Truck Driver Fatigue
Unlike most drivers, commercial truck drivers spend days and sometimes weeks on the road, hauling freight throughout the country. Although commercial truck drivers are experienced at driving for long stretches of time, they are not immune to fatigue, and truck driver fatigue is one of the leading causes of commercial truck accidents. Trucking accidents often cause significant and permanent injuries and extensive property damage, leaving the injured victims uncertain regarding their options for seeking recourse. If you were injured in a trucking accident caused by truck driver fatigue, it is crucial to meet with a Fort Lauderdale truck accident lawyer regarding your accident and your potential claims. Joseph I. Lipsky will set forth compelling arguments on your behalf to help you seek compensation.Safety Regulations Limiting Drive Times
Commercial trucks are significantly larger and heavier than most other vehicles on the road, and if they are not properly driven, they can pose a serious threat to other drivers. Thus, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has set forth regulations regarding how drivers are permitted to operate commercial trucks to reduce the likelihood of accidents. The regulations include limitations on the amount of time that truck drivers are permitted to drive. For example, drivers are limited to driving 11 hours in each 14-hour period and must take a 10-hour break before they are permitted to return to the road. Additionally, drivers are limited to driving 60 hours per week or 70 hours per eight days. To help ensure that drivers comply with the regulations, drivers are required to log their hours and drive times for each trip in a logbook.Commercial Truck Driver Liability
If a truck driver fails to comply with the regulations, he or she is likely to become fatigued. Drivers also can become fatigued due to lack of sleep, an illness, or other environmental factors. Regardless of the cause, truck driver fatigue frequently leads to trucking accidents. Lawsuits arising out of trucking accidents are similar to other car accident lawsuits, in that the injured person and their attorney typically will allege that the defendant driver was negligent. In order to prove that a truck driver was negligent, the injured person must show that the driver owed a duty to prevent foreseeable harm, the driver breached the duty, and the accident was a result of the breach. The injured person also must establish that he or she suffered quantifiable damages as a result of the accident.
In cases in which an accident in Fort Lauderdale or elsewhere in South Florida is caused by truck driver fatigue, the duty owed will be the duty to refrain from driving when unable to do so safely. Proving that fatigue caused a trucking accident can be difficult, since there rarely will be direct evidence of fatigue. Instead, circumstantial evidence, such as the driver’s logbook, eyewitness statements, and any police reports, will be crucial to establishing that the driver’s fatigue caused the accident.Liability of the Commercial Truck Driver’s Employer
In many instances in which a person is injured in an accident caused by truck driver fatigue, the injured person will be able to seek damages from the driver’s employer in addition to the driver under a theory of vicarious liability. Also, if the driver’s employer knew or should have known that the driver was unfit to perform the job but hired or continued to employ the driver, the employer may be held directly liable for harm caused by the driver under a theory of negligent hiring or negligent retention. An experienced attorney can assess the facts of your case and advise you on your potential claims.Meet with a Knowledgeable Truck Crash Lawyer
Truck drivers have a duty to comply with federal regulations regarding drive times and to avoid driving while fatigued. If you were injured in an accident caused by truck driver fatigue, it is vital to meet with a knowledgeable attorney regarding your injuries and the compensation that you may be able to recover from the driver and the driver’s employer. Joseph I. Lipsky frequently assists people harmed in trucking accidents in lawsuits in Miami-Dade, Broward, Orange, Palm Beach, and Monroe Counties, including in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, West Palm Beach, and Key West. You can reach us at 1-888-352-5298 or via the form online to schedule a confidential and free conference regarding your potential claims.