The federal government has laws in place meant to ensure truck drivers get enough sleep, but these regulations have not stopped driver fatigue from continuing to be one of the leading causes of accidents that involve professional drivers. If you’re struggling to recover physically, emotionally or financially after a truck accident, caused by a fatigued driver, you may be eligible for compensation for your injuries.
Many trucking companies do not follow the proper procedures to monitor their drivers’ logs, allowing them to skip mandatory rest periods. Professional driving experience and extensive training aren’t enough to overcome the slowed reaction time that comes with fatigue. Driving on only a few hours of rest can impair abilities as much as driving with no sleep. Drivers and the trucking companies that employ them are held to high standards under the threat of fines levied against the companies. The possibility of financial penalties, however, isn’t always enough to overcome the lure of a guaranteed extra buck.
Drivers, often paid by the mile, make more money when they can get one load delivered and move onto another as soon as possible. Early deliveries often play a role in who gets a bonus and who doesn’t. Some companies actually schedule deadlines for their truckers in such tight succession that sleepy drivers are forced to drive fatigued in order to reach their destination on time. Late deliveries, even when on unrealistically tight schedules, may put the driver’s job in jeopardy. If an accident occurs under these conditions, the liability lies not only with the driver, but with his employer as well.
In many lawsuits involving sleep-deprived truckers, both the driver and the trucking company will settle out-of-court in an effort to reduce legal costs and avoid negative media attention. For this reason, it is important to have an experienced personal injury lawyer on your side who can help you determine if a settlement is fair.
If you were involved in a truck accident in Modesto, Oakland, Sacramento, San Francisco or San Jose, we can help you get the justice you deserve. Contact us today to schedule an appointment to discuss your accident with a skilled personal injury lawyer.