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Can I Sue If I Was Injured in a Truck Accident Caused by a Fatigued Driver?

Posted on in Truck Accidents

IL injury lawyerTruckers have a job that requires them to drive for long periods of time and cope with unpredictable sleep schedules. Trucking companies are under intense pressure to get truck shipments transported as quickly as possible. The combination of these factors can sometimes be disastrous. Truck drivers who are sleepy may make dangerous mistakes behind the wheel or even fall asleep while driving. If you or a loved one were hurt in a truck accident and you suspect that a fatigued truck driver may have been to blame, it is important to know your rights.

Truck Drivers Are Required to Follow Rules Regarding Drive Time and Rest Breaks

Sleepiness may seem like no big deal. However, when you are operating a massive vehicle like a semi-truck, being sleepy can lead to catastrophe. When a driver is sleep-deprived, he or she takes longer to respond to a sudden emergency such as a stalled vehicle or other object in the road. Sleepy drivers may also make mistakes like forgetting to check their blind spots before changing lanes.

For these reasons, federal law places limits on the number of hours that a truck driver can drive the vehicle without stopping for a break. For property-carrying trucks, there is an 11-hour driving limit after 10 hours off duty. Drivers must not drive more than 14 consecutive hours after 10 hours off duty. Drivers are expected to keep track of the number of hours that they have driven in an electronic logbook. However, some drivers lie on their logbooks and drive beyond the limitations established by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. There have even been instances of trucking companies coercing drivers to violate drive time and rest break rules by threatening to fire them for taking the legally-required breaks. This issue has been so widespread that the FMCSA now explicitly prohibits coercion and has instituted reporting procedures for drivers who have been forced to drive longer than they are supposed to.

Suing for Damages After a Fatigued Truck Driver Accident

Whether your accident was caused by the reckless actions of a sleepy truck driver or because of a trucking company’s unlawful business practices, you deserve justice. You may able to hold the liable party accountable for your truck accident by filing a personal injury claim. You could be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, disability, pain and suffering, lost income, vehicle damage, and more. An attorney experienced in handling truck accident claims can help you gather evidence and build a strong case for compensation.

Contact a Waukegan Fatigued Truck Accident Lawyer

If you or a loved one were hurt in a truck accident, contact Salvi & Maher, L.L.C. to discuss your legal options. A Lake County personal injury attorney from our team may be able to help you hold the liable party accountable and recoup financial compensation for your damages. Call 847-662-3303 for a free consultation.

 

Source:

https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/safety/coercion

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