Driving a truck might seem like a straightforward and easy occupation, but it is often a difficult job with many hazards. Truck accidents can be severe and lead to fatalities. Truckers must undergo extensive training to earn their commercial driving licenses. In addition to that training, they must also pass a medical examination. The examination not only ensures they are ready to drive a large rig, but that they will not put any other motorists or pedestrians at risk.
Understanding the DOT Physical Exam for Truckers
The United States Department of Transportation (DOT) insists that anyone who wants to become a truck driver must undergo a thorough physical examination before being allowed to traverse the roads as an independent trucker or an employee of a trucking company. The medical examination must be made by qualified healthcare practitioners in about two-year intervals. The practitioners then have the final say in denying or giving truck drivers the ability to work based on their physical.
The reason for the DOT physical exam is straightforward, it saves lives. Research conducted at one western United States university showed that truckers with three or more medical conditions wrecked their vehicles up to four times more than healthy counterparts. Therefore, keeping truck drivers with physical issues off the road makes perfect sense.
Disqualifying Medical Conditions for Truckers
Not all medical conditions will disqualify a potential trucker from getting trucking jobs or remove a current trucker from work. Some conditions, like diabetes, may be acceptable depending upon the overall health of the trucker as well as how the disease is being managed. Nonetheless, several medical conditions remove truckers from consideration entirely.
A few of the immediately disqualifying medical conditions include several types of heart conditions, vertigo-causing conditions, like Meniere’s disease, and epilepsy. The underlying reason for denying a prospective trucker work is if their conditions present themselves while they are working. For example, if the driver loses consciousness or concentration. Even being prone to occasional dizzy spells could be hazardous for truckers and other roadway occupants.
All qualified healthcare practitioners who exam truckers are expected to use their expertise and best judgment to make decisions. Yet some unqualified and unprofessional doctors have begun to falsify trucker medical records in exchange for money. Their fraudulent dealings leave everyone at risk.
The Price of Fraudulent Trucker Physical Exam Results
How widespread is the problem of healthcare professionals falsifying trucker physical exams? In one east coast case, a doctor pled guilty to signing off on no fewer than 600 medical exams without conducting a thorough check-up. In another lawsuit from the northeast, a physician told his staff to write-up fraudulent medical exams for truckers even though he never saw the patients.
This type of illegal and unethical behavior is of grave concern to the DOT and the general public. The Office of the Inspector General has opened an investigation into this criminal activity to help reduce the likelihood that innocent drivers and passengers will be hurt or killed from unsafe, fraudulent truckers.
Virginia Beach Truck Accident Lawyers Support Injured Truck Accident Victims
If you were injured in a truck-related accident, you may be eligible for compensation. Truck accidents can be extremely dangerous. Sometimes, truckers may not be fit to drive. Our Virginia Beach truck accident lawyers will fight for your rights and help you obtain compensation. At East Coast Trial Lawyers, we pride ourselves in helping all those injured in truck accidents. Contact us online or call us at 757-352-2237 for a free consultation. Located in Virginia Beach, Virginia, we also serve clients in Chesapeake, Eastern Shores, Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Suffolk, throughout North Carolina, and nationwide.