Albuquerque Truck Driver Fatigue Accident Lawyer
We’ve all seen large trucks crossing New Mexico interstates and highways. The trucking industry is an indispensable part of everyday life in New Mexico, from delivering fundamental public services for citizens to transporting raw materials to manufacturers. Trucking is one of the most critical industries in America and is responsible for moving 70 percent of all freight in the United States. However, though most truck drivers make an effort to stay safe on the road, driver fatigue is often one of the leading factors in commercial vehicle crashes.
Truck driver fatigue is preventable. Despite the rigors of driving long distances, drivers who get proper rest should stay alert. Nevertheless, many truckers feel compelled to push the limits of allowable hours of driving time per day. If you’ve been in an accident with a commercial vehicle, truck driver fatigue may have played a role in your case. If you think this may be the case, it’s important that you reach out to an experienced lawyer who may be able to help you receive the compensation you deserve.
Why Does Truck Driver Fatigue Occur?
Driver fatigue is one of the leading causes of truck accidents in New Mexico. Because truck drivers are faced with strict deadlines, some choose to stay on the road for extended hours, ignoring state and federal regulations regarding rest breaks and other requirements. When a tired truck driver causes a collision, victims often suffer catastrophic injuries.
Attorney Paul Dominguez helps victims injured by negligent truck drivers and the companies employing them. Our firm offers knowledgeable legal guidance to truck accident victims and their families by ensuring that the necessary evidence is collected and the responsible parties are held liable for the harm they caused.
What Regulations Are in Place to Prevent Truck Driver Fatigue?
Because of their sheer size and mass, trucks are complex vehicles to operate. As a result, they require drivers to possess specialized skills and licenses in order to make sure they’re properly controlled. In any case, even without considering the expertise it takes to operate a truck, drivers shouldn’t be operating the vehicle when exhausted. When a truck driver is fatigued, their response time is delayed, and their judgment may be impaired.
The interstate trucking industry is regulated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), which sets out requirements regarding drivers in order to prevent fatigue. Under FMCSA regulations, truck drivers must adhere to the following regulations:
- Drivers can’t drive longer than 11 hours at a time
- Drivers must take a rest of 10 consecutive hours between shifts
- Drivers must maintain proper logbooks regarding their hours traveled, rest breaks, and meal breaks
Tired drivers have slower reaction times, impaired judgment, and lower awareness levels, all of which can lead to significant collisions. In fact, the FMCSA released a study indicating that 13 percent of commercial drivers involved in truck accidents were determined to be fatigued when the crash occurred.
Seeking Compensation for Injuries Caused by Fatigued Truck Drivers
When a truck driver decides to remain behind the wheel for more than the number of hours allowable or skips necessary breaks, they should be held accountable for any resulting collisions and injuries. Failing to adhere to state or federal trucking regulations, leading to fatigue, can signify the negligence necessary to prevail in a personal injury lawsuit. Victims injured by a tired driver must prove that the driver breached the duty to act as a reasonable and prudent person would act given the circumstances, that breach caused the victim’s injuries, and damages were incurred as a result.
For instance, if a truck driver falls asleep behind the wheel after driving for 20 hours and strikes another vehicle, the driver could be found to have acted unreasonably, and therefore, negligently. Additionally, a trucking company can also be held liable for its employee’s negligence. If the driver was acting within the scope of their employment at the time of a collision, such as when a driver continues to drive in order to make a delivery on time, the employer-trucking company may also be held responsible.
If negligence is apparent, a victim may receive damages to pay for any past or future medical expenses, loss of income, or diminished earning capacity, as well as compensation for pain and suffering. In the devastating event that truck driver fatigue leads to a fatality, family members may pursue a wrongful death claim in order to receive compensation for burial or funeral costs, as well as loss of consortium damages. In New Mexico, both personal injury and wrongful death actions must be filed within three years from the date of a victim’s injury or death.
Discuss Your Trucking Accident Case with an Experienced Albuquerque Truck Accident Fatigue Lawyer
If you’ve been involved in a truck accident due to driver fatigue in Albuquerque or the surrounding area, it’s important that you contact a skilled Albuquerque truck accident fatigue lawyer as soon as possible. Fortunately, the knowledgeable and professional attorneys at Dominguez Law have years of experience holding negligent parties responsible for the damage they’ve caused and are committed to helping victims in your shoes. We’re dedicated to serving you and standing up for your rights.
Detailed evidence must be gathered and examined to determine whether a truck accident was caused by a fatigued driver, including past driving history, logbooks, and other documentation regarding the circumstances surrounding a collision. At Dominguez Law, we can ensure that the proper steps are followed so that victims may receive the compensation they need to recover from serious injuries.
We serve Los Ranchos and the Albuquerque area, as well as all of New Mexico. For a free consultation, call us today at 505-596-4481 or email us to find out more about what our experienced Albuquerque truck accident lawyer can do for you.