Commercial trucks easily can weigh 80,000 pounds or more and dwarf other motor vehicles. When collisions between these trucks and other vehicles occur, the occupants of the passenger vehicles are likely to suffer catastrophic injuries, which may prove fatal. If a truck driver negligently causes an accident, injury victims may be able to seek compensation with the help of an Alpharetta truck driver fatigue accident lawyer.
Although various federal regulations govern the operation of large commercial trucks, including the maximum number of hours that drivers may work without resting, some truck drivers still drive when they are overly tired. Whether their employers are pressuring them to deliver loads more quickly or drivers are forging their logs to get ahead of schedule, the results can be disastrous. A skilled truck accident lawyer could investigate the accident that led to your injuries and hold the appropriate parties responsible for their negligent or reckless conduct.
Truck Driver Fatigue Claims in Alpharetta
Trucking companies owe a duty of care to the public to reasonably ensure the safety of others on the roadways. These companies are liable for the actions of their drivers. Therefore, if drivers are careless or reckless to the extent that they cause an accident, the companies can face civil liability if injuries result.
As a part of their duty of care, trucking companies must hire and train individuals to be safety-conscious and follow the applicable rules and regulations, including the permissible hours of service. If trucking companies fail to make sure that their drivers are aware of and required to abide by these rules, they, too, may share liability for the wrongful conduct of their drivers.
Federal Regulations and Driver Fatigue
To combat accidents resulting from truck driver fatigue, the federal government has taken steps to prevent drivers from working too many hours without adequate rest. For instance, truck drivers are subject to the following restrictions:
- Drivers may work no more than 70 hours per week
- Drivers must take a mandatory 34-hour rest period that includes two periods between the hours of 1:00 and 5:00 a.m. before beginning a new work week
- Drivers must drive for more no more than 11 hours per day and work no more than 14 hours per day total, including the performance of non-driving duties
- Drivers must have at least a 30-minute break in their driving schedules
Commercial truck drivers must keep a logbook that details their driving and rest hours to show compliance with federal regulations. Drivers and companies who fail to follow these rules or document their compliance may be subject to fines and other penalties from the federal government, in addition to liability for any accidents involving bodily injuries. Working with a truck driver fatigue accident lawyer in Alpharetta may be crucial to the ability to recover compensation for victims of these often horrific accidents.
Statute of Limitations in Injury Claims
Under O.C.G.A. § 9-3-33, injury victims have only a limited timeframe to file their claims against other parties whom they believe are liable for their injuries. Although there are a few exceptions to this general rule, individuals must file these claims within two years of the date of the accident that caused their injuries.
Anyone who fails to meet this statutory timeframe may lose their chance to file any claims based on the negligence of others. As a result, contacting a truck driver fatigue accident attorney in Alpharetta as quickly as possible following a major accident can be crucial to the ability to receive any compensation for injuries stemming from the crash.
Talk to an Alpharetta Truck Driver Fatigue Accident Attorney
Fatigue can cause truck drivers to exhibit delayed reaction times and fall asleep while driving. These side effects of extreme tiredness can lead to accidents that may cause permanent impairments, catastrophic injuries, and fatalities. If you or a loved one has suffered injuries in a truck accident, you may wish to consult an Alpharetta truck driver fatigue accident lawyer for guidance. Call today for a consultation to learn more.