Truck Driver Fatigue
Large commercial trucks may weigh upwards of 80,000 pounds, and when traveling on Florida interstate highways at full speed, they can be extremely difficult to maneuver. A fatigued truck driver may not be able to think clearly and react appropriately while on the road. Truck driver fatigue remains a major cause of commercial truck accidents, and it can lead to devastating injuries for victims in other vehicles. At The Grife Law Firm, we help accident victims assert their legal rights following a crash. Our Boca Raton truck accident lawyers provide personal attention and dedicated representation in these complex cases, ensuring that clients receive the service that they deserve. We are knowledgeable in federal and state trucking laws, and we work with a team of trucking industry experts to pursue damages for injured individuals.Seek Full Compensation After a Crash Caused by Truck Driver Fatigue
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), truck drivers must abide by regulations setting their hours of service. These regulations are in place to reduce accidents caused by truck driver fatigue. Drivers and employers that fail to abide by these rules may be held legally responsible for resulting injuries caused in an accident. In addition to federal laws, Florida has laws regulating commercial vehicles that are enforced by the Florida Highway Patrol Office of Commercial Vehicle Enforcement.
All truck drivers transporting goods between states must abide by FMCSA hours of service regulations. These regulations set specific hours during a set work period. For example, drivers cannot spend more than 14 hours on duty during any driving shift. The FMCSA also makes clear that time “on duty” includes time inspecting the truck, loading the vehicle, and driving.
Following most truck accidents, victims require medical attention for serious injuries. Costly medical expenses resulting from the crash may be recovered if the victim successfully pursues a personal injury claim against the responsible party. Compensation for other costs that stem from the truck accident may be secured as well, including wages missed from work, property damage, and the emotional impact from the collision.
A negligence claim against a truck driver must show that the driver failed to operate their vehicle with the level of care and skill that a prudent driver would use while driving under similar circumstances. When truck driver fatigue is a cause of a collision, this failure to exercise care may be shown through evidence of a violation of an hours of service law, or evidence of failing to keep proper records of working hours. Truck drivers are required to maintain a log book that contains their hours of service. Proving that a truck driver was fatigued may require introducing records of mileage, toll and scale tickets, and fuel receipts. A reasonable driver would take proper rest breaks and pull to the side of the road when tired.
A trucking company may also be held liable for a truck accident. Some trucking companies impose strict deadlines and encourage drivers to work beyond the federally mandated driving hour limits. Inducing drivers to violate FMCSA hours of service rules may support a negligence claim. Determining which party maintains control and supervises the vehicle and cargo may be helpful in assessing liability for a resulting accident.
After establishing negligence, a victim’s attorney must show that the defendant directly caused the victim’s harm. Known as causation, this is a link between the driver’s actions and the resulting accident and injuries.
Finally, the victim must set forth evidence of their harm in the form of costs resulting from the accident. Medical expenses, as well as future anticipated costs, can be recovered. Victims who have suffered permanent injuries can set forth claims for expected medical bills for ongoing care. Emotional pain and suffering may also be set forth, and, while this is more difficult to quantify, the victim is entitled to recover damages for any reduced quality of life.Discuss Your Truck Accident Case With an Experienced Boca Raton Lawyer
If you or a loved one has suffered injuries in a truck crash, it is important to understand your legal rights. At The Grife Law Firm, we negotiate and litigate complex truck accident cases together with our team of trucking industry experts. Our experienced truck accident lawyers represent victims in South Florida cities such as Boca Raton, West Palm Beach, Miami, and Fort Lauderdale. Contact our office by calling 855-998-0770 or reach us online to schedule a free consultation.