The Role That Impairment Plays in Mississippi Truck Accidents
Trucks are the biggest vehicles on the road, which potentially makes them the most dangerous even in the best conditions. But that danger is compounded even more when truckers are impaired by alcohol or other drugs.. It’s unclear exactly how often drugs are a factor in trucking accidents were a fatality doesn’t occur, but the fact is that these traumatic accidents do happen, and in such an event, it’s important to know your legal rights.
Truckers and Drug Testing
While federal regulation of the trucking industry is extensive, federal law does not require drug testing of truckers after every accident (nor does Mississippi law for that matter). However, federal regulations do require that a truck driver be tested for drugs following any fatal accident, or within 32 hours of an accident in which the truck driver received a citation from local law enforcement and either a vehicle was damaged so badly that it had to be towed from the scene, or someone injured at the scene had to be transported to a medical facility.
In the case of one of those events, the Federal Motor Carrier Facility Safety Administration requires that the driver submit to a urine test conducted by the Department of Health and Human Services. In the event of a positive test showing that the truck driver was under the influence of a controlled substance or recently ingested such substances, an attorney will be able to obtain those results to submit them at trial or use them to negotiate a settlement.
However, just because a Mississippi trucking accident doesn’t fit one of those circumstances that mandates drug testing under federal law, that doesn’t mean that authorities can’t still check for the presence of controlled substances in the driver’s body.
If you are involved in an accident with a truck driver and believe the driver is under the influence of alcohol or some other substance, you have every right to alert the police so that they can investigate further. Law enforcement officers are trained in a variety of different techniques to determine whether a driver is impaired. Police may also have probable cause to investigate the cabin of the truck for evidence of controlled substances that may have played a role in the crash. Such information can be key when pursuing a personal injury claim against a driver or his or her employer.
Contact Us Today for Help
Truck accidents are among the most serious types of vehicular accidents because of the damage they can cause to both person and property. If you or a loved one has recently been injured by a truck in the Biloxi area, you should speak with an experienced Mississippi personal injury attorney at The Law Offices of Judy Guice to determine whether you have a case. Contact our office today for a free initial consultation.