Fort Myers Truck Accident DUI Lawyer
By now, everyone should understand that drunk driving is never acceptable. When you get behind the wheel of a car while intoxicated or impaired by drugs, you are effectively putting your own life–and that of everyone else on the road–at risk of serious injury or death. And these risks are only compounded when the driver is operating a large commercial truck like an 18-wheeler.
Under normal circumstances, any accident involving a commercial truck and a passenger car is likely to end badly for the people in the smaller vehicle. If drunk driving was a factor, however, the damage can be even more catastrophic. That is why if you or someone that you loved has been hurt by such an irresponsible and illegal act, it is important that you work with a Fort Myers truck accident DUI lawyer. At Cardinal Law, P.A., our team represents accident victims and their families in seeking financial compensation for their losses from negligent truck drivers and other legally responsible parties.
The Difference Between Civil and Criminal DUI Liability for a Truck Accident
Because of the dangerous nature of the vehicles they operate, commercial truck drivers are held to much stricter standards under Florida law when it comes to DUI. While most drivers are considered legally intoxicated if their blood-alcohol content (BAC) is measured at 0.08 percent or greater, that threshold is just 0.04 percent for commercial license holders. So even just 1 or 2 alcoholic beverages can easily render a truck driver legally unfit to be on the road.
It is also important to note that DUI is not limited to alcoholic consumption. You can be deemed legally intoxicated based on the use of prescription, over-the-counter, or illegal drugs. This often comes into play in trucking accidents because many truck drivers do rely on such medications to continue driving through illness or fatigue to keep their delivery schedules. Yet many of these same drugs also produce debilitating side effects that make drivers far less alert behind the wheel.
Some accident victims ask us if a criminal DUI conviction is necessary to pursue a personal injury claim against a truck driver. The answer is no. Personal injury claims are civil in nature rather than criminal. This means that even if a truck driver is never arrested or formally charged with DUI, you can still sue them for damages–and you can still raise the issue of their intoxication or impairment at trial.
One final thing to note: If a trucking company hired a driver with a prior history of DUI arrests or convictions, that can form the basis for a separate legal claim against the company for negligent hiring. Trucking companies know they have a legal obligation to conduct proper background checks on new hires, as well as to regularly test their existing drivers for drugs and alcohol.
Contact Cardinal Law Today
A truck accident frequently leaves victims with serious, life-altering injuries that may require years of painful recovery. So if an accident has been caused by a drunk driver, those victims should never hesitate to assert their rights under the law to seek compensation. If you need to speak with a Fort Myers truck accident DUI lawyer, contact Cardinal Law, P.A., today to schedule a free consultation.