Commercial truck companies have a responsibility to ensure that their vehicles operate safely. When a fatigued truck accident causes harm, victims should speak with a Washington, D.C. personal injury attorney at Koonz McKenney Johnson & DePaolis, LLP. Overworked truck drivers may become fatigued while driving. If you or a loved one has been injured as the result of a commercial truck accident, do not wait to seek representation.
To speak with a Washington, D.C. truck accident lawyer, reach out to our firm. We will work tirelessly to hold negligent parties responsible for the losses you experienced. Schedule your free consultation by contacting our firm today.
Common Causes of Commercial Truck Driver Fatigue
Commercial truck operators are required to drive in a reasonably safe and legal manner. This requirement is especially important because commercial trucks are much larger and heavier than traditional passenger vehicles. When truck drivers are fatigued, they put everyone around them in danger. Driving while tired can result in catastrophic and devastating accidents. While truck driver fatigue can occur for a variety of reasons, some causes are more common than others. The most typical causes of fatigued truck accidents include:
Unreasonably Long Hours
Commercial truck operators should have the opportunity to rest regularly. Doing so ensures that they can drive safely. Federal regulations determine how long truck driver shifts can be. Unfortunately, some disreputable motor carriers skirt these safety regulations in order to increase their productivity and profits.
When drivers are pushed to meet unreasonable delivery deadlines, the consequences can be devastating. If you have been injured by an overworked motor carrier employee, contact a skilled Washington, D.C. attorney.
Irregular Sleep Schedules
Some commercial drivers are required to work throughout the night. These irregular work hours may result in the employee being tired or unfocused. This is especially true if the commercial driver does not work on a consistent schedule.
Inadequate Sleeping Conditions
Some commercial drivers have to sleep inside their vehicles. Attempting to sleep in such a setting may result in the worker failing to get adequate rest.
The common factors that result in lack of sleep from inadequate conditions include:
- External noise
- Significant temperature fluctuations
- Visible traffic or streetlights
These conditions can mean less deep, restful sleep, leading to feeling more fatigued despite sleeping for the ideal number of hours.
Operating a large commercial truck can be stressful. There are many factors that cause drivers to become stressed. These include:
- Unreasonably tight deadlines
- Congested traffic
- Long hours
Operating under high stress for a prolonged time makes a driver feel fatigued.
Keeping Truckers from Driving Fatigued
Fatigue can be a serious safety hazard for commercial truck drivers. Lack of adequate rest can impair their ability to drive safely and react quickly in unexpected situations.
Therefore, drivers and their employers should take steps to prevent fatigue. Some examples of preventive measures include:
- Scheduling adequate rest breaks
- Ensuring drivers have access to comfortable sleeping conditions
- Promoting healthy eating and sleeping habits
- Reducing stress whenever possible
When a fatigued truck driver causes an accident, and someone is hurt, the victim may have a valid claim for compensation. Speak with a Washington, D.C. personal injury lawyer by contacting Koonz McKenney Johnson & DePaolis.
Recoverable Damages in Truck Accident Claims
The nature and amount of damages available to claimants in tort cases depend on the specific facts of the case. In truck accident cases, some of the most relevant factors are:
- The nature of the collision
- The type and severity of resulting injuries
- The cause of the driver’s fatigue
- The resulting vehicular and property damage
A skilled tort lawyer will review the facts of your case to determine the amount of compensation you can hope to recover. In many personal injury cases, plaintiffs can secure both economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages are payments to compensate for victims’ direct financial losses. Typical examples include:
- Current and past medical debt
- Expected future medical care costs
- Property damage, including vehicular repair
- Losses of income and wages from missed work
On the other hand, non-economic damages are paid to compensate for intangible and personal losses resulting from an injury. Some of the most common examples are:
- Emotional pain and anguish
- Physical pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium or relationship — in cases of fatal injuries
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
It is critical to speak with a legal professional in the wake of a commercial truck accident. A trained tort attorney in Washington, D.C. will help you pursue the compensation you are due.
Contact Koonz McKenney Johnson & DePaolis
When you need premier legal counsel in Washington, D.C., look no further than the team at Koonz McKenney Johnson & DePaolis. Our friendly team will gladly schedule a free consultation to discuss the facts of your truck accident claim. Contact us today!