Truck Driver Fatigue

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Truck Accident Lawyers Serving Hernando County

A tired driver behind the wheel of a truck poses a serious danger to other motorists on Florida roads and highways. The Brooksville truck accident attorneys at Holliday Karatinos Law Firm, PLLC provide aggressive legal representation to individuals injured in truck accidents caused by a fatigued driver. Our attorneys have significant experience handling complex truck crash cases. We can help you pursue a claim against a driver and any other parties that may have caused your injuries. Contact us today to discuss your case.

Dangers of Truck Driver Fatigue

Fatigue is a major issue for truck drivers. The very nature of their work often requires extensive hours and driving through time zones in order to make their deliveries. Fatigue can have an impact on the driver’s level of alertness, performance, and response time. If a fatigued driver hits the road with a truck that weighs up to 80,000 pounds or more, the combination can be catastrophic, if not deadly.

To address the issue of fatigued truck drivers, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMSCA) has enacted regulations to curb driver fatigue. In 2013, the FMSCA changed its hours-of-service rule by limiting the maximum average workweek for a truck driver to 70 hours. To continue working after the 70-hour maximum, a truck driver must get at least 34 hours of consecutive rest. This includes two nights of rest between the hours of 1am and 5am. In addition, drivers must take a 30-minute break within the first eight hours of a shift. Despite these measures, a fatigued driver may nevertheless continue to operate a truck on our roads and highways.

Liability for Truck Driver Fatigue Accidents

If you were hurt in a truck accident, truck driver fatigue may have caused or contributed to the crash. A diligent and thorough investigation of the accident can determine if a fatigued driver was a factor, or one of several, that contributed to your injuries.

You can hold a truck driver accountable for your injuries if you can show he or she was negligent. All drivers in Florida must exercise care when they drive. You would have to show that the driver was negligent by establishing that the truck driver:

  • Had a duty to exercise reasonable care;
  • Failed to exercise this duty (by driving while fatigued); and
  • Caused you to suffer injuries and damages.

In addition to the driver, you may be able to hold his or her employer liable. If a truck driver’s employer failed to properly monitor the driver’s hours to ensure compliance with the law, the employer may be held directly liable for its negligence. An employer is vicariously liable for its employee’s negligence if the employee’s actions were within the scope of his or her employment and in furtherance of the employer’s interest.

Spoliation of Evidence in Truck Accident Cases

In any truck accident case, there is always the risk that evidence may be lost, altered, or destroyed. When spoliation of evidence is suspected, Florida allows sanctions to be imposed against the party that caused the evidence to be lost. Sanctions can include the exclusion of expert witness testimony, an adverse inference jury instruction, and default judgment in egregious cases. By acting quickly after an accident, you can help obtain and preserve evidence that bolsters your case.

Fair Compensation for Your Injuries

Once you establish liability, you can recover damages from the parties that harmed you. You can obtain compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. Relatives of a fatal truck accident victim may be able to recover damages through a wrongful death claim. There is a four-year statute of limitations on Florida personal injury claims, but only a two-year time limit on wrongful death claims. An experienced truck accident lawyer can provide the guidance you need to file a claim as soon as possible.

Seasoned and Aggressive Representation

At Holliday Karatinos Law Firm, PLLC, our Spring Hill truck accident lawyers provide exceptional legal representation and advocacy to truck crash victims. Our attorneys have more than 50 years of experience handling complex personal injury matters, including truck accident cases. We offer our clients the personalized legal service of a boutique firm with the financial capability to tackle even the largest truck accident cases. Please call us at (866) 597-0009 or fill out our online form to schedule a free initial consultation today.

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