Posted On: March 9, 2009 by Steven J. Malman

Chicago Truck Accidents Can Occur if Trucker has Serious Existing Medical Condition and Gets Sick While Driving

While many Illinois truck accidents do occur in Chicago and throughout the state because a trucker or another motorist was negligent, there are truck crashes that can occur because a truck driver was suffering from a serious medical condition that has impaired his or her ability to drive. One way the federal government has tried to prevent this is to require that truckers take a medical exam every two years.

One of the problems with this, however, is that anyone who is a medical examiner but is not necessarily qualified to determine whether a truck driver is medically fit to operate a commercially licensed truck, can sign off on this exam. It also is pretty easy for a truck driver to download blank medical cards online and fill out the information while forging a medical examiner’s signature. Doctor names and medical license numbers are now easily accessible online.

Last year, a congressional probe determined that one out of every three medical certificates that were examined could not be verified. In some instances, the doctors that supposedly signed off on the certificates could not be found or, when they were approached claimed they never examined the trucker. Even when a truck driver’s doctor was contacted for information, medical confidentiality prevented him or her from revealing patient information without a special waiver.

In December 2008, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration approved a rule that gave the different states three years to start placing medical examination certificates and licenses for truckers and bus operators under one electronic source.

Illinois truck accidents
When a catastrophic Illinois truck accident happens because a trucker who was already suffering from a medical condition passed out, had a heart attack, or experienced another serious medical ailment, the consequences for the truck driver, other motorists, and pedestrians can be deadly. The Government Accountability Office reports that a May 2007 and June 2008 study shows that about 536,000 commercial vehicle operators were issued their commercial vehicle driver’s licenses even though they qualified for complete medical disability.

I-Team Investigation: Medically Unfit Truck Drivers, Kentucky, March 5, 2009

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

Related Web Resource:
Truck Accident Laws, Justia

If you or someone you love was injured in a Chicago truck accident because the truck driver or another party was negligent, contact the Law Offices of Steven J Malman & Associates, PC today.

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