All road accidents can be serious – no matter what vehicles are involved – but those involving 18-wheeler trucks are particularly catastrophic. Because of these large vehicles’ sheer weight and size, even minor collisions can cause severe property damage and physical injuries. Eighteen-wheeler accidents are far more common than most people assume.
According to Louisiana State University’s Data Reports, there were 97 fatal large-truck and bus accidents in 2014 – and many more that caused serious injuries to other road users. Several factors may lead to an 18-wheeler crash, but driver fatigue is one of the most common. If you were injured by a negligent truck driver, call Morris Bart, LLC.
With an expansive team of attorneys and support staff, our firm is equipped to handle your settlement negotiations and to litigate your case against a negligent trucking company if it goes to court. For an appointment with a Lafayette personal injury lawyer, call us today.
The Role of Driver Fatigue in Truck Crashes
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), fatigued driving is just as dangerous as drunk driving. Despite federal regulations that were designed to prevent accidents related to truck driver fatigue, it is an ongoing concern for law enforcement and road users across the country.
Long working hours and a desire for more pay motivate commercial truck drivers to skip rest and complete their runs quickly. Unfortunately, driving long distances without rest causes lower concentration levels, and the operator is more likely to make basic mistakes that can cause serious accidents.
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How a Lawyer Can Help If Truck Driver Fatigue Caused Your Accident
If you suffered injuries or losses in an accident with a fatigued semi-truck driver, you may be eligible for compensation from several parties. In addition to the at-fault driver, the driver’s employer, and the party responsible for the truck’s maintenance may be liable for damages.
You could recover damages from the accident, such as:
- Medical and rehabilitation expenses
- Lost income and lost earning ability
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish, emotional distress
- Loss of companionship
- Wrongful death damages (if a loved one suffered fatal injuries in an accident with a tired driver)
An attorney can review the accident and assess your losses so they can pursue maximum compensation for you from the at-fault or liable party. You should not pay the cost of truck driver negligence; the other party or parties should if they caused the accident. The sooner you hire legal representation, the sooner they can handle your entire case for you while you recover from the accident.
Common Errors Fatigued Commercial Truck Drivers Make from Lack of Sleep
When truckers do not get enough sleep, they risk compromising their driving ability and make errors that affect their:
- Attention span
- Reaction time on the road
- Judgment and decision-making abilities
Fatigued drivers need all of these as they operate heavy trucks and navigate weather conditions, poor road conditions, and dangerous situations. Tired long-haul drivers can forget to turn off their turn signals, confusing other road users. Often, drowsy drivers forget to check their blind spots and either sideswipe another vehicle or back into one. All of these are poor decisions that undercut driver performance. They also can severely affect smaller, more vulnerable cars and pedestrians.
Even the safest drivers must be aware of the potential hazards associated with trucks – particularly during early mornings and late at night. It is important to avoid driving in their blind spots and to be particularly attentive around large, 18-wheeler trucks when on the road. Guarding against trucking accidents keeps everyone on the road safe and can help commercial drivers avoid fatal crashes.
Call Us Today – Our Truck Accident Attorneys Can Fight for Your Recovery
At Morris Bart, LLC, our truck accident attorneys help people seek recovery from injury crashes, including those fatigued truck drivers cause. We can assess your 18-wheeler accident case to identify all potential avenues for compensation.
We can also help you avoid mistakes that could compromise your interests in a negligent driving accident. To find out if you may have a legitimate insurance company claim or injury lawsuit after a truck collision, call us today for an appointment with a Lafayette personal injury attorney. We encourage you to reach out to us as soon as possible so we can meet all filing deadlines that apply to your injury case.
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