An estimated 13 percent of truck accidents involve a trucker who was too tired to drive safely. Fatigue can result in delayed reaction times, a lack of focus and even falling asleep at the wheel. A driver with too little rest may be just as dangerous as one who is drunk.
Because they drive massive vehicles, a tired trucker can cause devastating injuries if an accident results.
Attorneys Experienced With Crashes Caused By Truck Driver Fatigue
If you were involved in a crash in Rhode Island and you suspect the trucker was tired, you may have a right to make a claim for compensation.
An experienced accident lawyer at Marasco & Nesselbush can help you take legal action for maximum money damages to cover medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering, emotional distress and other losses.
Since our firm was founded, we have resolved many truck accident claims, including those caused by truck driver negligence. Read about our clients’ experiences by going to our testimonials page and check out some of our representative case highlights, such as:
- $1.05 Million – Wrongful death recovery for a man killed in a commercial trucking accident. The family received the full amount of both the trucking company’s liability policy limit and the underinsured motorist policy limit.
- $925,000 Recovery – For an automobile accident victim who sustained fractures to the pelvis and leg.
- $65,000 Recovery – Secured from the negligent driver of a commercial truck who rear-ended our client who was stopped in traffic on Route 128 in Massachusetts, causing personal injuries.
Let the lawyers of Marasco & Nesselbush put our decades of legal experience to work on your case now. Call us or contact us online today for a free claim review and advice about your legal right to compensation. Find out why we are Rhode Island’s trusted personal injury law firm.
Hours of Service Rules For Truck Drivers To Prevent Accident
Commercial truck drivers are subject to special rules made by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). These rules set the maximum number of hours that truckers can drive their vehicles without rest.
If you can show that a trucker violated the hours-of-service (HOS) rules, this may create the presumption that the driver was fatigued and should be liable for the collision.
Truck Driver Hours of Service Rules:
- Set a maximum limit of 11 hours of driving per day. The entire 11 hours must be completed within 14 hours of the time that the trucker first came on duty.
- Require that long-haul truck drivers take a rest break of at least 30 minutes after they have been driving for a total of eight hours.
- Set a maximum limit of 60 hours of drive time over a seven-day period and a limit of 70 hours over an eight-day period. After a driver has reached 60 or 70 hours, the trucker must take a minimum 34-hour rest break that includes two periods of time between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m.
Drivers are required to keep logbooks showing the amount of time they are on duty. A lawyer can obtain a copy of the logbook and use it as evidence to show that the trucker violated the HOS rules and may be liable for the accident that resulted.
Because some truckers – and some trucking companies – make it a practice to falsify their logbooks, it may be necessary to investigate deeper for evidence that the driver had been on the road too long. Fuel receipts, toll road tickets, cell phone records and electronic dispatching devices are just a few examples of evidence that may be available.
Fatigued driving claims may also be brought against trucking companies that employ drivers who break the rules. This is especially true if the trucking company fails to enforce HOS rules or if the trucking company pressures its drivers to work longer than they should.
With an increasing shortage of qualified truckers in the United States, drowsy driving crashes are becoming a serious risk. Hunger for higher profits makes some trucking companies push their drivers beyond the limits of safety. Because they are usually paid by the mile, there is an incentive for truckers to go as far as possible as quickly as possible. All of these factors contribute to the problem of trucker fatigue.
Recovering Compensation After a Truck Accident in R.I.
After an accident caused by a drowsy truck driver or one who is falling asleep at the wheel, you may be able to sue the driver and, in most cases, the driver’s employer. A truck accident lawyer can help you to file a personal injury or wrongful death claim and prove your case in court.
At Marasco & Nesselbush, LLP, our attorneys have over a hundred years of combined experience representing truck accident victims. We have decades of experience with fatigued driving cases. Find out now how we can put that experience to work for you.
Call us now or fill out our online contact form for a free review of your truck accident claim and advice about your legal rights.