The legal team at our New Jersey Trucking Accident Law Firm called McEldrew Young Purtell Merritt, knows that tanker trucks, semi-trucks, 18-wheelers, and other types of commercial trucks can be seen driving on highways across America. Chances are, most passenger drivers have driven next to at least one of these hefty vehicles in their lifetime. And, they probably have all felt intimidated by their presence on the roadway.
In fact, many passenger drivers simply get out of the way or change lanes to get as far from these large trucks as possible. This may not be a bad strategy, because if an accident were to occur, a terrible and tragic collision may result. As our NJ Trucking Accident Law Firm attorneys may share with clients, trucker fatigue is one of the leading causes of truck crashes.
Why Trucker Fatigue is an Issue
Truckers are commonly under stress due to strict and even unrealistic driving demands. This may lead to a trucker being influenced into falsifying on federal-required log books regarding how many hours they are driving in a week period. Trucker fatigue is an issue for two reasons. One, because the trucking company is putting deadlines over safety first. And two, the trucker chooses to violate regulations due to these pressures. While the team at our NJ Law Firm for Trucking Accidents believes it is unfortunate that a trucker feels this lack of support from their employer, it doesn’t mean they are off the hook in the event of a serious accident due to lacking enough sleep.
The Risk to Passenger Car Drivers
Commercial trucks can weigh up to about 80,000 pounds when fully stocked. This means they are about twenty five times more heavy than your standard passenger vehicle. As you can imagine, if a crash were to occur between these two very different sized vehicles, the passenger car driver may not even survive. Those who were able to live through the impact, are likely to endure extremely painful injuries that could change their life forever. If this is you, then please reach out to our New Jersey Law Firm for Trucking Accidents immediately for help.
Examples of Federal Regulations
Depending on what destination they much reach, truckers may need to drive for thousands of miles within a very short period of time while hauling cargo. Additionally, they may receive incentives from their employer for making deliveries early. However, studies show that driving fatigued can negatively impact a person’s judgement, memory, motor control, and reaction time. Examples of federal regulations for commercial truck drivers can include:
- Truckers may drive no more than 11 hours in one sitting, after 10 hours of rest
- Truckers must take a significant break after 60 hours on duty in 7 days straight
- Truckers must take a significant break after 70+ hours on duty 8 days in a row
- Truckers who have met the maximum 70 hours of driving in 7 days may begin driving again, but only if they are off duty for 34 hours straight (at minimum two nights in a row including the hours of 1-5am)
Physical, Emotional, and Financial Injuries
The victim in a truck accident may face both physical and emotional injuries. It can be a traumatic experience to get into an accident with a commercial truck, especially if you and other passengers were seriously harmed. It isn’t unheard of for victims of truck accidents to require long-term therapy in order to deal with their newly developed fears and anxieties following the crash.
The physical injuries for a commercial truck accident can be terribly painful, and often include broken bones, lacerations, brain injuries, spinal cord damage, nerve damage, burns, whiplash, and much more. Tragically, not every person survives the impact from a semi truck. So if you are the loved one of someone who passed away in a truck accident, please notify our Law Firm for New Jersey Trucking Accidents for information about how you can seek retribution on behalf of your fallen family member.
Along with physical and emotional wounds, the victim of a truck accident may also endure deep financial hardship. It is expensive to pay for medical bills, costs to fix your vehicle, in addition to potentially losing wages if you had to miss work for treatment and recovery.
Determine Who is At-Fault
Before you pursue a lawsuit for the truck accident, it is vital that you are taking action against the right parties. For example, the truck driver could be the one who caused the accident if he or she was being careless. Or, the trucking company could be responsible if their loading crew hadn’t correctly secured the cargo. It is also possible that the trucking part manufacturer is partially at-fault if a mechanical malfunction caused the crash to happen. A lawyer at our NJ Trucking Accident Law Firm can recommend who you should sue for compensation of your damages and losses.
Preparing for a Consultation
When meeting with a member of our Trucking Accident Law Firm in NJ, please bring any documents and proof related to the semi truck accident. This can help us get a better picture of how the accident occurred and who could be at-fault. Important paperwork can be things like hospitalization records, receipts for vehicle repairs, copays for visiting your doctor, diagnostics, laboratory results, prescription medications, photographs of injuries and the accident, and witness contact information if you have it. The more details you can provide, the more thoroughly we can assess your situation and offer legal advice.
If you have been hurt in an accident due to one of these commercial trucks, then we advise meeting with our Trucking Accident Law Firm team in NJ from McEldrew Young Purtell Merritt as soon as possible.