Knoxville Truck Driver Fatigue
Have you ever passed a big rig on I-40 in Knoxville and wondered how the operator can drive for hundreds and hundreds of miles each day without getting bored or tired to the point that he or she falls asleep behind the wheel? You are not alone in your thoughts, and in fact truck driver fatigue is a leading cause of big truck accidents. If you were injured in a truck accident involving driver fatigue, then you need to act quickly to protect your interests against the defendant driver and employer, which is usually a large trucking company that will care more about its bottom line than you receiving fair compensation for your injuries. With 30 attorneys and over 120 staff members, Nahon, Saharovich & Trotz is the largest plaintiff’s personal injury law firm based in Tennessee. Our Knoxville truck accident attorneys are ready to take your call today.
Seeking Compensation for Injuries Caused by Truck Driver Fatigue
Studies have shown that fatigue produces similar side effects as being under the influence of alcohol. Fatigue can cause a driver to be less alert, have slower reaction times, or actually fall asleep while driving. Thus, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has established hours of service regulations requiring rest breaks and setting driving limits for interstate truck drivers.
Unfortunately, many truck drivers continue to drive for hours on end without any breaks. They do this in order to get to their destinations as quickly as possible so they can earn greater pay, as many truckers are paid by the mile or load. By carrying loads as quickly as possible, they can make deliveries in a shorter period of time and have more time off work to spend with their families. Further, many trucking companies will pressure their drivers to travel long distances in a short period of time so they can produce a larger profit. Either way, truck driver fatigue contributes to numerous preventable accidents and injuries each day across Tennessee and the United States.
Under Tennessee law, a victim of a trucking accident in Knoxville must prove that the truck driver’s negligence caused the accident and resulting injuries. If the victim can show that the truck driver committed a driving error due to fatigue, such as making an improper turn or swerving into another lane of traffic, then the victim can seek recovery from the big rig driver for damages caused by the collision. To prove liability, it may be helpful to inspect the truck driver’s log books and review evidence obtained from the truck’s black box to determine the role that driver fatigue played in the accident.
In certain instances, the accident victim may also be able to pursue a claim against the trucking company that employed the big rig driver under the theory of respondeat superior, also known as vicarious liability. An employer is usually liable for the conduct and actions of its employees, if committed within the course and scope of the employment. Generally speaking, a trucking company will be liable for accidents caused by its drivers while on the job. While the driver of a private passenger vehicle is only required to carry $25,000 in liability insurance coverage in Tennessee, many interstate commercial trucks must carry a minimum of $750,000 in coverage.
Discuss Your Truck Accident Claim with a Knoxville Attorney
If you are the victim of truck driver fatigue, you do not have to fight the trucking company and its team of lawyers by yourself. Instead, hire a team of knowledgeable and experienced truck accident lawyers who will fight for you. Nahon, Saharovich & Trotz has handled personal injury cases for more than 30 years, and our firm has extensive experience litigating cases against large trucking companies. Call us toll-free at 800-LAW-4004 or complete our online form to set up a free consultation with an auto or truck accident lawyer. NST is the way to go.