Truck driver fatigue frequently causes accidents that injure other drivers on the road. The long hours and pressure to get deliveries and pickups made on schedule can lead to fatigued truck driver accidents in Memphis.
Although federal regulations govern the hours of work and rest that truck drivers must keep, not all drivers follow the rules and not all trucking companies monitor drivers for compliance. Truck accidents caused by fatigued drivers may lead to catastrophic injuries for the drivers and other occupants of nearby vehicles. If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident, you could use the assistance of truck accident attorney David E. Gordon.
Drowsy Driving Causes Accidents in Memphis
According to the Insurance Information Institute, various studies show the correlation between fatigued drivers and motor vehicle accidents. One AAA study showed that drivers who have slept only one hour less than their usual amount of sleep have significantly higher accident rates than those who slept their normal amount. When large commercial trucks are involved in these accidents, severe injuries and deaths increase substantially.
Even larger passenger vehicles cannot compare to the massive size and weight of 18-wheelers. The impact of these collisions can cause significant injuries and property damage to any type of passenger vehicle. Truckers who drive while fatigued and particularly those who violate safety regulations can be held liable for the damages that their negligent actions cause.
Federal Regulations and Truck Driver Hours of Service
The U.S. Department of Transportation issues safety regulations for the trucking industry, or the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR). Under Section 395 of the FMCSR, truckers must strictly follow hours of service guidelines to decrease driver fatigue and adhere to the adequate amount of sleep hours. This regulation is designed to prevent devastating accidents that can occur when truck drivers are too tired to drive properly.
For example, truck drivers cannot start their shifts until they have been off duty for at least ten consecutive hours. The drivers can then work a 14-hour shift, but they can drive for only 11 of the total 14 hours. After driving the first eight hours, drivers must take at least a 30-minute rest break.
Memphis truckers must also keep detailed logbooks that describe their driving and resting hours to ensure compliance with this federal regulation. Failure to keep these logs as required or violating these regulations can result in sanctions. Furthermore, if driver drowsiness results in an accident, the driver and trucking company could be held civilly liable for any injuries that result.
Statute of Limitations in Truck Accident Claims
Tenn. Code § 28-3-104 establishes the statute of limitations or deadlines for filing personal injury claims stemming from truck accidents caused by fatigue. Injury victims who do not file their claims within the one-year time frame may lose their chance to seek compensation for their losses related to the accident. As a result, contacting local legal counsel as quickly as practicable following a collision could likely be beneficial.
Injured parties generally have just one year from the date of their accident to file their formal lawsuit for compensation. A few exceptions to this rule do exist, such as when minors suffer injuries in an accident. Individuals should get legal advice right away to avoid missing out on the compensation to which they are entitled.
Talk to a Memphis Fatigued Truck Driver Accidents Lawyer
Fatigued truck driver accidents in Memphis can be overwhelming and stressful for injury victims and their families. If you suffered injuries after a collision with a truck driver who was driving while fatigued or violating the rules of services, you could be entitled to damages for your losses. Compensation can allow you to get the medical care and treatment that you need and replace your lost wages while you are off work.
Large-scale truck accidents can involve multiple vehicles and could require a full investigation into the circumstances. Having a legal advocate on your side who is familiar with federal trucking regulations such as David E. Gordon can make a substantial difference in the outcome of your case. Call today to learn more.