Truck Driver Fatigue
Truck driver fatigue is a problem across the country, and it has been a leading cause in truck accident deaths, according to the United States Department of Transportation. Drivers who are fatigued tend to take longer to respond to emergency and unexpected situations, and even a delay of just a few seconds may be deadly in the operation of a heavy commercial vehicle. For example, trucks need more stopping distance than other vehicles due to their size and weight. Additionally, trailers may jackknife as a result of sudden swerving to avoid cars ahead or objects in the road. In order to prevent truckers from driving while fatigued, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has created hours of service rules that truck drivers and their employers must follow. Unfortunately, not all drivers and companies follow these rules, and some may actively disregard them in the interest of profits. If you are injured as a result of truck driver fatigue, you should consult a skillful Memphis truck accident lawyer at Nahon, Saharovich & Trotz. As the largest personal injury firm based in Tennessee, we have more than 30 attorneys and 100 staff members. We represent victims in Tennessee, Mississippi, Arkansas, Missouri, and Kentucky.Seeking Compensation for a Crash Caused by Truck Driver Fatigue
Interstate truck drivers must follow Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations, which require drivers not to exceed certain hours of service and to keep log books of their hours worked. States have adopted some or all of these rules for drivers who drive in-state. Generally speaking, truck drivers in Tennessee may not drive their trucks after working 60 hours in any seven consecutive days. The rules also call for mandatory breaks for truck drivers. Certain situations may cause the hours of service rules to be modified, however, so it is important to consult with an experienced truck accident attorney if you have been injured in an accident.
In some situations, violations of the hours of service rules that result in accidents may be considered negligence per se. Negligence per se (or negligence as a matter of law) is a cause of action that applies when a defendant has violated a safety law, the violation is a legal cause of a plaintiff's injuries, and the harm is of the type that the law was intended to prevent. Unfortunately, some drivers falsify their log books, and it is important to retain a truck accident attorney who understands how to properly investigate a trucking accident case. In some cases, uncovering the truth requires an analysis of information from the truck's black box, as well as the log books and employer documentation about where the driver traveled and when.
Trucking companies are supposed to check their drivers' log books to make sure that they are truthful and that the hours of service regulations are being followed. Some trucking companies not only look the other way when they know that the hours of service rules are being violated, however, but also may actively encourage violations in order to improve profits and ensure that delivery deadlines are met. A knowledgeable truck accident attorney can expose these types of policies and seek to hold a trucking company directly liable for an accident under theories of negligent supervision or negligent hiring when appropriate. In cases involving a trucking company's reckless falsification and deceit related to an interstate truck driver's hours of service and driver logs, it may be appropriate to pursue punitive damages.Contact an Experienced Memphis Lawyer After a Truck Accident
If you have been hurt in a devastating big rig crash, it is important to retain a Memphis truck accident attorney with experience in these types of cases. The truck driver and trucking company will be represented by skillful attorneys, and you should be as well. At Nahon, Saharovich & Trotz, we serve injured people in Tennessee, Arkansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, and Missouri, including in Memphis, Nashville, Knoxville, Chattanooga, Jonesboro, Little Rock, Jackson, Meridian, Tupelo, Columbus, Grenada, Starkville, Oxford, Hayti, and Caruthersville. Contact our office toll-free by calling 800-LAW-4004 or by completing our online form to set up a free consultation with a motor vehicle collision attorney. Let us show you why NST is the way to go.