Drunk driving is one of the worst issues we face on the roads today. It’s
estimated that in 2016, 28 people per day died in accidents involving
intoxicated drivers. The problem seems to keep getting worse, and the
human cost is rising. When added to tractor-trailers, the damages can
Truck drivers are professionals and are expected to comport themselves
accordingly, so when they get into drunk driving accidents, it’s
not only tragic but it’s a betrayal. When it comes to seeking damages
for these accidents, however, the driver might not be the only one responsible.
Learn what happens when a DUI truck driver causes an accident, and how
you can pursue an injury claim with the help of a personal injury attorney.
When the Company is Liable for DUI
There is a theory in law called respondeat superior. This philosophy holds
that an employer is responsible for the acts of their employees while
they are on the clock. This means if the DUI truck driver was on the clock
at the time of the accident, you may be able to hold the owner of the
trucking company responsible for the damages suffered.
Acting in the Scope of Employment
The key to determining if the trucking company is liable for the driver’s
accident comes down to whether or not they were acting in the scope of
their employment. When making this determination, there’s a range
of facts that come into play, including the employee’s intent, when
and where the accident took place, the nature of the accident, the freedom
granted to the employee in the means by which they execute their tasks,
and a range of other factors.
Was the Driver an Independent Contractor?
One major issue that can come into play when dealing with truck drivers
is whether or not they’re actually an employee. If the driver is
paid as an independent contractor rather than an employee of the organization,
they are responsible for their own actions, and the employer cannot be
Criminal vs. Civil Charges
It’s also important to understand that there are two types of cases
that can result from a drunk driving accident. The first is a criminal
case. Drunk driving is a crime, and those who perpetrate it can be subject
to severe penalties including not just jail time but suspended licenses
and thousands in fines.
However, the fines in these cases won’t go to the victim—they’re
punitive and paid to the government. To collect damages, you’ll
need to file a civil suit. A civil case is separate and distinct from
any criminal charges and is your road to collecting compensation for the
harm you’ve suffered.
In order to collect compensation for your injuries, you’ll need the
help of a qualified injury attorney. The right lawyer can help you examine
the details of your case, will know how to advise you to proceed and can
help hold the right individuals or companies responsible. If you’re
in this situation and need help with a
DUI case against a truck driver, call the attorneys at Dunnion Law for help and a free consultation today.