Driver fatigue is a significant cause of vehicle collisions involving commercial trucks. Many truckers transport cargo countrywide under strict timelines, so they may push themselves to meet them. Because of the high rate of accidents caused by drivers without enough rest, the federal government created strict guidelines on the maximum time they can drive during any shift.
Personal injury or tort laws could entitle you to compensation when a negligent truck driver or company causes an accident, and you sustain damages. Call a capable tractor-trailer crash attorney at Reaves Law Firm, PLLC, who has experience handling fatigued truck driver accidents in Bartlett, to review your case.
Most truck drivers in Tennessee must adhere to federal hours of service regulations. According to the rules provided by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), truckers and the companies employing them must ensure compliance with directives, including the following:
Truck operators can be on duty for a maximum of 14 hours of consecutive duty and drive for up to 11 of those hours. After meeting the maximum amount of allowable hours, they must remain off duty for at least ten consecutive hours.
The driver must take a break lasting at least 30 minutes in the first eight hours of their shift to rest or eat a meal. The respite must fall within their 14-hour driving shift.
When trucking companies operate seven days a week, truckers must have 70-hour, eight-day weekly driving schedules. If the company operates six days a week or less, the law allows truckers to work 60-hour workweeks for seven consecutive days.
Truck drivers must keep a log of driving and rest periods as they travel. A plaintiff can request a copy of the trucker’s hours of service records to determine if they were out of compliance at the time of the incident.
A Bartlett attorney knowledgeable about drowsy truck driver accidents could help by requesting a copy of the driving log, the truck’s GPS and fuel records, and more. Proving the driver or trucking company failed to adhere to hours of service regulations could help establish their fault and lead to an injured party collecting compensation in a civil lawsuit.
After proving the driver or company they work for failed to follow the hours of service guidelines, the court might award the plaintiff monetary damages to cover the following:
There is no set award amount an injured person will collect after proving fault in fatigued truck driver accident cases in Bartlett. However, those involved in the collision often suffer significant losses; thus, compensation can be considerable.
Many truck drivers are under constant pressure from their employers to meet specific timelines, causing them to remain on the road for extended periods. Even so, they must adhere to federal driving regulations or pay for the adverse consequences caused by their negligence.
A settlement award could cover your medical care, lost pay while you recover at home, and pain and suffering. Call a lawyer at Reaves Law Firm, PLLC, knowledgeable about fatigued truck driver accidents in Bartlett, to start working on your case.