Accidents Cause by Truck Driver Fatigue
When a driver is incentivized to deliver their cargo quickly and make as many deliveries as possible, it can encourage them to engage in risky behavior by driving fatigued. Tired driving, in some instances, is more dangerous than driving drunk, and since truckers have a BAC limit of 0.04, driving after being awake for 18 hours is the equivalent to operating a semi-truck or 18-wheeler over their legal limit, and being awake for 24 hours has similar effects to more than double their limit according to the CDC.
Since 1937, truckers have been subject to Hours of Service that restrict the amount of time they can drive in a set range, but these rules are not guaranteed that drivers will adhere to them and have no bearing on a driver being tired of non-work-related activities. Regardless of why the driver is tired, though, the fact remains that if a fatigued trucker caused your accident, then you are a victim of their actions and are entitled to compensation. You are likely entitled to more compensation than the insurance company is willing to pay without a fight, which is why working with an attorney is so crucial for victims.
Contact Goldstein & Goldstein For a Free Consultation Today
We offer a free initial consultation for personal injury victims, including people who have been hurt or lost loved ones in trucking accidents caused by a fatigued trucker. During this consultation, we will explain several details to you about what you can expect while working with an attorney, how we can help you move forward with your case, and more.
Take a look below to get a general sense of a few specifics relating to fatigued driver accidents, and contact us as soon as possible to get started on your case today. You deserve compensation for all of the impacts you have suffered. One of the best ways to ensure that you get a fair settlement is by working with an experienced professional who can help you navigate this complex process.
Proving Fault After a Truck Accident
Regardless of the specific behavior, the driver was engaging in leading up to your crash. Therefore, the first step to getting the money you deserve is establishing fault so you can move forward with calculating your damages without issue. Depending on the situation, this can be either simple or complicated. For example, in cases where a driver was drunk or under the influence of other drugs, simply referencing the citations the driver was issued should be enough; when trying to prove that fatigue was the dominant factor in your crash, though, your attorney may need to go through more work.
Truck drivers must maintain meticulous records about many things, including their hours on the road, distance traveled, the nature of their cargo, and more. In addition to this manual record-keeping, many modern tractor-trailers are equipped with an EDM (Event Data Recorder), otherwise referred to as a “black box” that logs various data that can help an experienced lawyer paint a clear picture of the situation.
Of course, there is always the hope that the truck driver will be truthful while discussing the accident and will admit that they were fatigued during the accident. However, in this case, your attorney will be able to move forward with your case without needing to go back and forth with the insurance company about whether or not you need to accept partial fault.
Calculating Damager After a Truck Accident
Even if the cause of your crash is abundantly clear, your truck attorney will still need to work diligently to both calculate and negotiate for a settlement or award that you rightfully deserve. Insurance companies will look for any way to limit the amount paid out to a claimant, and your situation is likely no different. Your lawyer will go through all of the compensatory damages that you have suffered, including economic (having a set dollar value) and non-economic (having no set dollar value) damages, before making a counter-offer to the insurance company.