Who Can I Sue if I Was Hit by a Drunk Truck Driver?

If you were hit by a drunk truck driver, you have the right to sue a commercial truck driver, the trucking company and others if the driver of the commercial truck was at fault for an accident in which you were injured or a loved one was killed. If the truck driver had been drinking alcohol before the accident, you may have a claim for gross negligence, which would allow you to seek punitive damages (an amount of money meant to punish the wrongdoer for bad behavior).

The driver of the Walmart truck in the video below falls out of the vehicle, apparently so intoxicated he can barely stand, when he is pulled over by a state patrol officer. The officer finds bottles of hard liquor in the semi cab.

$6 Million for Motorcycle Passenger Injured by a Drunk Truck Driver

One of the cases our law firm handled is a good example of a dram shop case and illustrates the need for dram shop laws.

Our client was riding on the back of a motorcycle when it was hit from behind by a drunk driver. Her leg was crushed in the accident and later had to be amputated.

The drunk driver had been drinking at a bar just minutes before the accident. Attorney Fred Pritzker found this out during his investigation and sued the bar for money damages to help compensate our client for her tremendous loss.

The bar had a large insurance policy that covered much of the $6,000,000 won by Fred and his team of attorneys at court.

Truck Accident Wrongful Death Lawyer
Attorneys Fred Pritzker and Eric Hageman Inspect a semitrailer after a crash.
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You May Be Able to Sue the Bar That Served Alcohol to the Truck Driver

If the intoxicated driver was served alcohol at a bar, restaurant or other establishment, you may have a dram shop claim that would allow you to sue and get compensation from that business. This is extremely important because these businesses generally have multimillion-dollar insurance policies.

What is a Dram Shop?

Any establishment selling liquor illegally is considered a “dram shop” and is responsible for the dangerous actions of an intoxicated person when they have illegally sold liquor to that person. In addition to bars and liquor stores, these establishments can include restaurants, social clubs, and sometimes even private events where liquor is sold.

Drinking and Driving
Alcohol-impaired drivers are involved in about 1 in 3 crash deaths. Choose not to drink and drive and help others do the same.

Examples of the illegal sale of alcohol include the following:

  • Selling alcohol to an obviously intoxicated customer;
  • Selling alcohol without a license to do so;
  • Selling alcohol after hours; or
  • Selling alcohol to a minor.

Our semi truck accident lawyers have represented many victims of drunk driving accidents and their families. Our goal in these case – and in all of our cases – is both to help our clients get on with their lives but also to hold accountable all of the parties who caused the harm to our clients.  In many cases, that means not only the drunk driver, but also the dram shop whose illegal sale contributed to the accident.

In one case, our law firm won a settlement for a woman whose husband was killed by a truck driver who denied fault. “Our job is to make sure truck drivers who cause accidents and the truck companies who hired them are held accountable,” said attorney Eric Hageman, who recently won $5 million for a client.

For more information, please read “Truck Accident FAQ“.

Alcohol Drinking and Driving