The trucking industry is focused on getting cargo to a destination as quickly as possible, and then turning around and doing the same thing all over again. Truck drivers have every incentive to drive as much as they can in the shortest time possible. With such long hours behind the wheel, fatigue is unavoidable. This makes the potential for serious and fatal injuries high, especially when a truck collides with smaller motor vehicles, pedestrians, or bicyclists.
If you or a loved one was harmed in a trucking accident that you believe was caused by a fatigued driver, a Fulton County truck driver fatigue lawyer could investigate your case and determine whether you could file a claim for compensation. Consult with a well-versed truck accident attorney to learn more about asserting your rights.
Trucking Laws and Practices in Fulton County
Due to the massive size and weight of trucks, they are challenging to drive even under the most optimal conditions. In order to curb the dangers of fatigue, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) limits truck drivers to 11-hour shifts following a ten-hour break. Additionally, truckers can drive no more than 14 hours in a 24-hour period. Over the course of an eight-day period, truck drivers are limited to a total of 70 hours. To make sure they are following these rules, truck drivers are required to log their hours each day.
While some drivers abide by these time limits, others exceed them to make up for time lost to traffic, bad weather, or to meet tight deadlines. Even those who follow the rules can grow extremely fatigued by the long, monotonous hours on the road. Exhaustion can inhibit concentration, encourage carelessness, and even cause a driver to fall asleep at the wheel.
Establishing Liability in a Truck Driver Fatigue Claim
Whether truck drivers violate the FMCSA rules or simply become too tired to safely operate their vehicles, they may be found liable for negligent behavior. This applies when a trucker breaches their duty of safety and caution to others on the road and causes injuries as a result.
Trucking companies may also be considered responsible for a plaintiff’s injuries. This may apply if they practiced negligent hiring, encouraged unsafe practices, or failed to adequately train their drivers. Further, they may also be held liable under respondeat superior, a legal doctrine under which employers are held liable for the actions of its employees acting in the course and scope of their employment. A seasoned truck driver fatigue lawyer in Fulton County could identify all possible defendants and applicable legal theories to maximize recovery.
Two-Year Statute of Limitations
Georgia imposes a two-year statute of limitations on personal injury claims, so it is imperative to file for damages within this time frame. Lawsuits filed outside the two-year period may be dismissed before any evaluation on the merits can take place. If this happens, injured victims may no further legal recourse. Consulting with a Fulton County truck driver fatigue attorney as soon as possible is therefore critical to the success of any claim for damages. A dedicated lawyer could help with filing a viable claim promptly.
How a Fulton County Truck Driver Fatigue Attorney Could Help
If you or a loved one was injured in a truck wreck, a lawyer could be an important ally in your efforts to secure damages. After reviewing the available evidence, an attorney could devise a legal strategy to win compensation. A financial award could cover your medical costs, lost wages, pain and suffering, mental anguish, and loss of consortium. To ensure that your rights are preserved and protected, reach out to a Fulton County truck driver fatigue lawyer today to get started.