Jason Stephens | July 18, 2023 | Truck Accidents
Unfortunately, truck drivers take drugs and then get behind the wheel of what essentially becomes an 80,000-pound weapon. Drugged truck drivers cause horrific accidents that result in deaths and catastrophic injuries for innocent victims. Many people are surprised to learn that a commercial truck driver might not always be required to take a drug test after an accident in Fort Worth.
When Are Commercial Truck Drivers Required To Take a Drug Test After an Accident?
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires pre-employment drug and alcohol tests. An employer must receive a negative drug test before allowing a CDL driver to operate a truck.
However, drug tests are not always required after a truck accident. The FMCSA requires CDL drivers to take a drug test after an accident if:
- The truck accident resulted in bodily injuries that required immediate medical treatment away from the accident scene, but only if the police issued the truck driver a citation.
- The truck crash disabled a vehicle and it had to be towed away, but only if the police issued a citation to the truck driver.
- The truck accident caused someone’s death, regardless of whether the truck driver received a citation.
If you were injured, but the police did not issue the truck driver a citation, the driver might not be drug tested after the accident. Trucking companies are supposed to conduct drug testing as soon as possible after an accident if required.
Drug and Alcohol Testing by the Police After a Fort Worth Truck Accident
Police officers will generally respond to the scene of the truck accident to investigate. If they suspect that the truck driver is impaired by alcohol and/or drugs, they may begin a DUI investigation.
The officers will likely ask the truck driver to perform field sobriety tests (FSTs) to determine if the driver is under the influence. If the truck driver fails the FSTs or the police have probable cause, they may conduct a blood, breath, or urine test. The driver could refuse these tests, but they would face stiff penalties under Texas DUI laws.
If you believe a truck driver is under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you can tell the police at the accident scene. If you observe any of the following, tell an officer as soon as possible:
- Stumbling or staggering
- An odor of alcohol
- Smell of marijuana
- Alcohol or beer cans in the truck
- Slurred speech
- Attempting to hide or destroy something in the truck
- Reckless driving leading up to the accident
- Other evidence of impairment
Some of these signs could be attributed to accident injuries. However, making the officers aware of what you observed alerts them to watch the truck driver for signs of intoxication or impairment.
The truck driver may be arrested for DUI. The criminal charges are separate from a civil action for damages. Therefore, you can sue the truck driver and the trucking company regardless of whether the state files criminal charges or the truck driver is convicted or acquitted.
What Should I Do if a Drugged Truck Driver Causes an Accident in Fort Worth?
If you were injured in a truck accident, seek immediate medical treatment for injuries. As soon as possible, contact a Fort Worth truck accident lawyer about your case. Truck accident claims are incredibly complex personal injury cases and require experienced legal help.
The insurance company and the trucking company will take steps immediately to limit their liability for damages. Therefore, the company might not drug test the driver. It could face fines and an audit, but some companies prefer the fines over a multi-million dollar personal injury settlement.
The trucking company could be liable for economic and non-economic damages even though the drugged truck driver caused the accident. Vicarious liability holds an employer responsible for negligent conduct by an employee. The trucking company could also be liable under other causes of action, including negligence.
An experienced Fort Worth truck accident attorney can immediately begin investigating the truck accident to secure evidence before it can be lost or destroyed. The attorney can then handle all communications with insurance companies, trucking companies, investigators, and defense lawyers.
The average person does not have the resources, time, or skills to investigate a truck accident, especially when they are healing from injuries caused by the crash. Hiring a personal injury lawyer levels the playing field with the other parties and allows you to focus on your recovery.
Contact Our Truck Accident Law Firm in Fort Worth, TX
If you’ve been injured in an accident in Fort Worth and need legal help, contact our Fort Worth truck accident lawyers at Stephens Law Personal Injury | Wrongful Death | Truck Accidents to schedule a free consultation.
Stephens Law Personal Injury | Wrongful Death | Truck Accidents
1300 S University Dr # 300
Fort Worth, TX 76107