Many studies have shown that driving while sleep-deprived can be just as dangerous as driving while drunk, since fatigue can inhibit awareness and reaction time the same way that alcohol and depressant drugs can. Unfortunately, between long shifts on the road and limited break periods, commercial truck drivers often end up operating their vehicles without a healthy amount of rest, which can sometimes lead to serious accidents with catastrophic consequences.
Just like any other truck wreck borne of negligence, fatigued truck driver accidents in Temple can serve as grounds for civil litigation under most circumstances. However, proving fault for this kind of incident and successfully recovering compensation can be difficult to manage if you try to pursue your claim without help from a knowledgeable truck accident lawyer.
As part of the implicit legal responsibility they have to act reasonably at all times while behind the wheel, commercial truck and tractor-trailer drivers must pay attention to their own physical needs and avoid driving when their faculties are impaired to any degree. While fatigued driving is not illegal in the same way drunk driving is, it can still serve as the primary factor in a collision with another vehicle.
However, when it comes to filing suit over fatigued truck driver accidents in Temple, naming the fatigued driver as the sole defendant in a claim is rarely the best course of action. Aside from the fact that individual truckers often lack the financial assets necessary to fully compensate a crash victim for their injuries, truck drivers are often not entirely to blame for their own fatigue.
In an underhanded effort to save time and money, some trucking companies strongly encourage or even force their drivers to flaunt federal driving time regulations that are meant to ensure truckers do not get too fatigued to operate their vehicles safely. With this in mind, a truck accident attorney may be able to help prove that a trucking company is primarily at fault for a fatigued truck driver wreck by subpoenaing shift schedules, truck black box data, and other documentary and testimonial evidence.
Regardless of who serves as the defendant in a fatigued truck driver accident case in Temple, a plaintiff who can successfully prove fault for their injuries may seek financial restitution for every form of harm they can trace directly back to those injuries. First and foremost, a comprehensive civil claim should seek recovery for objective economic losses the plaintiff already suffered before filing suit, such as hospital and ambulance bills, car replacement costs, and lost income due to time spent away from work.
Additionally, and perhaps more importantly, plaintiffs in these sorts of claims should take into consideration the damages that their injuries will lead to in the future, such as lost earning capacity and the costs of rehabilitative medical care. Finally, many successful fatigued truck driver accident claims seek compensation for non-economic forms of harm as well, such as pain and suffering and the impact of a permanent disability or disfigurement.
Excessive fatigue can be dangerous for anyone operating a motor vehicle, but when a commercial truck driver is too tired to drive safely, the risk of an accident that results in life-altering harm becomes exponentially greater. Fortunately, you have the right to hold any truck driver or trucking company who harms you through their negligence financially accountable for your ensuing damages.
If you got involved in a fatigued truck driver accident in Temple recently, contacting a truck accident lawyer and discussing your legal options should be a high priority. Call today to schedule a consultation.