Medical Requirements for Truck Drivers and What This Means Following a Crash2019-04-09T18:07:33+00:00

If you’ve been in a truck accident in Canton, Van Zandt, Mt. Pleasant, Jefferson, Paris, and Marshall, Texas, the Cooper Law Firm are semi-truck accident lawyers who may be able to assist you with making a claim from truck insurance companies and from truck companies following your accident. Truck companies are required to have high value insurance policies to protect victims in the event of an accident. If you’ve been hurt in a truck crash, you may have the right to make a claim for your medical expenses, lost wages, rehabilitation costs, and pain and suffering. Truck companies are required to abide by strict federal and local laws. One of the regulations that truck drivers are required to follow are medical requirement regulations that govern the medical requirements truck drivers must meet in order to earn a commercial truck license. What are these regulations and how might these laws impact a truck accident claim? Read more below.

Medical Examiner’s Certificate Requirements

Commercial truck drivers who operate vehicles exceeding 10,000 pounds are required to have a Medical Examiner’s Certificate, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. In general, a driver must be found to have no physical or mental impairments that could interfere with the operation of a truck. Drivers can, however, receive a “variance” document in certain situations that would allow them to operate a truck if certain conditions are met. For example, drivers with missing limbs or other minor physical impairments may be able to obtain a “variance” as long as the driver uses special equipment or prosthesis while driving. Other drivers can perform skills tests to determine whether they are fit to drive.

Yet, are there certain conditions that could potentially prevent a driver from earning a commercial driver’s license? According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, truck drivers should be physically fit to not only safely operate the vehicle they are driving, but they should also be fit enough to perform safety inspections, secure their loads, and ensure that loads have not shifted during transport. Drivers with hearing loss, vision loss, epilepsy, or diabetes, may not qualify to drive a truck and may require “variance” documents showing that the driver will be using corrective hearing aids, glasses, or be taking insulin to manage their diabetes.

Conditions That Could Disqualify Truck Drivers from a Commercial Driver’s License

What are some other conditions that could impact a driver’s ability to safely operate a motor vehicle? Any condition that could interfere with the safe operation of the truck or interfere with a driver’s ability to secure a load could result in the denial of a commercial driver’s license. These conditions can include:

  • Sleep Apnea
  • Heart Conditions
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Epilepsy
  • Drug Addiction or Alcoholism
  • Psychiatric Conditions
  • Limb Loss
  • Physical Impairments Affecting the Movement of the Arms or Legs

Drivers with breathing issues, like sleep apnea, could be compromised behind the wheel. Sleep apnea, for example, can interfere with a driver’s ability to get a full night’s rest, which could lead to fatigued driving. However, sleep apnea can sometimes be difficult to diagnose and many drivers may have to self-report issues before sleep apnea is addressed. The Cooper Law Firm are truck accident lawyers in Texas who may be able to investigate your case to determine whether fatigue may have played a role in your crash.

Drivers with any condition that could result in the loss of consciousness while driving may also not qualify for a commercial driver’s license. Drivers with heart problems, high blood pressure, or any condition that could lead to fainting might also not qualify for a commercial driver’s license. If your accident involved the truck driver losing consciousness, your truck accident lawyer at the Cooper Law Firm in Texas may evaluate the situation to determine whether a driver’s medical condition may have played a role.

Drivers with alcoholism, drug abuse problems, or drivers who are found to use drugs may also not qualify for a commercial driver’s license. Truck drivers are required to pass drug tests to receive a commercial driver’s license. In addition to substance abuse problems, drivers should also be free of any psychiatric conditions that can impact their ability to drive a truck. If you’ve been in a semi-truck accident in Texas, the Cooper Law Firm can help you with your claim and investigate whether drugs or alcohol may have played a role.

These are just some of the specific medical conditions that can disqualify a truck driver from receiving a commercial driver’s license. However, if a driver has any other condition that could impact his or her ability to safely drive and secure his or her load, then this could also disqualify the driver. A driver’s Medical Examiner’s Certificate is valid for 24 months, after which a truck driver must submit to another medical screening and receive a new certificate. However, issues can arise if a driver develops a medical condition before the 24-month expiration period has passed. Truck companies also have a vested interest in ensuring that their drivers are fit to operate a commercial truck.

If you’ve been in a semi-truck accident in Canton, Van Zandt, Mt. Pleasant, Jefferson, Paris, and Marshall, Texas, you may be entitled to seek damages if the truck driver was not physically fit to be operating the truck. The Cooper Law Firm are truck accident attorneys in Texas who can review the circumstances of your crash, look at your driver’s Medical Examiner’s Certificate, see if there are any “variances,” and determine whether your driver may have had any conditions that could have impacted his or her ability to drive. If a truck company failed to perform its due diligence, or failed to ensure that drivers had valid Medical Examiner’s Certificates, then you and your family may be entitled to seek damages for your medical costs, rehabilitation expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering damages.

Protect Your Rights After a Truck Accident

The aftermath of a truck accident can be very confusing for victims and families. Fortunately, you don’t have to navigate the claims process alone. The Cooper Law Firm are truck accident lawyers in Canton, Van Zandt, Mt. Pleasant, Jefferson, Paris, and Marshall, Texas who can assist you with making a claim and seeking justice for your losses. You may only have a limited amount of time to make a claim under the law. Contact the Cooper Law Firm today to learn more about your rights. Our firm offers new clients a free initial consultation during which we can evaluate your truck accident claim. Call us today.

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