Meridian Truck Driver Fatigue
Commercial truck drivers are always supposed to be alert and responsive while operating a big rig. All it takes is one moment of inattention for a catastrophic accident to happen. Unfortunately, more and more truck drivers are driving while fatigued, putting themselves and those around them at risk. In fact, approximately 15% of all big-rig crashes each year are due to truck driver fatigue. Fatigued or drowsy driving impacts driving capabilities similar to that of impaired driving – reaction times are slower, decision making is hindered, and attention to detail is lacking. If you have been hurt or lost a loved one in an accident with a fatigued truck driver, call our Meridian truck accident lawyers. For over 30 years, our attorneys have fought for the rights of injured victims and have recovered over $1 billion in compensation for our clients. We represent people in Meridian and all throughout Mississippi. Call us today for a free case evaluation.How Drowsy Driving Leads to More Truck Crashes
Operating an 18-wheeler or big rig truck is not easy under the best of circumstances. These vehicles can weigh up to 80,000 pounds, and complex technology must be utilized when operating them. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), which regulates interstate truck drivers and trucking companies, defines fatigue as “the result of physical or mental exertion that impairs performance.” Fatigue, which can be caused by lack of sleep, stress, or long work hours, has been linked to many of the same side effects as drugs and alcohol, including:
- Slower reaction times
- Poor judgment
- Impaired decision making
The FMCSA specifically targets fatigued driving and sets forth guidelines all drivers must follow while on the road, known as hours of service regulations. For example, certain property-carrying drivers are only allowed to drive up to 11 consecutive hours at a time, whereas passenger-carrying drivers are allowed to drive up to 10 consecutive hours. For each type of driver, there are also required rest times that must be documented and followed. Additionally, not only is drive time regulated, but all time on the clock is as well. Under the FMCSA, 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. Truck drivers are required by law to properly log their times.
Failure to follow these rules could make the trucker and the trucking company liable for the injuries you sustained in a collision. In order to recover for your injuries and establish liability in a Meridian truck accident case, you will need to prove that trucker acted negligently by driving while fatigued or drowsy. Negligence per se is used to show that someone has been negligent as a matter of law and is often used to establish liability in trucking cases involving those who drive in excess of the hours of service rules. In short, negligence per se arises when someone violates a rule or regulation that was created to protect you, and you suffered injuries as a result of the violation.
Once liability has been established, you may be eligible to receive both economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages are your tangible losses such as medical bills and lost wages. Non-economic damages are your intangible losses such as your pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and loss of consortium. Moreover, if it is found that the trucking company blatantly allowed its drivers to drive over the allotted hours or encouraged drivers to disregard the rules, they may be subject to punitive damages. Punitive damages are designed to punish a defendant for egregious, intentional, and reckless conduct.Protect Your Rights by Consulting a Meridian Attorney
Accidents involving large trucks often result in severe and life altering injuries. Many of these injuries leave families without needed income and thousands of dollars in medical bills. In order to ensure all of your legal rights are presented to you and remain intact, call Nahon, Saharovich & Trotz today. With multiple Mississippi offices, we are equipped to help people injured in accidents caused by truck driver fatigue throughout Lauderdale County and surrounding areas like Meridian, Quitman, De Kalb, Decatur, Macon, and Philadelphia. Contact our office toll-free by calling 800-529-4004 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.