Truck driver fatigue can be a serious problem and is a recipe for disaster on busy highways and roadways. There are several reasons why a truck driver might choose to operate their vehicle while fatigued. One of the most common reasons is that the drivers of large trucks, big rigs, and tractor-trailers are often encouraged by their employers to drive for long hours on end.
The sooner a truck driver can deliver cargo to its final destination, as well as the more cargo the driver can carry in a single trip, the more the trucking company profits. Consequently, when drivers can deliver their cargo to its final destination ahead of schedule, they may be compensated with large bonuses and other incentives.
To stay awake for hours on end, some truck drivers will rely upon certain stimulant drugs and other substances. However, these drugs can sometimes have the opposite effect and make the driver less alert. When a truck driver operates a large vehicle while fatigued, they significantly increase the chances of causing a serious accident.
If a truck accident caused by a negligent or fatigued driver caused your injuries, you may file a claim against the truck driver directly or the trucking company that employs the driver. If the insurance company refuses to offer you adequate compensation for your injuries, you could file a lawsuit against the truck driver or trucking company seeking damages.
A knowledgeable truck accident lawyer can begin the process by promptly investigating the cause of your truck accident and pursuing a claim or lawsuit on your behalf. You should not wait to contact a truck accident law firm for more information about how an attorney could assist you with every aspect of your truck accident personal injury claim.
What Happens When a Truck Driver Operates a Vehicle While Fatigued?
When the drivers of any vehicle, including truck drivers, operate their vehicles while fatigued, they significantly increase the chances that they will cause a serious collision with another vehicle. Fatigue causes a driver to be less attentive to the road and their surroundings.
Consequently, a fatigued truck driver might:
- Veer off the road and strike another vehicle in the process.
- Drift into another travel lane and strike a vehicle.
- Drift into the path of an oncoming vehicle, bringing about a head-on collision.
- Fail to yield the right of way to another vehicle when it is appropriate to do so.
- Rear-end a vehicle that is in front of the truck at a traffic intersection.
Any time that a fatigued truck driver engages in one or more of these maneuvers, a dangerous accident might ensue. Moreover, in most cases when a large truck collides with a smaller motor vehicle, the driver and occupants of the smaller motor vehicle are the ones who will likely suffer the most serious injuries in the collision.
Many researchers claim that drowsy driving is just as dangerous as drunk driving, but there are fewer things to deter drowsy drivers. However, when a truck driver is overly tired and causes injuries, they should be liable for all the harm and losses resulting from the crash.
What Injuries Are Common in Truck Accidents?
When a large truck collides with a smaller vehicle, the force of the impact may be so great that it throws the driver and occupants of the smaller vehicle around and about the interior of the vehicle. In the process, they can suffer very serious injuries and damages. For example, the abrupt back and forth movement could lead to a whiplash neck and back injury. In addition, a part of the accident victim’s body might strike something in the car, like the steering wheel, headrest, or window on the driver or passenger side.
Common injuries that accident victims can suffer when a large truck collides with their vehicle include traumatic head and brain injuries, soft tissue injuries, internal damage, cuts and abrasions, broken bones, spinal cord injuries, and even death.
To recover compensation and damages for the injuries that you suffered in a truck accident, you must first demonstrate that the truck driver did something wrong, such as operating a vehicle while fatigued. You must also show that the injuries that you suffered were causally related to the truck accident in some way. The knowledgeable truck accident attorneys at our firm could help you pursue the compensation that you need for any of these injuries that you might have suffered in your truck accident.
Who Are the Potential Defendants in a Truck Accident Case?
If you sustained an injury in a truck accident, there are several individuals and entities against whom you might file a claim. First and foremost, you could pursue a claim against the fatigued truck driver’s insurance company, seeking monetary compensation and damages. Truck drivers, after all, have a duty to operate their large trucks safely and carefully at all times and to be alert while they are driving.
In addition, the trucking companies that employ these problem drivers must hire and retain capable drivers. When the evidence shows that a trucking company encouraged its driver to operate their vehicle while fatigued, the trucking company could be vicariously liable for its driver’s negligence while on the road. The knowledgeable truck accident attorneys at our firm can assist you with filing a claim or lawsuit against all potentially responsible parties in your truck accident case.
Speak With a Knowledgeable Truck Accident Lawyer About a Possible Case Today
If a truck accident that resulted from a truck driver or trucking company’s negligence left you injured, you want to have knowledgeable truck accident attorneys handling your claim from the very start. The right lawyer can make the process easier in many ways while increasing your chances of a favorable settlement.
Because you do not have to pay anything out of pocket to hire a truck accident lawyer, you have nothing at all to lose by calling for a free consultation today.