When 18-wheelers collide with passenger vehicles in Illinois, the result can be devastating. To see yourself or a loved one forced to face the aftermath of a catastrophic accident is difficult enough. What happens if there is suspicion that the driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol? Can you still file a claim?

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration or FMCSA has strict regulations regarding substance testing for commercial drivers.

Do employers have to test drivers?

After a commercial vehicle’s involvement in an accident, the employer has an obligation to test the driver for alcohol or other controlled substances. The driver must undergo testing as soon as practicable. Drivers must undergo a test within eight hours for alcohol and within 32 for controlled substances. The employer, however, does not have to continue to try to administer a test after the eight or 32-hour window.

Now, if there is probable cause that there was alcohol and controlled substances involved in an accident, the Federal Highway Administration allows for the federal, state or local law enforcement agencies to test drivers and this test can substitute for the FHWA test. While waiting for the results from the test, commercial drivers can still drive.

Can you file a claim against commercial truckers?

A crash between a semi-truck and a passenger vehicle can result in severe injuries. Victims may suffer from spinal cord injuries, concussions, brain damage or the worst-case scenario of death. Injuries can last a lifetime and victims do have a right to file claims against truckers, even if DUI charges are present. More information on trucking accident injuries is available on our web page.