Truck driver fatigue is a major threat to drivers in Phoenix. When a trucker is tired or sleepy, their truck turns into a lethal weapon that could harm any other road user. Yet, despite public awareness and federal hours of service regulations, trucker fatigue remains a dominant safety issue on our roads.
At the Silkman Law Firm Injury & Accident Lawyer, we hold truckers and trucking companies accountable for the accidents and injuries they cause. We work tirelessly to pursue the compensation our clients deserve.
Call us today, and let us get to work for you. We will provide a free case review, explain your rights, answer your questions, and discuss your options. Our truck driver fatigue accident lawyer can fight to resolve your case successfully and protect you from insurance companies who’d rather safeguard their bottom line than pay your claim.
Understanding Truck Driver Fatigue
Truckers are responsible for adhering to delivery schedules. They may be required to drive long hours and at odd times of day to meet those schedules. Truckers may be pressured to drive more hours than they are legally allowed to accomplish their trucking company’s delivery goals. Drowsy driving is an industry-wide issue. Truck driver fatigue statistics from a paper published in Sage Journals show that in a recent year, 400,000 trucking accidents occurred in which being fatigued or asleep was the top driver impairment.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association (FMCSA) is a government regulatory body that creates standards for the transportation industry. Their Hours of Service Regulations are intended to prevent fatigued trucker-caused accidents. Under these regulations, commercial truck drivers may drive no more than 11 hours after ten consecutive hours off duty, nor may they drive beyond the 14th consecutive on-duty hour. They’re required to take a 30-minute break after eight hours of driving. They may only drive 60 or 70 hours in each seven- or eight-day period, respectively. The regulations allow an additional two hours of driving time in adverse conditions.
Who Is Liable for a Crash Caused by a Fatigued Trucker?
Even though it may seem that the trucker should be liable for a fatigued driving crash, they may not be the only responsible party. The fatigued driver could be liable if they ignored truck driver fatigue laws and drove tired to get more loads in or make more money. However, the trucking company could be responsible, as well.
If the trucking company pressured the driver to drive beyond the legal driving hours, they could be liable for a fatigued driving accident. Additionally, they could be liable if they hired the trucker without verifying their driving history and ascertaining that the driver had no history of fatigued driving accidents. Additionally, under Arizona’s common law doctrine of respondeat superior, the employer is liable for the actions of its employees.
Your best course of action to determine who was responsible for a trucking accident is to talk with a truck driver fatigue accident lawyer.
What to Do After a Truck Accident
After a crash with a commercial motor vehicle, call 911 and seek emergency medical treatment if you need it. If you haven’t seen the doctor yet, do so now. Keep copies of all your receipts for medical treatment or the repair or replacement of property damaged in the crash. Keep a pain journal to document the progress of your injuries and make notes about your medical appointments. Stay off social media because the insurance company will seek information they can use against you. Finally, call our experienced Phoenix truck driver accident lawyer.
Can Truck Driver Fatigue Be Prevented?
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) offers the following tips on how to prevent driver fatigue when driving a truck:
- Get enough sleep. Inadequate sleep can result in the same symptoms as driving under the influence.
- Eat regular, healthy meals to improve reaction time, memory, and cognitive judgment.
- Avoid medications that produce drowsiness, especially allergy and cold medicines.
- Short naps of ten to 45 minutes help prevent fatigued driving.
- Tricks like turning up the radio, opening the windows, and drinking caffeine-laden beverages don’t work.
Compensation in a Truck Accident Lawsuit
If you were in a collision with a big rig that wasn’t your fault, you have the right to seek compensation for your injuries and losses. You could pursue money for:
- Medical expenses: Ambulance transportation, hospital costs, doctors’ fees, nursing, medication, surgery, and rehabilitation
- Lost wages: Wages lost from time missed at work while recovering
- Diminished future earnings: Reduced future earning capacity due to accident-related impairment
- Pain and Suffering: Emotional and psychological effects of the accident
- Loss of Enjoyment: Inability to enjoy pre-injury activities
- Punitive damage: Only available if the case goes to trial, and rarely awarded, punitive damages are money awards meant to punish the at-fault party for intentional or outrageous conduct
The truck driver fatigue accident lawyer and the team at the Silkman Law Firm Injury & Accident Lawyer handle personal injury cases exclusively, focusing on getting justice for what you’ve endured. You’ll have a personal relationship with your attorney. Our team will work tirelessly to recover compensation for the pain, loss, and emotional stress our clients suffer because of the wrongdoing of others. You’ll pay nothing upfront. We work on a contingency fee basis, which means if you don’t get paid, neither do we.
Contact Our Phoenix Truck Accident Attorneys Today
Here at Silkman Law Firm Injury & Accident Lawyer, we are available 24/7 to take your call or online message. We understand incidents happen at all times of the day, and we are here when you need us. We can come to your home or the hospital, or you can meet us in our office. No one should face a truck accident injury alone. Our legal team is ready to help. Contact our firm today.