Truck Driver Fatigue
We can all relate to what it is like to be tired behind the wheel. According to one set of statistics, at least 60% of adult drivers reported feeling drowsy behind the wheel during the last year, and roughly one-third of those drivers reported actually falling asleep while driving. Falling asleep behind the wheel is a serious threat to everyone’s safety, but it is particularly dangerous when truck drivers operating massive and heavy vehicles doze off. When a driver loses control of a truck, the results can even be fatal for people in the vicinity. At Breakstone, White & Gluck, our Boston truck accident lawyers proudly assist victims of driver fatigue accidents with seeking compensation for their injuries and damages. Knowing the steps to take in asserting your rights can be confusing. We can guide you through the process while providing you with aggressive, responsive and compassionate legal counsel.Hold a Careless Truck Driver Responsible for Your Injuries
After a truck accident, a victim can pursue compensation by filing a personal injury claim against the driver. If the driver is an employee of a trucking company, the trucking company will also be liable, based on a doctrine called vicarious liability. This principle allows a plaintiff to hold employers responsible for the careless acts that their employees commit in the course and scope of employment. In the lawsuit, you will need to show that the defendant truck driver failed to use reasonable care and skill when operating their truck. A reasonable truck driver likely would refrain from operating their vehicle if they felt that they were too tired to drive.
Additionally, there are many Massachusetts and federal regulations that limit the number of consecutive hours that a truck driver can drive. It is tempting for truck drivers and their employers to break these rules so that they can make deliveries faster and pick up their next load more quickly. In other cases, overtired drivers may resort to chemical stimulants to help them stay awake. This may lead to situations in which the truck driver is operating their vehicle under the influence, which is also illegal. Evidence of a violation like this can be used to help demonstrate that the truck driver failed to use due care.
An employer may also be held liable if it was negligent in the hiring of the driver. If the driver had a record of irresponsible driving, including previous accidents involving fatigue, the employer might also be responsible for negligent hiring or negligent entrustment.
Once your attorney has established that the defendant failed to use due care, they will show that this failure was the cause of your injuries. In other words, had the truck driver not operated their vehicle while excessively fatigued, you would not have been hurt. There are many causes behind accidents involving driver fatigue, but they primarily relate to the driver’s loss of control over the vehicle or inability to react quickly to sudden changes in driving conditions. Fatigued drivers also may overcorrect when they wake up, leading to falling debris accidents.
After proving causation, the plaintiff will need to submit evidence to support the amount of damages that they claim to have sustained. There are many different types of damages that a plaintiff can possibly recover from a negligent defendant. An example is medical expenses. These can include ambulance fees, hospitalization bills, physical therapy, and medication. Plaintiffs can also seek compensation for lost wages, as well as compensation for any reduction in their future earning capacity. In other words, if your injuries are so severe that you will be prevented from ever returning to your job, you can seek compensation to make up the difference. Usually the most significant element of damages is pain and suffering, past, present and future. An experienced trial lawyer can assist you with fighting for all of the compensation that you need.Explore Your Options with an Injury Lawyer in the Boston Area
If you have been injured because of truck driver fatigue, you do not need to navigate the legal process alone. At Breakstone, White & Gluck, we understand what you are going through because we have helped many other victims in cities such as Boston, Cambridge, Waltham, Lowell, Newton, Somerville, Quincy, Dedham, Norwood, Brookline, Attleboro, Barnstable, Brockton, Plymouth, Worcester, Lawrence, and Springfield. Our motor vehicle collision attorneys pride ourselves on offering compassionate, responsive, and personalized legal counsel, while ensuring that your rights are advanced vigorously. To schedule a free consultation, call us now at 1-800-379-1244 or contact us online.