Chattanooga Truck Driver Fatigue
Tractor-Trailer Wreck Lawyers Assisting People Injured in Chattanooga
Driver fatigue is now considered just about as dangerous as driving while impaired. When people drive while fatigued, their reaction times are slower, their judgment is impaired, and awareness of their surroundings decrease, all of which can lead to unnecessary accidents. Collisions caused by truck driver fatigue often result in others getting hurt and potentially suffering permanent harm. For over 30 years, the Chattanooga truck accident attorneys at Nahon, Saharovich & Trotz have helped trucking wreck victims recover compensatory damages pursuant to Tennessee law. With a team of 30 attorneys and over 120 support staff members, we have the resources and legal experience to handle any type of trucking accident, from a wreck that occurs at a low speed to an interstate accident at 80 miles per hour. Call us today, and let our team explain to you why NST is the way to go.
Understanding Federal Regulations Designed to Prevent Truck Driver Fatigue
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulates interstate truck drivers and companies in the United States and has set strict hours of service rules that drivers and their employers must follow. These rules are put in place specifically to reduce the number of trucking accidents that occur each year and to lower the number of injuries and fatalities that result from these wrecks. Under the FMCSA regulations, certain property-carrying drivers are prohibited from driving more than 11 consecutive hours after a period of 10 hours off duty. If the trucker transports passengers, the driver is limited to 10 consecutive hours of driving after eight consecutive hours off duty.
Additionally, if a property-carrying truck driver has been on the clock for 14 hours, whether he is driving, loading, maintaining the truck, or otherwise on duty, the driver should not drive beyond the 14th hour on duty. Rules also regulate the amount of hours driven over specific time periods and protocols employers must follow to ensure compliance with these regulations. An experienced lawyer who handles cases involving Chattanooga trucking accidents will understand the intricacies of these FMCSA regulations and can identify specific regulations that have been violated based on the facts of the case.
If you have been injured by a fatigued driver in the Chattanooga area, you will have to establish that the driver was negligent in order to succeed on a claim against that individual. With several regulations governing driver rest, the legal theory of negligence per se is often used in connection with truck driver fatigue accidents. Negligence per se can be established in Tennessee when a driver violated a rule or regulation that was created to protect people like the victim, and that the victim suffered damages as a result of that violation. A Tennessee injury attorney can identify different theories in which liability can be established.
If a truck driver is deemed negligent for driving without getting enough rest, the focus of the case can shift to damages. Tennessee law allows economic damages and non-economic damages to be recovered as long as they were caused by the defendant’s negligence. Economic damages include medical bills (emergency room visits, follow-up doctor’s appointments, physical therapy, surgery, etc.), past lost wages, future lost wages, and loss of earning capacity. Non-economic damages typically encompass pain and suffering, mental anguish, and loss of consortium for the victim’s spouse.
Retain an Experienced Trucking Accident Attorney Today
If you have been injured due to a semi-truck or 18-wheeler driver not getting proper rest, our team of Chattanooga lawyers is ready to guide you through your legal options. Fatigued driving often results in side swipe wrecks, head-on collisions, and rear-end crashes that could cause severe injuries to those involved. At Nahon, Saharovich & Trotz, we serve injured people throughout Tennessee, Mississippi, Arkansas, Kentucky, and Missouri, including in Chattanooga, Memphis, Nashville, Knoxville, Jackson, Meridian, Tupelo, Columbus, Grenada, Starkville, Oxford, Jonesboro, Little Rock, Hayti, and Caruthersville. Contact our office toll-free by calling 800-529-4004 or by completing our online form to set up a free consultation with an 18-wheeler crash attorney.