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Truck Driver Fatigue Accidents

Truck Driver Fatigue Accident Claims

Truck accidents can be caused by a number of reasons, which could be driver-related, truck-related, weather-related or roadway-related. In the vast majority of truck accidents, however, driver-related actions are a contributing cause of the accident. And among those, driver fatigue is a prominent factor that is involved in more than one out of every ten truck crashes. The Atlanta truck accident attorneys at Katz Personal Injury Lawyers have the knowledge, skills and experience to handle cases of serious personal injury or wrongful death in Georgia truck accidents where driver fatigue is a factor.

Truck drivers and pressure to drive when tired

The transportation industry centers around delivering goods as quickly as possible. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) rules, which regulate the hours of service for truckers, allow tractor-trailer operators to drive up to 11 hours a stretch in one 14-hour period. Truckers can be required to drive up to 60 hours in a seven-day period or 70 hours in an eight-day period, without running afoul of FMCSA regulations. Truckers are often under a great deal of pressure to work the maximum allowable hours of service and to operate their semis even when fatigued.

Use of stimulants increases truck driver fatigue and risk of truck accidents

Given the pressure to deliver their cargo to its destination as soon as possible, it is not surprising that many truckers are frequent users of over-the-counter stimulants and prescription drugs, as well as illegal drugs to a lesser extent. It may be surprising to learn, however, that stimulants actually increase fatigue rather than relieving it. Stimulants may mask the symptoms of fatigue for a brief period, but the brain and body are never actually getting the rest they need. When a stimulant wears off, the driver is suddenly hit and overcome with an accumulation of fatigue. Even while a stimulant is active within the body, it has been shown that the drug does not actually increase alertness and can cause inattentive or distracted driving.

Evidence of stimulant use by the truck driver or analysis of the trucker’s logs may prove that fatigue was a factor in the crash. In order to downplay their insured driver’s fault, insurance company lawyers will often claim the driver of the passenger vehicle was negligent, reckless or careless and caused or contributed to the accident. Compensation for the injury victim will be reduced by the amount of fault that is attached to him or her, and if the insurance company can convince a jury that the injured plaintiff is 50% or more to blame, then the accident victim may be barred from recovering anything at all.

Accidents involving large trucks are often very complex, which makes it crucial to be represented by a lawyer who knows how to prepare and present a persuasive case. This will include documenting the truck driver’s fatigue and other factors while effectively defending against the arguments of the insurance company lawyers that the accident victim was somehow to blame. Atlanta truck accident attorneys at KWF have been representing victims of serious vehicle accidents in Atlanta for over 25 years. We understand insurance company tactics and won’t let clients be unfairly taken advantage of. If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident in Atlanta, Decatur or anywhere throughout DeKalb County and neighboring areas, contact Katz Personal Injury Lawyers at (404) 460-0101 for a free consultation with a skilled and experienced truck accident lawyer.

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