Operators of 18-wheelers often must meet strict delivery deadlines, which might require adhering to an exhausting schedule. Although there are rules to prevent a trucker from driving while drowsy, economic considerations often prevail, and a driver will push through to make their delivery on time.
An exhausted driver is a dangerous driver, and when they are operating a large commercial vehicle, the situation becomes extremely hazardous. Truck accidents injure, maim, and kill people on local roads every year.
If you were involved in a fatigued truck driver accident in Memphis and suffered injuries, ask for advice from a local truck accident attorney at the Reaves Law Firm. You have the right to restitution for all the losses you suffered because of the trucker’s reckless decision to drive while drowsy.
Trucking companies and the drivers they contract with, or employ, must obey the rules established by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to maintain safety. Tennessee has adopted these rules to apply to trucks that only operate within the state.
Commercial drivers may not work more than 70 hours in a week or more than 14 hours in a day. The rules require truckers to take a 30-minute break after eight hours of driving, and if they work a full 14-hour day, they must rest for ten hours before getting back behind the wheel. The rules are so specific because fatigued truckers get into accidents more frequently than well-rested truckers. Memphis law enforcement and accident attorneys usually look for signs of driver fatigue when they investigate a truck crash because it is so often a causal factor.
Federal rules require truck drivers to maintain logs noting their driving hours, rest stops, and other data. Sometimes a driver’s log shows a failure to comply with these work rules, or the log might not match information on the truck’s internal data recorders. Either situation could be evidence that the driver broke work rules designed to ensure safety, and failure to follow safety procedures is evidence of negligence.
If an individual sues a party seeking compensation for personal injuries, they must prove that the other party was negligent. Proving negligence requires showing that the other party did not use appropriate caution to prevent harm to someone else. In legal terms, the injured person must prove that the other party breached a duty, causing their injury.
Every driver on the roads has the basic duty to keep their vehicle in good repair and obey traffic laws to protect the safety of everyone else on the road. Driving an unsafe vehicle, ignoring traffic laws, or operating a vehicle when it is hazardous to do so are all negligent acts.
The law imposes a heightened duty of care on drivers of commercial vehicles because they are so large and dangerous, and operated for profit. If an attorney could show that the driver or the company that owns the truck did not strictly comply with all laws and regulations or failed to maintain it to the highest standard, the attorney could prove negligence.
All states restrict the time an injured person can bring a lawsuit seeking compensation, but Tennessee’s law is particularly harsh to civil claimants. According to Tennessee Code Annotated § 28-3-104, people seeking damages for their personal injuries have one year to file a lawsuit.
Truck crashes often cause severe injury, and a plaintiff might spend weeks or even months in a hospital or rehabilitation facility. The time to bring a lawsuit might elapse before it is possible to calculate the extent of an injured person’s damages.
It is smart for anyone who is involved in a truck accident caused by a fatigued driver to consult an attorney in Memphis as soon as possible. A legal professional could take steps to protect an injured person’s right to file suit even before the full extent of their injuries or damages is clear.
Semi-truck collisions take a physical and emotional toll on their victims and regaining your well-being afterward might be a long process. In the meantime, your right to seek compensation could be slipping away.
If you were hurt in a fatigued truck driver accident in Memphis, you deserve to collect damages for all your losses. Make a call right away to get the Reaves Law Firm working for you.