Accidents have a tendency to turn your whole world upside down, but truck accidents can be particularly devastating. The injuries that result from a truck accident in Texas are almost always catastrophic.
If you or your loved one has been a victim of a truck accident, you may be able to bring a lawsuit against the trucking company or the negligent driver to pay for your injuries and losses. Once you have received emergency medical care after your accident, your next step should be to contact a Houston truck accident lawyer right away.
What Does “Impaired Driving” Mean?
When most people hear the term “impaired driving”, they think of drunk driving. While being drunk does mean being impaired, there is more to it. Being under the influence of drugs – prescription or illicit – also counts as impaired driving. If the driver was distracted during the driving, due to texting or talking to someone on the phone or in the passenger seat, that also counts as impaired driving.
In other words, impaired driving is when the driver does not have full function or control of their physical and/or mental abilities. Driving while impaired is an act of negligence because the truck driver knows (or should know) that their actions can result in an accident and cause harm to someone else.
How a Driver Is Tested For Impairment?
The sure shot way to determine whether a truck driver is impaired or not is through testing.
If the accident is minor, the police may not conduct the testing procedure.
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), the employers or truck company owners must test their driver for drug use in some situations. This test should be conducted as soon as it is practical to do so after an accident has occurred in which either:
- The police cited the truck driver
- Someone was injured
- There was a fatality
- There was enough damage that a vehicle on the road had to be towed from the site of accident, and the truck driver was cited for it
As a Houston truck accident lawyer will tell you, truck drivers are required to be tested within 32 hours of the accident. If the trucking company does not conduct the test, they must provide a written explanation to the FMCSA.
The test must also conform to the current local, state, and federal laws, and must be carried out by an approved independent party. A urine test must be done to detect the presence of any controlled substances. Your Houston truck accident lawyer will obtain the results of this test as well.
The drivers need to undergo federally-mandated testing such as:
- Pre-employment screening
- Random testing (trucking companies must randomly test 10% of their drivers throughout the year)
- Post-accident screening
In Texas, all commercial truck drivers are required to undergo alcohol and drug testing for these substances:
Speak with an Experienced Houston Truck Accident Lawyer
If you have been involved in a truck accident, let a dedicated Houston truck accident lawyer handle your case while you focus on your health and recovery.
At Kirk Law Firm, we are not intimidated by large trucking companies or their insurance providers. We can provide you robust legal representation to protect your rights.
Fill out this contact form to request a free consultation.