Truck drivers are both legally and ethically obligated to drive safely at all times on the road. But a combination of reckless actions and pressure from trucking companies can lead to truckers taking serious risks on the road. Of all of these actions, driving while fatigued is one of the most dangerous as well as one of the most common.
When truck driver fatigue causes a crash, it is often everyone involved but the driver who suffers the worst.
In the aftermath of a big rig accident, it is vital to find a dependable Louisville, KY truck driver fatigue lawyer who has a record of success fighting against trucking companies that try to prevent victims from gaining the compensation they need. To learn more about how Louisville truck accident lawyer Tad Thomas can help you through a free consultation, call the Thomas Law Offices at (877) 955-7001.
The Dangers of Fatigued Driving
No one should get on the road when they are fatigued. However, truck drivers are under more pressure to get on the road than most other people. Pressure from companies to make fast deliveries will often force drivers to get back on the road when it is not safe or even legally allowed.
While fatigued driving is dangerous with any motor vehicle, it is even more so when the vehicle is a semi truck, which can weigh up to 80,000 pounds. These are complicated machines that should only be operated by adequately trained, healthy, and focused drivers.
When fatigued, a driver is much more likely to drive too fast, brake too slow or too suddenly, improperly shift gears, take turns recklessly, and fail to see the people and potential hazards around them. While falling asleep at the wheel is the most dangerous a driver can ever do, a trucker does not need to close his or her eyes in order to make a serious, and possibly fatal, mistake on the road.
Rear-end collisions, sideswipes, and many other collisions can easily happen, as well as disastrous incidents like jackknifing. In any of these cases, it is most often nearby drivers, pedestrians, motorcyclists, and bicyclists who are hurt the worst or even killed, not the negligent trucker.
Proving Fatigue and Fault in Your Crash
In the aftermath of a crash, you have the right to hold at-fault people responsible for your injuries and financial damages. However, your case can only succeed if you can prove that the responsible party truly caused your crash.
But how can you prove that the driver was fatigued and that this led to your crash?
Often, truck drivers who are dangerously fatigued are the ones who have driven for longer than legally allowed. Under federal law enforced by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), tractor trailer drivers must abide by the Hours-of-Service (HOS) rules. These limit the amount of hours that a trucker can drive in one day and in one week, and how often/how long they must rest before getting back on the road.
In fact, the FMCSA has continued to expand regulations concerning how long truckers can be behind the wheel. As more and more information comes out regarding both the dangers of fatigued driving and how much rest it takes to stay alert, the government continues to make adjustments to trucking hour regulations for the purposes of safety.
By gathering evidence from the involved trucking company records, you can prove that truckers violated the HOS rules and were in no shape to drive. Additionally, evidence from the scene of the accident can be reconstructed, proving how exactly it happened. Combined with evidence of fatigue, you will be able to show how and why this devastating crash occurred.
With the help of a skilled attorney, you will be able to gather needed evidence and craft a case that proves the cause of the crash, the extent of your losses, and the reasons behind the amount of compensation that you are seeking.
An Attorney Dedicated to Your Recovery
At the Thomas Law Offices, our legal team has the knowledge and resources needed to craft a successful case that results in fair and full compensation for our clients. Louisville truck driver fatigue accident attorney Tad Thomas can help you recover from your devastating losses and hold at-fault trucking companies responsible for their dangerous actions. To learn more, call (877) 955-7001 and receive a free consultation that helps you better understand how to protect your rights.