Home Truck Accidents Truck Driver Fatigue

Who Is Liable?

When a truck driver is fatigued and causes an accident with another vehicle or a pedestrian, he or she can face legal liability for any injuries, deaths, or property damage that result. If the trucking company is involved or found to be encouraging drivers to break federal laws for any reason, the company itself may also be found liable for accidents that happen as a result.

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- Julian Allen

Trucking Policies Leading To Fatigued Drivers

A whopping 37% of drivers have reported that they had driven more than the weekly hours-of-service limit of 60/70 hours over seven/eight days during the past two months. Furthermore, one in five truck drivers admitted to falling asleep at the wheel at least once during the prior month–an alarming statistic given the safety implications of these activities.

In South Carolina truck drivers are paid by the mile rather than the hour. Therefore, there is an inherent incentive for drivers to cover as much distance as possible in the shortest amount of time in order to maximize their pay. This coupled with the tight deadlines set by corporations motivates drivers to go beyond their legal and physical limits, resulting in fatigued truck drivers.

Other factors also contribute to safety concerns, including bad weather, traffic and time of day. All these factors push drivers to break the rules until they are fatigued. Many drivers also complete their runs at night when there aren't as many people on the roads, however data suggests drivers are more likely to become fatigued during this graveyard shift as they are working against their natural sleep rhythms.

In addition, there has been an increase in local authorities rejecting requests by truck stop owners to open facilities for long-distance truckers to have a break. The current shortages in these stops mean that truck drivers have to keep driving regardless of their alertness in order to find the next rest stop.

We Can Help

We take on truck accident cases to help our clients recover the damages they are due. Many people come to us for help because commercial truck accident cases are complex. It’s also challenging to handle legal affairs while recovering from injuries. Hiring an attorney to represent you could be one of the smartest moves you make to protect yourself.

If you have been involved in a Charleston truck accident, there are a range of damages that you could recover. The most common and largest of these will be medical bills, however, depending on your situation there may be other costs you are entitled to. These could be:

  • Medical expenses for emergency and long-term health care
  • Loss of income, benefits, bonuses, and tips
  • Loss of future income if you can’t work or must work in a different role because of your injuries
  • Property damage
  • Physical and mental pain and suffering
  • Scarring, disfigurement, or disability (temporary or permanent)
  • Wrongful death damages

The legal team at Allen Law will review all your damages to determine how much money you could recover in a settlement. We will review every loss you suffered before placing a dollar value on the case. Call us today at (843) 882-5005 to schedule your consultation and to determine if driver fatigue played a role in your or your loved ones’ injuries.