Jackson, MS Truck Accidents Involving Driver Fatigue
Jackson Attorneys Working for Those Injured by Drowsy Drivers
Recent studies show that driving while fatigued impacts driving capabilities similar to that of driving while impaired. Reaction times are slower, decision-making is hindered, and attention to detail is lacking. Truck accidents involving driver fatigue account for approximately 15% of all big rig crashes each year. Many times these accidents result in catastrophic injuries, as the sheer size of an 18-wheeler propelling down the road can develop enough force to completely destroy anything in its way. If you have been injured or lost a loved one in a truck wreck, the Jackson truck accident lawyers at Nahon, Saharovich & Trotz are here to help. We represent injured victims in Jackson and throughout Mississippi. Call us today so you can speak with one of our experienced trucking lawyers for a free consultation.
Establishing the Elements of Negligence in a Truck Accident Involving Driver Fatigue
Drowsy driving is a known risk – a deadly risk. Drowsy driving while operating a big rig truck escalates the severity of the situation. In order to protect people on the road from fatigued truck drivers, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has established hours of service guidelines that truckers and their employers must follow. Mississippi itself also has created its own guidelines for trucks that run only throughout the state. Unfortunately, these rules are not always followed, which leads to accidents that could have been prevented through exercising ordinary care.
Driver fatigue is particularly dangerous in heavy-traffic locations. The greater Jackson, Mississippi area has a population of over 530,000 people. Traffic often gets backed up along portions of Interstate 55, including Waterworks Curve. The Stack, where Interstate 55 meets Interstate 20, is another congested area in Jackson. With more people on the road, truckers must be able to devote all of their attention to their surroundings and be proactive in avoiding collisions.
Under the FMCSA rules, a commercial property-carrying driver is not supposed to drive more than 11 hours at a time. For passenger-carrying drivers, they are limited to 10 hours on duty after resting for eight hours. Moreover, if the trucker has been on the clock for 14 hours, whether driving or performing other duties, the driver should not drive beyond the 14th hour. Additionally, the FMCSA regulations specifically address the adequate rest of truck drivers. For instance, after working 60 hours over the course of seven days, a passenger-carrying driver should excuse himself from duty for 34 consecutive hours. Trucking companies must take adequate measures to promote compliance of these rules among their employees.
To establish liability in a truck accident involving driver fatigue, the injured party will have to prove that the driver acted negligently by driving while fatigued or violating the FMCSA’s hours of service guidelines. Many times, when FMCSA regulations have been violated, the driver’s conduct may be considered negligent per se. Negligence per se is used to show that a person has been negligent as a matter of the law. Essentially, negligence per se can arise when the at-fault party violates some type of rule or regulation that was created to protect the innocent party and that the innocent party suffered damages. You should discuss your situation with an experienced trucking accident lawyer in Jackson who can identify different theories of recovery that may apply to your case.
Contact a Knowledgeable Truck Accident Attorney for a Free Consultation
Fatigued driving often leads to devastating crashes that can cause life-threatening injuries or permanent disfigurement. If you have been injured in a truck accident involving driver fatigue, our Jackson lawyers are ready to discuss your legal options today. Contact our office toll-free by calling 800-LAW-4004 or by completing our online form to set up a free consultation with a tractor-trailer wreck lawyer. Let us show you why NST is the way to go.