Virginia Truck Driver Fatigue Accident Lawyers
Did you get hurt in a truck accident involving a fatigued driver? If so, contact the Virginia truck accident attorneys at CHASENBOSCOLO right now, and we’ll get started on your case. Having an experienced, dedicated attorney on your side can give you the best chance of recovering the full compensation you deserve.
Many truck drivers face daily pressure from their employers to deliver cargo on time, pushing them to drive long hours on the road and potentially get little sleep. Anyone who gets behind the wheel while fatigued may struggle to operate their vehicle safely. Truck drivers have an enormous responsibility to safely maneuver their commercial trucks through traffic to prevent others from being injured. If a truck driver chooses to drive despite feeling fatigued, they could be held liable if they cause anyone harm.
At CHASENBOSCOLO, we understand the traumatic aftermath of a truck accident. Large vehicles like a tractor-trailer can wreak havoc on the roadways. When one of them collides with a small car, it’s usually the smaller vehicle occupants that end up with serious injuries.
Our Virginia truck driver fatigue accident lawyers are ready to discuss your case and determine your available legal options. Call us for a free consultation today at (703) 538-1138.
Regulations for Preventing Truck Driver Fatigue Accidents
Federal regulations are in place to help ensure every motorists’ safety and to prevent truck drivers and their employers from making any errors that can lead to a crash. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration sets many of these regulations, including the hours of service regulations. These regulations prohibit drivers from exceeding a certain time limit during a single driving shift and require breaks and sleep at specific intervals.
The hours of service regulations are:
- Maximum of eleven hours driving after ten off-duty hours
- Maximum of fourteen hours on duty after a ten-hour period off duty
- Thirty-minute break after driving for eight cumulative hours where there wasn’t at least one 30-minute break
- 60-hour limit on duty in seven consecutive days and 70-hour limits in eight consecutive days
- Splitting the ten-hour off-duty period can be done as long as it includes at least one two-hour break and another minimum of seven-hours off-duty in the sleeper berth
Violating these regulations comes with strict repercussions, including expensive fines. If a truck driver was fatigued and didn’t follow the hours of service regulations, they could face financial responsibility for the accident victim’s expenses and losses. You have a right to hold them accountable for the injuries they caused. Their careless actions resulted in your pain and suffering, expensive medical bills, time away from work, and inability to care for your family. They should be liable for the consequences of their actions.
Fatigue Affects a Person’s Ability to Drive Safely
Many people have driven despite feeling fatigued, even though it’s dangerous to do so. Whether from lack of sleep or working long hours, individuals from all walks of life get behind the wheel with the reduced functional capacity to operate their vehicle. Fatigued truck drivers are especially dangerous because they drive 80,000-pound trucks that can cause devastating damage if they crash into a passenger vehicle.
Commercial trucks are not only large and heavy but also carry consumer goods and sometimes toxic substances. When there’s an accident involving a truck and another vehicle, the chemicals could spill out and start a fire or cause an explosion. It’s a serious hazard that puts everyone nearby at risk of severe injury and fatality.
Various sleep organizations have noted that lack of sleep can have effects on the body similar to that of alcohol. Someone who decides to drive feeling fatigued can experience the same symptoms as someone driving under the influence. Some of these symptoms include:
- Trouble paying attention to the road
- Slower reaction time
- Inability to understand or follow traffic signs and signals
- Reduced motor skills
- Blurry vision
- Decreased muscle coordination
- Loss of consciousness
Feeling tired is typically accompanied by other dangerous behaviors that can lead to a truck accident. That’s because the driver cannot focus on the task at hand and control how they operate their vehicle. Truck drivers who exhibit any of the actions below while driving a truck fatigued could cause injuries to other drivers, passengers, and pedestrians:
- Run a red light or stop sign
- Drift into another lane or across the centerline
- Fail to yield the right of way
- Fail to check blind spots
- Improper lane change or merging
CHASENBOSCOLO is familiar with all the causes of driver fatigue accidents and how to help our clients pursue the maximum compensation available. You should not have to suffer through this traumatic experience alone. Seeking legal representation is one of the best steps you can take. We will fight for your rights and seek the justice you deserve.
Virginia Truck Insurance Laws
Virginia recognizes the fault system when determining financial liability after an accident. Motorists have a legal requirement to carry auto insurance with minimum liability limits. These limits can cover the injured party’s medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses after an accident caused by the insured driver.
Truck drivers must carry much higher liability limits than the average passenger car owner. That’s because commercial trucks can cause more significant property damage and life-threatening injuries than a small vehicle. Accident victims typically end up with injuries that require months or years of medical treatment and rack up expensive bills that they can’t afford.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regulates liability insurance for trucking companies and their drivers throughout the country. They must purchase the following coverage:
- $300,000 – Trucks weighing under 10,001 pounds and carrying non-hazardous cargo
- $750,000 – Trucks weighing over 10,000 pounds and carrying non-hazardous cargo
- $1 million – Trucks transporting oil and hazardous materials
- $5 million – Trucks transporting other hazardous freight
These limits can be used to cover your past and future losses. These can include physical, emotional, and financial losses. Some examples are:
- Medical bills
- Pain and suffering
- Disfigurement or deformity
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Out of pocket expenses
- Vehicle repair or replacement costs
- Mental anguish
You could file a claim with the truck driver’s liability insurance company to recover the losses above. The insurance company should fairly compensate you for your financial, emotional, and financial losses.
Unfortunately, insurance companies are never on the claimant’s side. Their goal is to save money and find a reason to deny your claim or provide a lowball offer that you’ll accept. At CHASENBOSCOLO, we use aggressive tactics when negotiating for insurance settlements. We won’t allow anyone to take advantage of you during the legal process or pressure you to accept compensation that is much lower than you need and deserve.
Seeking Compensation From Civil Lawsuit
Filing a lawsuit is a favorable option if the insurance company denies your claim or refuses to negotiate a fair settlement. Our Virginia truck driver fatigue accident lawyers understand the complexities that come with handling this type of case. When you hire us, we’ll take on each task of the legal process while you focus on your recovery.
There is a strict deadline you must comply with if you want to sue the truck driver for compensation. This is known as a statute of limitations. The statute of limitations in Virginia is two years. You have two years from the truck accident date to file suit. If the deadline passes before you initiate legal action, you could lose your right to compensation for this matter.
Two years might seem like plenty of time, but it can go by quickly, especially if you’re pursuing an insurance claim first. Some claims take over a year to resolve. If you’re waiting for the insurance company to negotiate a settlement and the two-year statute ends up passing, you could end up with no money if they decide to deny your claim. You will lose the opportunity to take your case to court and fight for the money they owe you.
CHASENBOSCOLO will begin working on your case immediately after you retain our services. If we decide to file an injury claim first, we will ensure we allow enough time to file a lawsuit if necessary. We will work carefully to obtain all the relevant evidence we need to prove that fatigue was why the truck driver caused the accident and you sustained injuries as a result.
Our Virginia truck driver fatigue accident lawyers have been representing accident victims since 1986. We have been able to recover more than $750 million in insurance settlements and jury verdicts. When clients come to us, they know to expect dependable customer service, aggressive legal representation, and results that meet their interests.
CHASENBOSCOLO understands the impact a truck accident can have on your life. You might not be able to work right now due to your injuries and worry about the financial cost of your medical treatment. We know no amount of money can change what happened, but we hope it can provide some relief while you’re recovering and moving forward with your life.
If you sustained injuries in an accident because of a fatigued truck driver, call us immediately at (703) 538-1138 for a free consultation.