Truck crashes involving other motor vehicles are a serious concern on U.S. roadways. This issue grows increasingly problematic as congested driving conditions force vehicles to drive in close proximity at higher speeds. In calendar years 2020 and 2021, there were 1,653 injuries in Utah due to accidents involving large trucks. Truck driver fatigue is a major factor in crashes that lead to injury and death for occupants of other vehicles.
Tired driving for truckers is a complicated matter. When a hauler crashes into a motor vehicle, extenuating circumstances may implicate parties other than the driver. Liability in a fatigued driving accident can be challenging to establish without an in-depth investigation. If you get hurt by a drowsy driver, legal representation is essential to help you determine who is at fault and protect your rights. At Siegfried and Jensen, we know how to develop your case and hold responsible parties accountable.
What Are the Causes of Truck Driver Fatigue?
If you are hurt in a truck accident by someone’s negligent actions, the consequences are often traumatic and lasting. An exhausted driver loses the ability to concentrate on the tasks at hand, making behind-the-wheel activity dangerous. These are common reasons operators experience fatigue:
- Long work hours
- Delivery deadlines
- Lack of rest
- Poor sleep habits
- Chronic medical conditions (sleep apnea)
- Use of prescribed and over-the-counter medications
Stress also affects a driver’s energy levels in detrimental ways. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regulates the number of hours truckers can operate before taking extended rest breaks. Unfortunately, due to the demanding nature of the work, the constant pressure to move goods, and the shortage of drivers, stress is an unrelenting matter for most operators.
Regulations are sometimes ignored, or logbooks are intentionally altered to obscure the number of driving hours. Drivers and companies could both bear the blame for these actions. You need a Utah accident attorney to analyze all the issues related to your case when there is questionable intent.
How Can a Trucking Company Be Responsible for Your Injury?
The trucking industry is a vast network with many companies and individuals playing a role in the shipment of goods. The desire to keep operations moving can lead to poor decisions by companies that affect drivers. A driver under pressure from a company to reach a destination by a specific time may neglect rest periods, resulting in drowsy driving.
An attorney needs to look at all the reasons a driver may have made decisions to ignore regulations that resulted in your injury. These issues make commercial vehicle accidents complex cases requiring careful examination.
Why Is the Correct Determination of Fault Essential to Your Case?
A personal injury claim hinges on determining who is directly responsible for an individual’s damages. Holding the correct party (or parties) accountable to pursue compensation is imperative. There is a high bar for proving a claim where personal injury lawsuits are concerned. Without clear liability, there are no grounds to bring a case.
This is why truck accidents are tricky territory in terms of legal responsibility. A plaintiff must establish that a party’s negligence (actions or inactions) caused injury. In cases where multiple parties could be at fault, a thorough assessment of the event is a fundamental priority for your legal team.
What Types of Serious Injuries Occur in Fatigued Driving Accidents?
There are many situations where a truck driver can be liable for an accident in Utah. Sometimes operational issues distract attention from the road. A driver is responsible for routine maintenance checks to keep a vehicle roadworthy. Yet, despite the multitude of problems that can lead to crashes, tired driving remains one of the primary reasons for serious injury to other motorists. Exhausted truckers in big rigs on busy roads are a recipe for disaster.
The damages that result from these accidents are frequently catastrophic. Many victims can no longer work due to the injuries they endured. These are some of the severe physical harms that occur in fatigued truck driving incidents:
- Internal injuries: The impact in a truck crash can cause severe trauma to internal organs. Being crushed by interior parts of your vehicle or forcibly pushed against a seat belt or airbag can cause immense bodily harm, such as punctures, ruptures and bleeding.
- Traumatic brain injury: Brain injury is a devastating outcome of large truck crashes. One of the most severe aspects of TBI is damage to parts of the brain that control executive functions which can produce deficits in reasoning, attention, awareness, conceptualization and behavior.
- Spinal cord injury: Spinal cord traumas can result from displacements or crushing in the spinal column or severing of the spinal cord. Severe injuries can lead to paralysis, loss of limb mobility, breathing issues, muscle weakness, and chronic pain.
- Burns: Victims can receive burns from flammable materials that ignite or explode in an accident. Severe burns may lead to years of skin grafts or other health-related surgeries and result in permanent disfigurement.
- Amputation: Loss of limbs is all too common in accidents that involve commercial vehicles. Amputations due to crushing or severing can cause intense emotional trauma and limit the ability to manage daily tasks.
When a fatigued truck driver seriously hurts you, you need a Utah lawyer who understands how your injuries will affect you and will work to get the compensation you deserve. If you have family members who count on you, your losses affect them too. Getting the care and support you need to move on with your life is critical.
What Types of Damages Can You Recover?
You have the right to seek compensation when a person’s negligence causes you to suffer injury or loss. Damages in a personal case fall into two primary categories: economic (monetary) and non-economic (non-monetary). These are damages and losses you can be compensated for:
- Wage loss (current and future)
- Medical expenses (current and future)
- Property loss
- Pain and suffering
Compensation for pain and suffering is critical in a personal injury damages case. You can experience both physical and emotional pain that has detrimental effects on your quality of life. These serious issues may qualify for compensation. An accident attorney makes a case for suffering and seeks a damage amount that reasonably accounts for what you’ve already lost and may continue to experience in the future.
Work With an Experienced Utah Truck Accident Attorney
Siegfried and Jensen is the Utah law firm you want to handle your fatigued truck driving claim. Insurance companies understand that severe injuries in truck accident cases likely mean they will be on the hook for significant damages. If there are multiple responsible parties, there is pushback as each party tries to shift blame to others. Truck accident crashes are complicated no matter the circumstances or who is involved, so you need skilled legal help to deal with the aftermath.
The reality is that far too many tired haulers travel on roads every day. We understand how high the stakes are when an injury derails your life. Let us evaluate the details and tell you right away if you have a case. If you hire us, you don’t pay anything out-of-pocket, and we only get paid if we win for you. Contact us for a free case review.