The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has reported that drowsy driving causes more than 100,000 vehicle accidents annually, with more than 1,500 fatalities, 71,000 injuries, and $12.5 billion in monetary losses. Given the bulk and momentum of semi-trucks, the magnitude of economic losses can be significantly larger when an accident is caused by truck driver fatigue.
Our truck accident attorneys at Hobbs Law Group understand the challenges truck drivers face in meeting tight deadlines set by contractors and employers. We also understand how those deadlines can force an operator to continue driving despite fatigue. We use our knowledge of the trucking industry to place liability for accidents on the responsible parties and to recover the largest available damages from those parties.
Is a Trucking Company Liable for Accidents Caused by Truck Driver Fatigue?
When a fatigued truck driver is a direct employee of a trucking company, the company may be liable if the operator is engaged in their regular job duties. Many employers try to avoid this liability by arguing, for example, that the driver was attending to personal business or was fatigued because they were operating outside of regular business hours. However, knowledgeable truck accident lawyers will analyze the facts of the accident to defeat these and other arguments.
Is a Trucking Company Liable if a Fatigued Driver Was a Contractor?
Even if a driver is an independent contractor, the company that engaged their services may be directly liable for damages and injuries. For example:
- The contracting company may be responsible for engaging an independent contractor with a history of accidents caused by fatigue.
- Even as a contracting entity rather than an employer, the company must properly supervise the driver by directing them to not drive past the proscribed limits. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration establishes these.
- The company may also be negligent for retaining the services of a contract driver after the driver has had one or more fatigue-related accidents
Experienced semi-truck accident lawyers will closely examine the relationship between the driver and the contracting company, the driver’s accident records, and the company’s responses to this information.
Is a Fatigued Driver Also Liable for a Truck Accident?
If a fatigued driver’s negligence resulted in an accident that caused injuries, the driver and their insurance would be liable for damages. A lawyer will typically seek compensation from the driver’s insurance coverage to reimburse an accident victim’s injuries and losses. However, expenses associated with serious injuries can quickly exceed the limits of a truck operator’s personal insurance.
Federal law requires trucking companies to carry insurance with substantially higher liability limits. Because of this, a lawyer will generally seek damages from both the driver, the trucking company, and all other parties that pushed the operator to drive despite fatigue and exhaustion.
Contact Us at Hobbs Law Group if You Suffered Injuries in a Truck Accident That Driver Fatigue Caused
Fatigued truck drivers pose extra hazards to all drivers on the busy roads and highways of Los Angeles. If this caused an accident that left you with serious injuries, please see our website or call us at the Hobbs Law Group for a confidential assessment of your opportunity to recover compensation for your losses.
We represent injured truck accident victims in Los Angeles and throughout Southern California. We will use our extensive knowledge of the trucking industry to fight for the full measure of damages you deserve.