Truck Driver Fatigue
Tractor-Trailer Accident Attorneys for Queens Victims and Other Injured NYC Residents
Because of their massive size and considerable weight, trucks pose a great threat of significant injury to people involved in collisions with them. Due to this increased risk of harm, truck drivers are required to obtain specialized licenses, as well as follow federal and state regulations designed to prevent accidents from occurring. Unfortunately, with delivery deadlines looming and other pressures put on them, truck drivers often spend more time on the road than they should. Truck driver fatigue can cause serious accidents and catastrophic injuries, as well as fatalities. Queens truck accident attorney Marc S. Albert assists victims in pursuing proper legal action against drivers, trucking companies, and other parties responsible for their injuries.
In trucking accidents, there are many different factors as well as competing interests involved, and a thorough investigation into a truck driver’s history, examination of log books, and gathering of other evidence can be necessary to determine what happened. Marc S. Albert has over two decades of experience dealing with these complicated cases, and he has successfully represented many victims in claims against negligent truck drivers. If you have been injured or have lost a loved one in a truck accident that you believe was caused by a fatigued driver, contact our office today to see how we can help.
Dangers of Truck Driver Fatigue
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is the governmental agency tasked with overseeing safety standards for the interstate trucking industry. The FMCSA sets regulations aimed to prevent tired truck drivers from getting behind the wheel. With regard to rest break requirements, truck drivers are prohibited from driving for over 11 consecutive hours, and they must take rest breaks of at least 10 hours before starting a subsequent shift. Truck drivers are also required to keep accurate log books, detailing how many hours they spent driving, as well as recording when rest and meal breaks were taken. Truck drivers are required to obtain special commercial licenses verifying their knowledge of how to operate their trucks, such as how to brake safely, maintain a safe traveling distance behind other vehicles, and take other precautions to avoid accidents. When truck drivers are fatigued, their reaction time is delayed, and their ability to think quickly in changing circumstances is affected. In 2014, truck safety inspectors issued over 250,000 citations for hours of service violations. Truck driver fatigue has been found to be a contributing factor in 13 percent of truck accidents, according to the FMCSA. Truck accidents caused by fatigued drivers can result in life-altering injuries like paralysis, traumatic brain injuries, and other conditions requiring extensive medical care, rehabilitation, and adjusting to a new reality.
Responsibility for Fatigued Truck Driving Accidents
If a truck driver remains on the road without taking appropriate rest or meal breaks, in violation of FMCSA regulations, he or she can be held liable in a civil personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit. Falling asleep behind the wheel, or being too tired to focus properly, is a sign of negligence. Negligence exists when a driver breaches an owed duty of reasonable care to another road user, such as someone in a car or motorcycle, causing injuries and resulting in damages.
Besides truck drivers themselves, other parties may be liable for truck accident injuries, including a trucking company, a manufacturer of faulty parts, and any other driver who also acted negligently. Trucking companies can be held vicariously liable for their employees’ negligent actions if the negligence occurred within the scope of employment. For example, if a driver is rushing to make a delivery for his or her employer on time, having skipped a necessary rest break, the employer likely would be held accountable for a resulting accident. Victims injured by a fatigued driver may receive compensation for medical expenses, loss of income, diminished earning capacity, and pain and suffering from those found responsible.
Contact a Compassionate Truck Crash Lawyer in Queens
Suffering a catastrophic injury or losing a loved one in a truck accident is a devastating experience. Queens attorney Marc S. Albert is committed to ensuring that those who have acted wrongly in contributing to a truck crash are brought to justice. He fights aggressively on behalf of his clients, offering personalized, compassionate, and zealous legal advocacy throughout the duration of the litigation. The Law Offices of Marc S. Albert serves car, truck, and motorcycle accident victims across New York City and Long Island from offices in Astoria and Syosset. If you need legal guidance in the aftermath of a serious truck accident, contact our office at 855-252-3788 or online to learn more about your rights and options.