If you were injured in a truck accident because the truck driver was driving under the influence, you should contact the Virginia truck accident attorneys at CHASENBOSCOLO immediately for help with your case. We have over three decades of experiencing fighting on behalf of our injured clients throughout Virginia. We can handle every legal aspect of your case and pursue the maximum financial compensation you need and deserve to cover your medical bills, lost wages, and other losses you suffered.
Driving under the influence isn’t limited to just alcohol. It can also involve drugs, including prescription drugs and over the counter medications. It is illegal to drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol in Virginia, and the truck driver could face criminal and civil penalties.
At CHASENBOSCOLO, our award-winning, dedicated attorneys have the experience and resources needed to hold the truck driver liable for your injuries and help ensure you receive a measure of justice for their reckless actions. Call us at (703) 538-1138 today for a free consultation.
Types of Large Trucks In Virginia
Commercial trucks serve many purposes. Some transport consumer goods and other products to retail stores. Others carry toxic chemicals used at manufacturing plants and oil refineries. Truck drivers are responsible for transporting materials within the state and throughout the country safely and on time. The types of vehicles they drive depends on the task they’re carrying out, but all of them are large and heavy.
Common types of commercial trucks include:
- Heavy hauler
- Dump and garbage truck
- Cargo truck
- Delivery vehicle
- Refrigerator truck
- Tow truck
- Cement mixer
If any type of commercial truck was involved in a crash where you got hurt through no fault of your own, CHASENBOSCOLO can review your case and determine the available legal options. We can determine who should be held liable for the injuries you sustained and pursue compensation from them.
Defining Driving Under the Influence
In Virginia, a truck driver is driving under the influence if they are operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.04% or higher, if they are driving while under the influence of alcohol, or if they are impaired by controlled substances or any combination of drugs.
Drugs and alcohol impair a person’s ability to drive safely. They can cause any of the following symptoms:
- Poor judgment
- Reduced motor skills
- Altered sensory perception
- Blurry vision
- Slower reaction time
- Lack of coordination
- Decreased depth perception
- Inability to focus
It might come as a surprise that drugs that can impair your driving abilities aren’t limited to just illegal substances, such as cocaine. You could also become impaired by over the counter medication, such as Benadryl, allergy pills, and sleep aids.
If you believe that the truck driver was under the influence at the time of the crash, you should immediately hire a lawyer from CHASENBOSCOLO so we can begin our investigation and start gathering evidence. We will work vigorously to prove that they should not have been behind the wheel and should be financially responsible for your losses.
Who Is Liable After a Truck Accident?
If the truck driver caused the accident, you could seek compensation from their insurance company. Virginia’s fault system allows accident victims to recover their losses through the at-fault driver’s liability insurance.
Truck drivers have a legal requirement to carry liability insurance with minimum coverage based on how heavy their truck is and the type of cargo they’re carrying. These liability limits include:
- Under 10,001 pounds and non-hazardous cargo: $300,000
- Over 10,000 pounds and non-hazardous cargo: $750,000
- Oil and hazardous substances: $1 million
- Other hazardous freight: $5 million
When you file a liability claim, you could seek any of the following types of compensation you suffered in the accident:
- Medical bills
- Disfigurement or deformity
- Mental anguish
- Car repair or replacement costs
- Out of pocket expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
A truck driver’s liability limits are much higher than someone driving a compact car. That’s because commercial trucks can cause more significant harm to the occupants of other vehicles. Severe injuries and fatalities are common in accidents involving large trucks. Injured victims often require ongoing treatment, leading to expensive medical bills. The settlement you receive should adequately cover your past and future losses.
Having an experienced lawyer on your side could greatly benefit you during the insurance claims process. Insurance companies want to save money whenever possible. They, unfortunately, won’t have your best interests in mind when they’re handling your claim. Their goal is to find a valid reason to deny your claim or get away with as low of a settlement as possible.
CHASENBOSCOLO knows the tactics insurance companies use to intimidate claimants into accepting compensation much lower than they deserve. We will ensure no one takes advantage of you during your case. If it’s necessary, we can file a lawsuit against the insurance company and impaired truck driver to force a monetary award that compensates for your medical bills, lost wages, and the suffering you endured.
Handling a Lawsuit After a Truck Accident in Virginia
DUI truck accidents are entirely avoidable. You should not have to suffer the consequences of someone’s negligence. The truck driver decided to get behind the wheel of their truck despite being under the influence of alcohol or drugs. They knowingly put other people at risk of harm and should face financial and criminal penalties.
You must follow a deadline if you want to sue the truck driver for compensation for your losses. This is known as a statute of limitations. The statute of limitations for injury cases is two years. The clock begins on the date of the crash and ends after two years pass. If you don’t file by the statute, you will likely lose your right to compensation. If you try to file, the judge could dismiss your case because of the missed deadline.
You also might be entitled to punitive damages in your lawsuit. Punitive damages aren’t intended to cover your losses. Instead, it punishes the defendant for their actions and deters similar misconduct in the future. You can only recover punitive damages if you can provide the jury with clear and convincing evidence that the truck driver acted with malice or willful or wanton conduct that displayed disregard towards other peoples’ rights.
The conduct is willful or wanton if the defendant:
- Had a blood alcohol concentration of at least .015% or at least .015 grams per 210 liters of breath;
- Knew or should have known that the alcohol or drugs impaired their driving abilities; and
- Acted in a way that directly caused your injuries.
CHASENBOSCOLO can request the truck driver’s blood or breath test results to determine if they were under the influence at the time of the crash. We can also obtain other relevant evidence that proves they caused the accident and should provide the compensation you need to pay for the costs associated with the case.
Seek Legal Representation Immediately After the Accident
You should hire a lawyer within days of the accident. In the immediate aftermath, you might still be in shock and not understand how to go about handling this type of case. If you’re unfamiliar with state laws, federal trucking regulations, and deadlines associated with filing a claim and lawsuit, you could end up losing your case.
Seek medical treatment after leaving the accident scene, and we will take care of the rest. We will begin an investigation into the collision to determine the cause, who was at fault, and how much insurance coverage is available. We will also gather evidence, such as:
- Witness statements
- Security video footage of the accident
- Estimates for damage to all vehicles
- Truck driver’s blood, breath, and urine test results
- Receipts showing the driver was drinking before getting in their truck
- Accident scene photos
- Crash report
- Employment and driving records from the trucking company
You won’t have to worry about any of the legal aspects of your case with us by your side. Your only concern should be to attend your doctor’s appointments and treat your injuries. We know you’re already dealing with enough stress and don’t want to add to your burden. Our legal team has the resources, knowledge, and skills to take on the responsibility and build a solid case that gets you the results you want.
Contact Us Today
At CHASENBOSCOLO, we care about the clients who hire us. We always treat them like family. You will always be a priority for us from start to finish of your case. We know you need and deserve dependable legal services, guidance, support, and advice during this difficult time in your life. Our team of legal professionals will help you get through it so you can get your life back on track.
If a truck driver was driving under the influence and caused your injuries, call us at (703) 538-1138 for a free consultation. We’re here to help.