Anyone who gets behind the wheel of any motor vehicle while impaired by drugs or alcohol puts themselves and everyone they share the road with at risk of serious and possibly fatal harm. Drunk drivers are more likely to cause accidents that result in catastrophic harm, and driving under the influence is illegal in Pennsylvania and across the entire United States.
Unfortunately, the threat of criminal sanctions and the potential loss of their commercial driver’s license (CDL) does not always stop long-haul truck drivers from driving while dangerously impaired, as experienced truck accident attorneys know all too well. When you are hurt in a drunk driving truck accident in Philadelphia, you have legal standing to take action against the irresponsible driver with help from a dedicated lawyer.
Drunk Driving as Grounds for a Personal Injury Claim
Under both state and federal trucking law, no commercial truck driver—or anyone else with a CDL—can drive while impaired to any degree by alcohol, illegal drugs, or prescription medication. The legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) threshold for a CDL holder to receive a DUI is equal to or greater than 0.04 percent. This is notably a much stricter limit than the one applied to drivers in commuter cars, who must have a tested BAC of 0.08 or above to be charged with per se DUI in the Commonwealth.
Because of these special rules in Philadelphia, truck drivers may be liable for drunk driving crashes in circumstances a passenger car driver would not. Additionally, since criminal and civil cases have different “standards of proof,” it is often possible to file suit against a drunk truck driver before any criminal proceedings for DUI charges have concluded or even when end without a conviction.
Recovering Fairly Within Filing Deadlines
Drunk driving is a textbook example of a “breach” of the duty of care all drivers have to act lawfully and responsibly while driving, which means any drunk truck driver who causes an accident in Philadelphia can be held liable for ensuing losses. Specific damages an injured individual may be able to recover from a negligent trucker include:
- Emergency medical expenses and expected future care costs
- Vehicle repair/replacement costs, plus other forms of personal property damage
- Lost work income and/or earning capacity
- Emotional and psychological suffering
- Physical pain and discomfort
- Lost overall enjoyment of life
As per 42 Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes § 5524, most people who get injured through negligence of any kind have just two years to file suit against the person responsible for their injuries. Time is of the essence, so it is best to speak with an attorney as soon as possible after a truck collision that may have involved an intoxicated driver.
Contact a Philadelphia Attorney for Help With a Drunk Driving Truck Accident Claim
Experiencing serious injuries because of a commercial truck driver’s reckless choices can be frustrating and devastating. Even with all the evidence on your side, holding that truck driver liable for being drunk behind the wheel can be a complex and time-consuming task.
Help from a skilled legal professional can streamline the process of filing suit over a drunk driving truck accident in Philadelphia. At Lowenthal & Abrams, Injury Attorneys, our team works to maximize your chances of a favorable case result. Call today to learn more.