Truck Driver Fatigue
Commercial truck drivers often spend full days driving across the state and country. While drivers are limited in the number of hours they are permitted to drive per day, not all drivers abide by the rules. Additionally, even if drivers stay within the legal limits for hours they are permitted to drive, they may become tired or drowsy due to lack of sleep or other factors. Truck driver fatigue is one of the main causes of commercial truck accidents, and people involved in accidents with trucks typically suffer catastrophic injuries. If you were injured or lost a loved one in an accident caused by driver fatigue, you may be able to pursue damages. Eric Beasley is a seasoned Nashville truck accident lawyer with the skills and experience needed to help you seek compensation from the commercial truck driver that caused your harm, and potentially the driver’s employer. Mr. Beasley’s office is located in Goodlettsville, and he frequently assists people harmed by truck driver fatigue in lawsuits throughout Middle Tennessee.Federal Motor Carrier Regulations Regarding Drive Times
All commercial truck drivers are required to comply not only with the motor vehicle laws of any state they drive through but also with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (the “Regulations”). The Regulations were instituted to help prevent commercial truck accidents, in part by limiting the number of hours truck drivers are permitted to drive without taking a break. Specifically, the Regulations dictate that truck drivers are only permitted to drive for 11 hours in a 14-hour period after being off duty for 10 or more hours. Once a driver reaches the end of the 14-hour period, he or she cannot drive again until after he or she has been off duty for another 10-hour period. Additionally, drivers cannot drive for more than 60 hours per week or 70 hours per eight days. Drivers are also required to keep track of their hours in a logbook.Pursuing Claims Against the Driver
The Regulations were designed to cut down on truck driver fatigue, and accidents caused by fatigue, in order to make the roadways safer for all drivers. Not all truck drivers comply with the Regulations, however, and some drive more hours than are permitted. This often results in driver fatigue, and unfortunately, accidents. Proving liability for an accident caused by truck driver fatigue typically requires the person harmed to prove the driver was negligent. In other words, the person harmed must show that the truck driver owed a duty of care, such as the duty to refrain from driving while fatigued, and that the truck driver breached the duty, causing the accident and the person’s harm.
In most instances, there will be no direct evidence of the driver’s fatigue, and the person harmed will have to rely on circumstantial evidence to prove their claim. In such cases, any computer or black box recording devices on the truck, freight records, and the driver's logbooks will be essential pieces of evidence to help establish the driver was fatigued at the time of the accident. A skilled truck accident lawyer can help you gather the appropriate evidence.Pursuing Claims Against the Driver’s Employer
In addition to pursuing a claim against the truck driver that caused the accident, in cases where the driver has an employment relationship with a trucking company, the person harmed in the accident can likely pursue claims against the driver's employer as well under a theory of negligent hiring or supervision. In other words, the person harmed could allege that the employer knew or should have known that the driver was unfit to do his or her job, and therefore posed a threat of harm to others.Nashville Lawyer for Truck Accident Victims
Accidents caused by truck driver fatigue are often devastating, causing substantial and lasting harm. If you sustained injuries or lost a family member in a truck accident in Nashville, a knowledgeable injury attorney can help you understand your legal options. Eric Beasley aggressively seeks any compensation on behalf of his injured clients. Mr. Beasley’s office is located in Goodlettsville, and he is available to assist people injured in commercial truck accidents in Nashville and in Murfreesboro, Lebanon, Goodlettsville, and Hendersonville, as well as in communities in Davidson, Robertson, Sumner, Wilson, Rutherford, and Williamson Counties and throughout Middle Tennessee. Mr. Beasley can be contacted through the online form or at (800) 431-2768 to schedule a confidential and free meeting.