Atlanta Trucking Accident Lawyers Discuss Disqualifying Medical Conditions, Medications & Trucking Accidents
Our Atlanta truck accident lawyers realize that most commercial truck drivers follow all applicable regulations and operate on our roadways in a safe and careful manner. However, there are some that continue to drive trucks despite having serious medical conditions that make it unsafe for them to be on the road. This is an alarming situation when one considers that the typically fully loaded big-rig might weight in excess of 25 times more than an average passenger vehicle (up to 80,000 pounds). This is the reason that when passenger vehicles and commercial trucks collide, about 98 percent of those who are killed are passenger vehicle occupants. In fact, pursuant to data compiled by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration ("FMCSA"), there were in excess of 800 fatal tractor-trailer accidents caused by drivers who suffered from fatigue or serious medical conditions that made them medically unqualified to drive.
If you have been injured by a fatigued truck driver or a tractor-trailer operator with a serious medical condition affecting their ability to safely operate a truck, you should be entitled to compensation for your injuries. The experienced Atlanta truck accident lawyers at Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law, have been representing Georgia residents injured by negligent truck drivers for over three decades. Trucking accidents are amongst the most complex of all motor vehicle accidents to litigate. As such, our trucking accident lawyers use their extensive knowledge of the trucking industry to fight for the best possible results for the firm's clients.
Disqualifying Medical Conditions & Medications
Pursuant to FMCSA regulations, there are a number of medical conditions that disqualify a commercial truck driver from operating a truck, including, without limitation, the following: sleep apnea, diabetes, epilepsy, Meniere's Disease, hypertension, and kidney disease. Also, there are certain medications that can also qualify a commercial truck driver from driving, including, but not limited to, narcotics, amphetamines, anti-seizure medications, and methadone.
In light of the above, the FMCSA requires that interstate commercial motor vehicle drivers maintain a current Medical Examiner's Certificate to drive however, some never obtain it while others fail to keep it current in light of a condition they know might disqualify them from driving. Not only do some drivers fail to obtain the proper medical certification, but regulation and oversight in the process of obtaining medical certification is appallingly lax. The medical record system is not well coordinated so it is often the case that a truck driver's serious medical condition might be buried by his or her employer. Further, the exams are cursory at best and often conducted by "truck-stop medical clinics" that know their job is to provide medical certification and keep the driver on the road. A medical certification need not be issued by a doctor but can also be provided by certain nurses, chiropractors and physician assistants. Without medical doctors conducting the exams the truck drivers do not receive a full medical exam. There is also no training or requirements regarding proper evaluations for issuance of medical certification.
With the ever increasing number of commercial truck drivers on the road with serious medical conditions and others taking dangerous and impairing medications, it is no wonder that so many people suffer serious injuries and fatalities in commercial trucking accidents. If you sustained injuries or a loved one had a wrongful death in a Georgia tractor-trailer accident, Montlick and Associates wants to help. Contact us now to learn more about your legal options.
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Our Atlanta truck accident lawyers are available to assist clients throughout all of Georgia and in the Southeast, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state. No matter where you are located, our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.