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Fatigued Truck Driver Accident Lawyer

Truck accidents often cause severe or fatal injuries. Laws require truck drivers to adhere to strict safety standards to reduce the risk of causing a collision, but they don’t always follow these rules. Driving while fatigued is incredibly dangerous, yet many truckers do it every day.

Determining liability for truck accidents is complicated. Opposing insurance companies can point fingers at others, leaving accident victims in need of compensation caught in the cross-fire unless they have legal representation. Fielding Law knows how to get to the root of liability issues and can help you obtain satisfactory compensation faster.

What Can Cause Truck Driver Fatigue?

Lack of adequate sleep is an obvious reason for fatigue, but other circumstances can also produce fatigue.

  • Alcohol or drug use – besides the direct physical impairments of using drugs or alcohol, it can also make you sleepy.
  • Medications – several prescription or over-the-counter medications can make you drowsy and unable to drive safely.
  • Sickness – when you are sick, your body needs more sleep and rest to heal. Truckers often can’t take breaks to rest during their shifts.
  • Unusual working hours – truckers may drive through the night to reach their destinations on schedule or work a combination of daylight and nighttime hours, making their bodies crave sleep.

Whatever the reason, anyone who drives while fatigued is negligent and increases the chances of causing an accident. Truckers are more dangerous because trucks can cause more damage than most other vehicles on the road.

Why Is Fatigued Driving So Dangerous?

Drivers must be alert and aware of many things when operating a truck or motor vehicle. Drowsiness and fatigue have many adverse effects on safe driving, including:

  • Degraded decision-making skills- the same driver who can judge traffic conditions and maneuver their trucks easily when fully alert can suffer from the same kinds of impaired judgment as drunk drivers when they are fatigued, sometimes causing catastrophic accidents.
  • Delayed reaction times – driving trucks is more complicated than operating a car, and every second counts when truckers make changes such as applying brakes or adjusting steering. Fatigue can increase the time it takes to make necessary corrections to avoid an accident.
  • Drifting off the road – drowsy driving can prevent drivers from staying on the road and risk leaving the road altogether.
  • Falling asleep while driving – truckers who fall asleep while driving lose control of their trucks and can also inadvertently speed up, making the coming collision more catastrophic.
  • Inability to focus – drowsiness can prevent drivers from paying attention to the road because they’re more prone to daydreaming or shifting their focus from driving.
  • Impaired vision – fatigue can make your vision go out of focus, and you must see clearly to drive safely. This is especially risky for truckers because they already have large blind spots.
  • Weaving through lanes – sleepy truckers can’t always maintain their lane position and lazily weave between lanes of traffic. This is extremely dangerous because other drivers have no warning that a large truck might hit them.

Fatigued driving is dangerous for everyone, but truck accidents can produce more severe injuries and damage than most other accidents. That’s why laws govern strict work and rest periods for truckers.

What Is Negligence?

Duty of care and negligence form the basis of most personal injury cases. Anyone who drives an auto or truck owes a duty of care to others who share the road with them, and failing to fulfill that duty of care is negligence.

For drivers, the duty of care means operating their vehicle safely to reduce the risk of causing a collision and potential injuries. Anyone who drives while fatigued isn’t taking safety into consideration, meaning they are negligent.

Establishing negligence is a crucial aspect of personal injury cases, but people without an experienced attorney often fail to prove negligence adequately. Insurance companies are notoriously stingy anyway, and a weak assertion of negligence without solid proof to back it up can result in injured accident victims not receiving the compensation they deserve.

Why Are Truck Accidents More Serious?

A fully loaded tractor-trailer can weigh up to 80,000 pounds, and a truck’s oversized dimensions are much larger than other vehicles. An accident that would be minor with only cars involved can be catastrophic when a truck causes it.

Trucks that roll over, for instance, can easily crush cars beside them. Their extreme weight gives them additional forward momentum, making the likelihood of continuing to slide into even more vehicles more probable.

Why Is Determining Liability in Truck Accidents Tricky?

Fault in auto accidents usually rests with one person: the guilty driver. Responsibility in truck wrecks isn’t as clear-cut because you can potentially hold several parties liable. Each of these parties will attempt to blame the others to avoid paying your claim.

You might place the fault for truck accidents on one or more of these parties:

  • The truck driver
  • The trucking company
  • The truck’s owner or leasing company
  • The company responsible for loading the cargo
  • Maintenance companies
  • Truck or parts manufacturers
  • Cargo shipping companies

With so many opportunities to place blame, it’s no wonder that most people injured in truck accidents hire attorneys to untangle the potential fault. Fielding Law attorneys handle truck accidents every day, so we understand how to navigate the sometimes-tricky liability issues.

What Compensation Can You Obtain?

Laws governing compensation vary by state, but most plaintiffs can obtain different types of damages.

Economic Damages

Victims of fatigued driving truck accidents typically face astronomical financial difficulties resulting from their injuries. These people can receive compensation for items such as:

  • Vehicle repair or replacement
  • Medical expenses
  • Lost wages due to time lost from work during recovery and taking care of other aspects of the case
  • Specific daily expenses, such as the cost of hiring caregivers

Keeping bills and receipts for any expenses directly relating to your accident and injuries is crucial.

Non-Economic Damages

Accident victims, especially in collisions involving trucks, can experience several adverse effects on their lives that aren’t quantified by a price tag. However, these conditions can be as debilitating as physical injuries in some cases.

You may qualify to receive non-economic damages for things like:

  • Pain and suffering – physical, emotional, or mental
  • Inconvenience
  • Permanent disfigurement
  • Long-term disability
  • Diminished earning capacity
  • Loss of the enjoyment of life
  • PTSD

These items are subjective and can have varying degrees of impact on victims’ lives, so compensation amounts are awarded accordingly. Not all cases qualify for this type of compensation. Ask an attorney from Fielding Law if you might obtain non-economic damages after your fatigued-driver truck accident.

Why Choose Fielding Law?     

At Fielding Law, we want every client to feel valued. When you hire us to represent you with your personal injury claim, you can expect:

  • Direct access to a lawyer, not only office staff
  • For your attorney to get intimately familiar with your case
  • Receive knowledgeable representation due to our focus on personal injury cases
  • Prompt and thorough responses to your questions
  • Regular case updates
  • A dedicated effort to negotiate an acceptable settlement from insurance companies
  • For us to take your case to trial if needed

You can reach us at (877) 880-4090, via 24/7 live chat, or by requesting your free case evaluation online. Contact us today so we can get to work helping you.