical bills can be tremendous. Furthermore, treatment for accident-related injuries can be lifelong. In addition to treatment for physical injuries, accident victims also might need treatment for emotional and mental trauma.

Property Damage

Passenger vehicles are designed to protect occupants by absorbing much of the force generated in a crash. While this is an effective safety feature, it also means that a car can easily be totaled in a crash that doesn’t produce serious injuries. A DUI truck accident can also result in other types of property damage, especially if the accident resulted in the spilling of hazardous cargo.

Lost Wages

Accident victims who are stuck in a hospital receiving treatment or at home recovering from injuries likely won’t be able to work, resulting in lost wages. If someone’s injuries permanently prevent them from going back, it will result in a substantial amount of lost wages.

Lower Earning Capacity

In some situations, an accident victim might be able to return to work but not be able to perform at the same level as they could before the accident. This loss of earning potential is a type of damage that can be suffered, and it can result in serious hardship.

Funeral Costs

If someone loses their life due to a DUI truck accident, that person’s family has to pay the costs for their funeral and burial expenses. These costs can be significant, in addition to seeming cruel and unfair in the wake of a DUI accident.

Steps to Take After a DUI Truck Accident

DUI truck accidents are very serious situations, and it’s important to take the proper steps after you have been involved in one.

Prioritize Safety

There will be a time and a place to determine liability and compensation for damages that were suffered. The immediate aftermath of a DUI truck accident isn’t that time.

The first thing victims should do is prioritize their own safety and then the safety of others. If it’s possible to safely move your vehicle after an accident, turn on your hazard lights and get the car over to the side of the road to prevent additional accidents. Check yourself for injuries and call 911 to get first responders to the scene. Even if it doesn’t seem like there are serious injuries, it is a good idea to get police on the scene. Officers can then determine if there is a need for additional first responders.

If medical professionals are on the scene, seek medical attention even if you don’t feel like you have obvious injuries. These professionals are trained to detect injuries that are not readily apparent. Getting a medical record of your treatment can also be helpful for additional treatment and pursuing a claim.

Document the Scene

After you’ve made sure to protect yourself physically, it’s time to protect yourself legally. Evidence of the accident is essential to ensuring that you aren’t wrongly accused of something you didn’t do. It is also critical if you need to file a claim in the future.

Once it is safe to do so, use your phone to get the names and insurance information of other drivers involved in the accident. Photos and videos to capture the accident scene and any damage that was caused. Get statements from witnesses. Also, talk to police officers to find out how you can get a copy of the police report.

While you need to document the scene and talk to other motorists, you should avoid admitting any fault or describing your actions as much as possible. Anything you say could be used against you later and even be presented as you taking full responsibility for the accident.

Get Follow-up Medical Attention

After leaving the scene of the accident, try to get follow-up medical attention as soon as you can. You may have injuries that go unnoticed and need serious treatment, such as internal bleeding or brain trauma. It’s also a good idea to get follow-up medical attention so you can fully document your injuries for a potential legal claim.

Be sure to follow all instructions you get from medical personnel. Not following a doctor’s orders could put your life in danger, and it could compromise any future legal claim for compensation.

Consider a Personal Injury Claim

In Kansas, drivers must first turn to insurance providers in order to receive compensation for any injuries or damages they suffered. But often, insurance companies do not provide enough compensation to fully cover the scope of damages. DUI truck accident lawyers have experience dealing with insurance companies, and they can also help you pursue a personal injury claim.

Through a settlement or verdict in court, you can recover the compensation you need to move on with your life. Filing a claim can be complicated, and an experienced attorney is essential to ensuring you get the outcome you deserve.

A lawyer will look into the incident and collect any evidence you may have missed. They can file a legal motion with a court and perform pre-trial discovery to gather additional evidence. The lawyer may then enter into settlement negotiations or take your case to trial.

Consider the Possibility of a Settlement

Many claims are settled without going to trial. This involves getting an agreement with the other party or their insurance provider outside of a court of law. If you want to reach a settlement and not go to court, you must have evidence backing your claim against the other party. The evidence can help you agree on a settlement amount that suits your needs.

A settlement can have many benefits. It’s almost always a faster solution than going to trial. That means paying less legal fees while still having a say in the outcome. The other party or their insurance provider will likely dispute your claim and possibly push for a lower settlement. If negotiations fail, then you may have to go to court to continue pursuing your claim.

Let Our Team of DUI Truck Accident Lawyers Fight for You

At Bretz Injury Law, our attorneys have extensive experience with truck accidents. They have dealt with all types of accidents involving semi-trucks, including DUI cases.

Our legal experts aren’t afraid to fight for your case, and they are well-versed when it comes to the common causes of truck accidents and investigating truck companies. If you are looking for a law firm that’s willing to go the extra mile for your case, contact us online or call 620-RESULTS today.


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