Search Site
Driver Impairment

Savannah Truck Driver Impairment Lawyers Fight for Fair Compensation

Employing pivotal evidence to prove liability for truck accidents

Professional drivers are held to a higher standard of care than ordinary motorists. Because it requires far more skill to operate a big rig, the law demands a higher level of alertness. Alcohol, drugs, fatigue, illness and distraction can detract from a driver’s ability to react to circumstances on the road. At Owens & Mulherin in Savannah, our truck accident attorneys understand the role that driver impairment plays in accidents. We also know the weight that evidence of impairment carries in truck accident litigation. For these reasons, we thoroughly investigate truck accidents to determine the driver’s condition in the moments prior to the crash. 

Liability of an impaired driver

The fact that a driver is impaired is not definitive proof that driver caused the trucking accident. However, studies show that impairment raises the likelihood of an accident. If, for example, an accident reconstruction expert asserts that a crash occurred because a semi-truck drifted into an adjacent lane, that drift is understandable in the context of impairment. Evidence of impairment also casts into doubt that driver’s account of events. 

Proof in civil lawsuits only requires a preponderance of the evidence, meaning the injured party’s account of events is more likely true than not. This makes truck driver impairment a persuasive factor when deciding liability.

Common causes of truck driver impairment

It is rare for a truck driver to be impaired by alcohol while behind the wheel of a commercial vehicle. Statistics show this only occurs in about 4 percent of truck accidents. 

Law enforcement can gather evidence of impairment only if a driver is arrested for DUI. Officers can then request chemical tests for alcohol and drugs in the system. A driver operating under a commercial driver’s license (CDL) can be convicted of DUI if their blood alcohol content is 0.04 percent or greater. 

However, other forms of impairment are more prevalent, such as:

  • Illicit drug use
  • Fatigue, often from long hours of driving
  • Untreated sleep disorders, including apnea
  • Prescription and OTC medications, such as cold and allergy meds that induce drowsiness
  • Distractions, such as cellphone use

Proving these other forms of impairment requires separate investigation by the accident victim’s attorney. 

Legal standards and liability for an accident

Federal regulation of the trucking industry includes rules meant to control impairment due to fatigue. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) sets limits for hours of service, both behind the wheel and in other capacities before taking the wheel. If a driver can be shown to have violated those limits prior to the crash, there is a higher likelihood that fatigue could have caused a lapse in judgment or skill, leading to a crash.

Proving circumstances that suggest impairment can shift the burden of proof back to the truck driver, who must present evidence of an alternate cause for the crash.

Gathering evidence to bolster your case

Once we have filed a lawsuit, our team can use subpoena power to demand trucking company logs and cellphone records that might disclose impairment. Our investigation also involves the review of records, such as police reports, drug or alcohol test results, and electronic logging device (ELD) data. We also depose the driver and witnesses, who may have knowledge of potential impairment.

Contact our determined Savannah truck accident lawyers

Owens & Mulherin in Savannah provides highly professional personal injury representation for victims of truck accidents involving impairment. Call us today at 912-212-2100 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.

Reviews From Our Clients
  • "I was pregnant and injured in an automobile accident. Mr. Owens, personally, came to the hospital. He told me he would handle everything, I just needed to get healthy for the baby and myself. Mr. Owens did everything he said he would. I highly recommend Owens and Mulherin. Everyone in their office is friendly and informative. You're not just another client with them, they genuinely care." - Lindsay Chadwick

  • "Highly recommend working with this group!! They are very friendly, understanding, caring people and very easy to talk to. They Gave us plenty of time to talk with them. Did not make us feel rushed and explained everything thoroughly. Made the experience the best possible and we had a positive outcome during a tragic time. Thank you to the attorneys and entire staff." - Cindy Shuman

  • "I found Mr. Owens to be very professional and extremely sympathetic towards my needs as a result of my injuries. His experience helped guide me through my case and we ultimately won in the end...settled out of court! Thanks for all your help!" - Diane Calahan

  • "Following an automobile accident I sought representation from Wil Owens. Throughout the process he and his staff were always very kind, informative, and diligent in protecting my rights and interests. I knew my case was minor comparatively speaking, however, they never minimized the importance of my situation or claim. I would highly recommend this local law firm!!Sincerely,Christi (Fry) Vinyard" - Christi Fry

  • "This was my first time having to get an attorney and my experience was great. They make sure you fully understand everything that's going on and make sure the case is settled in your favor. I highly recommend this attorney office if you need one." - Dee James

  • "Absolutely 100% the best law firm around. I was completely blown away by the staff with all their generosity and helpfulness every step of the way. Wilbur Owens is hands down the best attorney I have ever met. He was caring, professional, and helpful in all aspects of my case, from the very begining with all my treatments to the very end with my settlement. He was highly recommend to me and I have heard nothing but great things about him and his firm. They truly are the best around and if ths need were to arise again in the future I will gladly come to the law firm of Owens and Mulherin. Wonderful people and they gave me my life back as well as piece of mind, and for that I am and always will be truly thankful." - Courtney Graves

  • "I had a good experience with Mr. Owens and Ms. Teresa. They were very professional and was on point. It was a long process but it was worth the wait. I would recommend anyone to this lawfirm." - Ashley Robertson

  • "My thanks to Mr. Owens and his crew. After getting injured at work , and not knowing what to do I found them thru a local web search. Everyone in the office was great, Will walked me thru my case and explained how it would go. After everything I would highly recommend this law firm. I can't say enough of Mr. Owens and his staff . Thank you for your help!" - Mark Kalla

  • "I worked with Mr. Ownens and his team for my most recent accident involving 2 uninsured motorists, and I am extremely pleased with the way my case was worked, as well as the outcome. I cannot say anything negative about the law firm whatsoever, but I can tell you that being hit by uninsured vehicles is a nightmare." - Nic Schuman

  • "Loved working with me. Mulherin. Didn’t make me feel rushed or pinned against a wall. He gave me the beat and worse case scenario. Went to bat for me when the insurance company thought they could get away with being cheap. Brooke was amazing to work with to. Always answered calls or emails in a timely manner." - Natasha Campbell

Leave Us A Review
Wilbur D. Owens Attorney Photo
Wilbur D. Owens

Mr. Owens devotes his practice exclusively to representing plaintiffs in personal injury and wrongful death claims. His primary focus is automobile/tractor-trailer accidents, dog bites, slip/trip and falls, medical malpractice, injuries from dangerous products, job injuries and nursing home abuse. Before joining forces with Mr. Mulherin to open Owens & Mulherin in 2001, Mr. Owens worked…

Joseph A. Mulherin Attorney Photo
Joseph A. Mulherin

Mr. Mulherin represents individuals in personal injury cases. His primary practice areas are automobile accidents, tractor-trailer collisions, medical malpractice claims and workplace injuries. Before forming Owens & Mulherin with Mr. Owens in 2001, Mr. Mulherin practiced at Bouhan, Williams & Levy, LLP, from 1984 - 2000, representing both plaintiffs and defendants in personal injury cases.…

Contact us

Quick Contact Form