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Are Trucking Companies Liable for Accidents Caused by a Driver’s Fatigue?

Published on Jul 1, 2013 at 6:00 pm in Trucking Accident.

Twenty years ago, trucking companies may have been able to say they were unaware of their drivers’ fatigue problems; but today, they can no longer claim to be unaware of fatigue risks. Too much light has been shone on the problem for owners to shrink away from it.

Today, a trucking company can be expected to show reasonable efforts toward managing known risks from fatigue. If an accident occurs that was triggered in part by fatigue, the injured person’s attorneys will be looking closely at what prevention and monitoring actions were taken by the company.

The basis for liability in commercial truck accident cases is “negligence.” Any driver or trucking company is negligent if they failed to show reasonable care on the road and the victim’s injuries resulted from that failure. Liability can extend to trucking companies, contractors, employers, and insurance companies.

It is now industry standard to expect trucking companies to identify and assess their fatigue risk and implement monitoring and scheduling tools to manage that risk. This is the type of “reasonable care” that legal decisions will be measured against.

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Tad Thomas - Trial Lawyer

Tad Thomas

Managing Partner

Tad Thomas has dedicated his practice to representing plaintiffs in various types of civil litigation, including personal injury, business litigation, class actions, and multi-district litigation.

After graduating with his law degree in 2000 from Salmon P. Chase College of Law at Northern Kentucky University, Mr. Thomas immediately opened his own private practice and began representing injury victims.

In 2011, Thomas Law Offices was established in Louisville, Kentucky. Over the past decade, Mr. Thomas has expanded his firm and now has offices in three additional locations: Cincinnati, Ohio, Columbia, Missouri, and Chicago, Illinois. He is also a frequent lecturer on topics like trial skills and ethics and technology.

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