Each year, driver fatigue causes accidents in Florida and throughout the United States. These collisions are especially dangerous when trucks are involved. The sheer size and weight of a big rig increases the potential for harm when a crash takes place.
Our truck accident lawyers have helped numerous victims pursue personal injury claims. We can assess the merits of your case and help you seek the compensation you deserve for your harm.
What is Drowsy Driving?
Drowsy driving poses risks to everyone on the road. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that drowsy driving causes approximately 56,000 automobile crashes each year. According to the National Transportation Safety Board, large trucks account for more than 8,000 accidents that cause injuries in the state of Florida each year.
Due to the risks posed by large trucks, this industry is subject to stringent regulations set by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Commercial drivers have to follow certain rules, such as maintaining a log book documenting their service for each 24-hour period, not driving more than 11 consecutive hours in a 14-hour time span, and not being on duty to drive for more than 60 hours in a seven-day time frame. These regulations are put in place to ensure the safety of truck drivers as well as others on the road.
Proving Negligence in Cases of Truck Driving Fatique
If you or a loved one has been hurt because of another person’s drowsy driving, you may be able to pursue compensation for your injuries through a negligence claim. Negligence is the failure to use reasonable care when undertaking a particular action.
Reasonable care is defined as how a prudent or sensible person would act in the same or similar circumstances. In the context of a truck accident caused by drowsy driving, reasonable care would be assessed by how a prudent truck driver would have acted in a comparable situation and whether he or she would have chosen to get behind the wheel with a similar level of fatigue.
Most prudent truck drivers would not get behind the wheel if they were exhausted to a degree that violated industry regulations. If you can show that a driver’s excessive fatigue directly caused your injuries, you can potentially recover damages for your harm.
In order to prevail on a negligence claim, the victim must establish the following elements:
- Truck driver owed the victim a duty of reasonable care
- Driver breached the duty of care by failing to meet the appropriate standard
- Accident was a direct result of the breach
- Victim incurred quantifiable damages
If negligence is established, the injured person may be able to recover compensation for past, present, and future medical expenses as well as lost income and benefits, pain and suffering, property damage, and any other costs arising from the truck accident. If you lose a loved one in a truck crash, you may be able to file a wrongful death claim against any at-fault party and seek damages for your losses, possibly including hospital bills, funeral expenses, loss of companionship, and more.
Our Legal Team
Our truck accident attorneys understand the nuances of this area of the law and can assist you with asserting your rights. Negligence cases are extremely fact-intensive and can require a thorough investigation.
Our Florida truck accident lawyers proudly represent clients near Cape Coral, Fort Myers, and Naples. For more information, call us toll free at (800) 283-7442.