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Can I Sue if I Was Hit By a Truck Driver with Driver Fatigue?

 Posted on May 09,2024 in Truck accidents

New Braunfels, TX truck driver accident lawyerIn 2023, Texas suffered the highest number of truck accidents in the United States with over 12,540 collisions involving semi-trucks, commercial trucks, tractor-trailers, and similarly large vehicles. At least 8,710 people were injured in truck accidents and over 560 people reportedly died from truck collisions in 2023 alone.

The most common cause of such accidents is driver fatigue. If you have been injured in a truck collision due to driver fatigue, you may be entitled to compensation. This article will discuss truck driver fatigue and whether you are entitled to claim damages.

Make sure to consult with a Texas personal injury attorney about your specific case to know whether you are entitled to a claim.

What is Driver Fatigue?

Driver fatigue refers to tiredness a driver experiences that can affect his or her performance at the wheel. A truck driver’s ability to drive can be compromised by not following responsible trucking practices. For example, driver fatigue can be caused by:

  • Spending too many hours on the road

  • Failing to take enough rest breaks

  • Taking on too many jobs in a given period

  • Being subjected to strained delivery schedules

Any of the above can impair a truck driver’s response time, judgment, and processing ability. 

Can I Sue Over Driver Fatigue?

If you have been injured in a truck accident due to driver fatigue, you may be able to claim damages. This is because trucking companies and drivers must comply with regulations by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). These rules are designed to reduce driver fatigue and keep the roads safer. 

For example, the FMCSA requires a truck driver to stop operating the vehicle after driving for 11 consecutive hours. Truck drivers also have 14-hour work “windows,” which means they cannot drive after 14 hours of work, including breaks and job-related tasks.

If your attorney can show that the truck driver who collided with you disregarded these regulations, you may be able to prove that the driver was negligent.

How Much Money Can I Claim?

Proving that the driver was negligent, however, does not necessarily mean you are entitled to compensation. Texas law has a comparative negligence system, which means that the amount of damages you can claim is dependent on how negligent you were as well.

So, in addition to proving the other driver’s negligence, you also need to prove that you were not negligent. Under Texas law:

  • If a court determines that you are responsible for 51% of the negligence that caused the accident, you will not be entitled to a claim.

  • If you were 50% negligent or less, then you can bring the claim. However, the amount of compensation you are entitled to will be reduced by the percentage of your negligence. If, for example, you were found to be 25% negligent, you may be entitled to 25% less compensation.

Consult a New Braunfels, TX Truck Accident Attorney

To properly file a claim for injuries sustained from a truck accident involving driver fatigue, you need to not only prove driver fatigue but also prove that you were not as negligent. Consult an experienced Seguin, Texas truck collision lawyer who can help you build a strong case. 

James Bettersworth is a truck accident attorney with over 25 years of experience in complex commercial vehicle collisions and has recovered millions of dollars for clients. Contact The Bettersworth Law Firm for a compassionate lawyer who is aggressive in getting you the best result possible. Call 830-606-0404 for a free consultation today.

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