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Who is Liable for Damages in a Crash Caused by a Fatigued Truck Driver?  

 Posted on March 06, 2023 in Truck Accidents

Riverside County Truck Crash LawyerAccidents involving 18-wheelers are simply more dangerous given their size and weight. Other drivers who share the road are often the ones who sustain the greatest injuries. What is unfortunate is that these truck accidents can be avoided. Truck accidents are commonly a result of driver fatigue. At Maineri Law Firm, we work with clients to prove negligence and hold at-fault drivers and transportation companies accountable for injuries they cause.

Truck Driver Fatigue

In the United States, drivers should not operate a commercial motor vehicle if they are too tired or sick to drive safely. Operating a truck however is at the driver's discretion and sometimes drivers are pressured to make as many deliveries as possible in a specific period. After long hours on the road, it is understandable that a driver would be tired or sleepy. But it is the decision to drive despite being fatigued that is simply irresponsible.

Tired drivers pose a threat not only to other people on the road but to pedestrians. An accident involving a large truck can be disastrous. When a driver is tired their judgment and reaction time may suffer, making it more difficult to make last-minute decisions.

DOT Rules

The Department of Transportation (DOT) has rules in place that limit the amount of time truck drivers can operate a vehicle each day. Other regulations include mandatory rest periods, to limit the dangers of fatigued drivers on the roads and make it safer for everyone. Here is a closer look at the rules for truck drivers:

  • Maximum 70 hours of driving per week for truck drivers

  • If the maximum is reached, drivers must rest for 34 consecutive hours

  • Must take a 30-minute break during the first eight hours of a shift

  • 11-hour daily driving limit and a 14-hour workday limit

Negligent Truck Drivers and Liability

Truck drivers and their employers who ignore these regulations may be found to be responsible for serious accidents. It is no surprise that accidents are more likely to occur when truck drivers violate these regulations. It may be possible for not only the driver but the truck company to be held liable for injuries.

In many cases, truck accidents are caused by negligent drivers. The employer is responsible for injuries that are caused by their employees during work hours. As a result, a trucking company may be held liable for damages suffered by those who are injured. Every case is different and the varying circumstances are taken into account during a personal injury claim case.

Truck companies and drivers that violate the DOT rules could face harsh penalties. Trucking companies permitting drivers to drive even just more than three hours from what is allowed could face fines of $11,000 and truck drivers could face civil penalties of up to $2,750.

Contact a Riverside County Personal Injury Lawyer

If you have been injured in a truck accident related to truck driver fatigue at Maineri Law Firm can help you understand the investigation and your rights. A skilled Temecula personal injury attorney will try to help you seek the compensation that you deserve. Call 951-698-4200 for a free consultation.



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