By: Chadwick D. Meyers

Chadwick D. Meyers Attorney Photo

Overworked truck drivers often make mistakes on the road. For example, when fatigued, a driver may start to doze off at the wheel, forcing them to lose control of their vehicle. When truck drivers make these negligent mistakes, they can be held liable for the damages that they caused. This is especially true in the case of wrongful death when a family or loved one dies because of a horrific truck accident. Negligent truck drivers must be held responsible for their injuries. Contact Meyers Injury Law today for a free consultation. Here are ways that a fatigued truck driver may have caused your accident:

Rear-End Collisions

An exhausted truck driver may not be able to react in time to avoid a rear-end collision with another vehicle.

Truck Accident By Falling Off The Road

Lane Departure Accidents

Fatigue can cause a driver to drift out of their lane, potentially resulting in an accident with another vehicle or object on the side of the road.

Rollover Accidents

Tired truckers may lose control of their vehicles, causing them to roll over, especially when the driver is operating a large commercial truck.

Head-On Collisions 

The truck driver may fall asleep at the wheel and veer into oncoming traffic, resulting in a head-on collision.

Intersection Accidents

The truck driver may not be able to properly judge the speed of other vehicles, resulting in a crash at an intersection.

How A Truck Driver Could Have Violated Laws And Caused An Accident Due To Fatigue

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has established regulations to prevent truck driver fatigue and overwork. Some of the key FMCSA laws that restrict truck drivers from overworking and getting fatigued include:               

Hours-Of-Service Regulations

These regulations limit the number of hours that a truck driver can work in a day and week, as well as mandate rest breaks and a minimum amount of off-duty time. For example, drivers of property-carrying commercial motor vehicles may drive up to 11 hours in a 14-hour work period, after which they must take at least 10 consecutive hours off-duty.           

Electronic Logging Device (ELD) Mandate

This regulation requires most commercial truck drivers to use an ELD to record their hours of service electronically, rather than relying on paper logbooks, to prevent drivers from exceeding the allowed driving time.               

Drug And Alcohol Testing

The FMCSA requires that truck drivers undergo drug and alcohol testing before employment and after certain types of accidents or violations. Drinking or drug abuse can also make a truck driver fatigued. 

Medical Certification

Truck drivers must undergo regular medical examinations to ensure that they are physically and mentally fit to operate a commercial vehicle.

How My Attorney Can Prove That A Truck Driver Is Liable For My Recent Accident Due To Fatigue

Your attorney can take several steps to prove that the fatigued truck driver was responsible for your injuries. Nashville truck accidents lawyers can use the following as evidence:

Hours Of Service Logs

Truck drivers are required by law to keep track of their driving hours in a logbook. These logs can be used to show how long the driver had been on the road before the accident and whether they had violated the Hours of Service regulations.          

Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs)

ELDs are electronic devices that record a truck driver’s driving time, speed, and location. These devices can provide more accurate and detailed information about the driver’s activities leading up to the accident.                  

Witness Statements

Witnesses who saw the truck driver in the hours leading up to the accident may be able to provide testimony about the driver’s behavior. For example, this can be whether they seemed tired or were struggling to stay awake.               

Police Reports

Police officers who respond to the scene of the accident may note whether the driver appeared fatigued or whether there were signs of fatigue, such as droopy eyes or slurred speech.      

Expert Testimony

Experts in the field of trucking safety and fatigue may be able to provide testimony about the factors that can contribute to fatigue in truck drivers. This can also show how those factors may have affected the driver in question.

Truck Driver Yawning While Driving

What If I Also Contributed To My Truck Accident?

If you contributed to your truck accident in Nashville, Tennessee, you may still be able to recover damages for your injuries and other losses, but your recovery may be reduced or limited based on your level of fault. Tennessee follows the modified comparative fault rule, which means that if you are found to be partially at fault for the accident, your damages award will be reduced in proportion to your percentage of fault. For example, if you were found to be 20% at fault for the accident and your damages were $100,000, your recovery would be reduced by 20% ($20,000), and you would receive $80,000 in damages. When you are found to be 50% or more at fault for the accident, you will be barred from recovering damages in Tennessee. Seek the advice of an experienced truck accident attorney who can help you determine your level of fault and navigate the legal process to ensure that you receive the maximum amount of compensation possible for your losses.    

Work With A Truck Accident Attorney To Get Fair Representation

FMCSA laws are designed to prevent truck driver fatigue and overwork, which can lead to accidents and injuries on the road. Truck drivers need to comply with these regulations to ensure the safety of themselves and others on the road. This isn’t always the case, which is why you can work with a personal injury attorney. Without having to pay upfront, you can receive fair representation through our law firm. Reach out to Meyers Injury Law now for a free consultation.