truck driver feeling ill in back of cab | South Carolina Truck Accident LawyerBoth the trucker who causes an accident due to medical conditions and the trucker’s employer might be at fault for the resulting damages. A commercial truck driver is held to higher standards of driving skill and safety than the average driver is. A trucker must hold a commercial driver’s license (CDL) and is required by the Federal Department of Transportation to have a medical examination every two years in order to retain or renew that CDL. If the medical exam reveals any condition that would impair the trucker’s ability to drive safely, the CDL may be denied.

Truckers’ Medical Conditions

During the course of the two years between exams, a trucker might develop one or more medical conditions that could impede the safe operation of a commercial truck, such as:

Vision problems

Deteriorating vision or the failure to get new glasses can affect the ability to see traffic signs and signals, as well as other cars on the road.

Meniere's disease

This inner-ear disorder can cause vertigo (dizziness), tinnitus (ringing in the ears), or hearing loss that might make other cars’ horns or emergency vehicles’ sirens inaudible, increasing the likelihood of an accident.

Heart conditions

Chest pain, angina, and thrombosis are among the coronary problems that could render a driver unable to operate a truck safely. If a trucker suffers a heart attack while driving, the results could be catastrophic for vehicles and their occupants traveling nearby.

Seizures

Epilepsy or another seizure disorder can leave a driver unconscious at the wheel and result in disastrous accidents.

Substance abuse

A trucker’s use of alcohol or drugs slows reaction time, reduces vision, and affects decision making. Even if a CDL holder is using medical marijuana legally, its presence in the bloodstream can result in revocation of the CDL.

Because truck driving is a sedentary job often requiring long-distance travel, many drivers don’t get enough exercise or eat properly. Obesity and related conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, and sleep apnea are thus common in the profession. A trucker is required to show proof that such conditions are medically under control in order to retain the CDL and continue driving.

It’s common, however, for a trucker to develop one or more of these conditions between exams and simply continue driving for as long as possible. Some drivers also ignore the two-year medical exam requirement for as long as they can, and some trucking companies are not vigilant about requiring regular medical exams for drivers. This means you have no way of knowing whether that 80,000-pound truck traveling beside you at high speed on the highway is being operated by a healthy person capable of safe driving.

Truck Crash Insurance Claims

If you’re involved in a Florence, SC, crash caused by a truck driver with a medical condition, you’re entitled to file a claim against the at-fault party’s insurance company for your medical bills, property damage, lost income, and pain and suffering. If the trucker is employed by a trucking company, you might also have a claim for damages against that company, which has a duty to put only safe, healthy, qualified drivers on the road. Some companies might cut corners and allow unhealthy drivers to work in order to meet shipment quotas and delivery schedules.

Simultaneously filing multiple insurance claims, however, is a complex legal process that is best left to an experienced truck accident attorney, especially if you’re recovering from injuries. Your lawyer can help you to seek fair compensation for your damages by:

  • Investigating your accident thoroughly to prove the liability of the trucker and gather evidence of a possible medical condition
  • Checking the trucker’s medical exam records to see if they’re current, out of date, or perhaps falsified
  • Obtaining important data from the truck’s “black box” recorder, dashboard camera, and other sources before that evidence is erased or destroyed by the trucking company
  • Consulting with your doctors to determine your present and future medical needs and expenses
  • Monetizing your pain and suffering to calculate the value of your claim
  • Demanding fair compensation from all liable parties
  • Negotiating for reasonable settlements
  • Filing lawsuits and fighting for you in court if necessary.

Because truck crashes usually result in serious injuries and high medical expenses for the victims, the insurers have a team of lawyers whose job is to save money for the company by disputing your claim or offering you an unfairly low settlement. You should never accept such an offer without consulting a truck accident attorney, who will probably offer you a free first consultation to evaluate your case and let you know where you stand.

Have You Been Injured In A South Carolina Area Truck Accident?

If you or a loved one was injured in a commercial truck accident in South Carolina, you should speak with a truck accident lawyer as soon as possible. Contact us online or call our Charleston, South Carolina office directly at 843.488.2359 to schedule your consultation. We are also able to meet clients at our Conway, Myrtle Beach, Murrells Inlet, Mt. PleasantNorth Myrtle Beach or North Charleston office locations.

Dirk J. Derrick
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South Carolina Lawyer Dirk Derrick helps victims recover from car accidents, personal injury & wrongful death.