Jackson, TN Driver Fatigue Truck Accidents
If you have been involved in a crash as a result of a commercial truck driver falling asleep behind the wheel or making a driving error due to fatigue, then you need to act quickly to protect your interests and make sure that all evidence helpful to your case is properly preserved. Most commercial vehicles have “black boxes” or other recording devices that may contain important details surrounding a driver fatigue truck accident, and truck drivers are also required to keep log books of their driving time pursuant to laws designed to prevent truck driver fatigue. The Jackson truck accident attorneys at Nahon, Saharovich & Trotz have the resources to hire necessary expert witnesses and investigators to gather the evidence needed to assert a convincing case against trucking companies and their insurance carriers for negligence. With over 30 attorneys and 100 staff members, we are the largest personal injury firm based in Tennessee, and our firm has offices in Jackson, Memphis, and Knoxville.
Accidents Caused by Truck Driver Fatigue
Truck drivers usually get paid by the mile or the load, and the large trucking companies often pressure them to get to their destinations as quickly as possible to maximize profits. In many cases, truck drivers drive for hours on end without necessary breaks or sleep. As a result, driver fatigue truck accidents are all too common. In fact, one study found that in truck crashes where the truck driver was responsible for the accident, 87% were due to driver fatigue. Moreover, truckers who have been driving for eight or more consecutive hours are twice as likely to be involved in a wreck.
Holding a Trucking Company Liable for Crashes Caused by the Fatigue of Its Driver
Since a majority of truck accidents involve truck driver fatigue, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has established regulations requiring drivers to take rest breaks while on the road. Specifically, certain truck drivers may drive no more than 60 hours in seven days or 70 hours in eight days. Certain property-carrying truck drivers must also rest a minimum of 10 consecutive hours before being able to drive a maximum of 11 consecutive hours. To promote compliance with these regulations, truckers are required to consistently log their driving time and distance.
Tennessee law recognizes the doctrine of respondeat superior, or vicarious liability, which states an employer may be held responsible for the negligent actions of its employees. Under this theory, if a drowsy or tired truck driver causes a collision with another vehicle during the course and scope of his employment, then the company may be on the hook for the victim’s damages. This often allows victims to pursue a larger recovery for their injuries, as trucking companies are required to carry insurance coverage with higher commercial limits than the average person. For example, trucks carrying goods across state lines must abide by the FMCSA, and typical policy limits range between $750,000 to $1,000,000. Trucks carrying hazardous materials may be subject to higher standards.
Discuss Your Truck Accident Claim with a Jackson Attorney
If you have been injured in a driver fatigue truck accident, do not face off with the trucking company alone. Our firm has been handling personal injury cases for more than 30 years, and our attorneys have extensive experience litigating cases involving truck driver fatigue. Call us toll-free at 800-LAW-4004 or complete our online form to set up a free consultation.