3 FAQs About Truck Accidents Caused by Fatigue
Did you know that drowsy driving can be just as dangerous as drunk driving? Sleep deprivation affects cognitive functioning and reflexes in much the same way as alcohol, yet millions of people who would never drive under the influence make a habit out of driving while fatigued.
Commercial truckers are especially likely to experience fatigue while behind the wheel because of the demands of their job. Unfortunately, due to the immense size and weight of these vehicles, commercial truckers are also likely to cause considerable damage and serious injuries if they fall asleep en route.
If you were hurt in a truck accident caused by fatigue, read on for the answers to some frequently asked questions about these claims:
1. How can I Prove a Trucker was Driving While Drowsy?
There are many kinds of evidence your attorney may use to prove the trucker was fatigued. Examples include:
- Black Box Data: Information from the truck’s event data recorder, or “black box,” could serve as valuable evidence. If the data shows the trucker didn’t even attempt to apply the brakes before the collision, this may indicate that he or she fell asleep. Black box data might also show that the trucker violated Hours of Service (HoS) regulations by staying on the road for too many consecutive hours.
- Logs and Receipts: Driver’s logs, toll booth receipts, and weigh station records may help your legal team determine whether the trucker violated HoS regulations.
- Eyewitness Testimony: Those who were traveling near the big rig before the accident may have witnessed the trucker nodding off.
- Surveillance or Dash Cam Footage: Any video footage of the trucker asleep behind the wheel would contribute to the strength of your claim.
2. How Long Will It Take to Resolve My Case?
Medical bills and other costs can add up quickly after a truck accident. As such, it’s common for victims to seek a quick payout. Unfortunately, the insurance company’s first offer might not be fair, and if you accept a low settlement, you might end up in overwhelming debt.
There’s no set timeline for resolving truck accident claims. Factors that might influence the duration of the proceedings include:
- The strength of your evidence;
- The amount of time it takes you to reach maximum medical improvement;
- The amount of compensation you’re seeking;
- The insurance company’s willingness to cooperate; and
- Whether your case ends up in court.
3. What Kinds of Damages can I Pursue?
Truck accident victims in Florida can pursue compensation for:
- Property damage;
- Alternative transportation;
- Medical bills;
- Home care;
- Lost income and benefits;
- Loss of future earnings;
- Child care;
- Domestic help;
- Necessary home and vehicle modifications;
- Pain and suffering;
- Emotional distress; and
- Loss of enjoyment in life.