Operators of large, commercial tractor-trailers must comply with state and federal regulations governing what they can and cannot do. For example, commercial big rig operators can only be on the road for a certain period of time before they are legally obligated to stop and rest. Similarly, big rig operators must adhere to regulations regarding the use of certain types of medications. This means if there is evidence that a semi-truck driver took illegal drugs or certain medications that made them a danger to other motorists and they wind up hitting someone, the driver (and their employer) can be held liable for any injuries resulting from the collision.
Federal Regulations Concerning the Use of Certain Types of Medications
Commercial tractor-trailer drivers are prohibited from operating their rig under the influence of illicit drugs or prescription drugs obtained without a valid prescription. There have been reports of horrific accidents caused by commercial truck drivers under the influence of the following types of drugs:
- Anti-seizure medications
Even if a big rig operator has a valid prescription for medication to treat a chronic condition, if they condition makes them a danger on the road and they wind up colliding with another vehicle, the operator and the trucking company can be held liable for any harms and losses from the collision. This is because big rig operators must pass a medical examination that certifies they do not have conditions that will make them unsafe truck drivers. So if they are taking a medication to treat a problem with their eyesight, hearing, limb control, etc. that presents a major issue if the driver causes a serious wreck while operating the rig.
Evidence of Regulatory Violation Strengthens Your Injury Claim
If you or a family member is injured by the negligence of a truck operator, you must prove, by a preponderance of the evidence, that the truck operator was "negligent” in causing your injuries. If there is evidence that the truck driver or trucking company violated trucking regulations, like the restrictions on certain types of medications, it creates a much easier path for establishing negligence and thereby liability.
Contact a Truck Accident Lawyer Today
The truck accident lawyers at Shapiro & Appleton offer free, confidential consultations on truck accident injury cases in Virginia, North Carolina, and throughout the Southeastern United States. Our personal injury attorneys have decades of experience handling truck accident and personal injury claims, and may be able to help you with your case. Call today.