Drunk Driving Truck Accidents in Chattanooga

When someone gets behind the wheel after drinking, they put everyone around them at risk. If that driver is operating a commercial truck, the results can be even more devastating.

Legal counsel familiar with drunk driving truck accidents in Chattanooga could help if a truck operator’s reckless actions have hurt you. A seasoned truck wreck attorney could work to obtain maximum compensation for your injuries.

Drunk Driving Laws Penalize Commercial Truck Drivers

Under Tennessee Code §55-10-401, a person operating a commercial vehicle under the influence of drugs, alcohol, or another intoxicant with a blood alcohol concentration of .04% or greater violates the commercial driver’s license (CDL) laws. A truck operator also commits a crime if they refuse to submit to a blood alcohol chemical test. For a first drunk driving offense, a truck driver faces a one-year revocation of their CDL license. If convicted a second time, the state will revoke their CDL license for life.

The state’s laws governing drinking and driving are stricter for commercial truck drivers than for those operating passenger vehicles. Understandably so, the possibility of severe damages and fatalities increases exponentially when a massive truck is involved. A skilled attorney knows the impact of a criminal conviction on a civil personal injury claim and could ensure the truck operator is held accountable for their actions.

Filing a Legal Claim for a Drunk Driving Accident

A person injured by an intoxicated truck operator has one year from the accident to sue the driver, the trucking company, and anyone else responsible for the accident. This is generally a strict deadline, although a judge could extend it under specific circumstances. A court may dismiss a claim filed outside the applicable time limit.

State law also recognizes wrongful death claims for families who lost a loved one in a drunk driving truck collision. A family member or representative of the deceased’s estate must also file a legal claim within one year of the accident.

Obtaining Evidence to Support a Drunk Driving Claim

When someone is hurt in a crash with a truck operated by an intoxicated driver, it is vital to act quickly to preserve evidence. Some of the essential information includes:

  • The accident report
  • The chemical breath test and toxicology results
  • Photographs or videos from the crash scene
  • Surveillance or traffic camera footage
  • Eyewitness testimony
  • Truck black box data

A local lawyer could gather this evidence and communicate with the driver, truck owner, and the insurance company.

Recovering Damages in Chattanooga

Because of the size and volume of over-the-road trucks, they can be difficult to control safely. This danger is exacerbated when the driver is intoxicated. Sadly, in Chattanooga, drunk driving truck crashes often cause substantial damage, including but not limited to:

  • Medical bills
  • Lost wages
  • Lost future earning capacity
  • Property damage
  • Long-term disability
  • Pain and suffering

Determining compensation for drunk driving truck accidents can be complicated. For example, calculating medical bills and lost wages is straightforward. However, putting a dollar amount on pain and suffering is more challenging. Typically, the more severe the injuries, the more compensation an individual may be entitled to.

Work With an Attorney Familiar with Drunk Driving Truck Accidents in Chattanooga

Drunk driving is a problem not only for passenger vehicle drivers but also for commercial truck operators. When a truck driver makes the indefensible decision to get behind the wheel after drinking, they endanger the safety of everyone in their path.

If you or someone you love has been injured in an accident with a drunk truck driver, you should be focused on healing, not dealing with medical bills and legal claims. A dedicated truck accident lawyer in Chattanooga understands that the aftermath of a drunk driving truck collision can be overwhelming. Call today to learn more about securing the financial support you need to move past the accident and on with your life.

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