New Mexico Fatigued Truck Driver Accident Lawyer

Fatigued truck driver driving his truck down a dark road

Truck driver fatigue is one of the leading causes of truck accidents in the United States. Truck driver fatigue can result from failure to take required breaks, physical or mental exertion, prescription medication use, intoxication, and other types of negligence. When truck drivers are fatigued, they may not be able to react to danger in time to prevent an accident.

If you or your loved one have been a victim of a fatigued driving accident, it’s crucial that you understand your legal rights and options. You may be entitled to compensation for your medical expenses, lost income, property damage, and more through an insurance settlement or a personal injury lawsuit. Contact the skilled New Mexico truck accident attorneys at Hunt Law to schedule a complimentary initial consultation.

The Dangers of Fatigued Truck Driving

Fatigued truck driving can be as dangerous as driving while intoxicated by drugs or alcohol. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported that as many as 6,000 deaths are caused yearly by drowsy driving. According to the CDC, truck drivers are more likely to drive while fatigued or drowsy than other drivers. Any truck accident significantly threatens a victim’s life, property, and future. 

Large commercial trucks can weigh up to 80,000 pounds. Even trucks classified as light may weigh up to 10,000 pounds, twice the weight of a passenger vehicle. When a truck collides with another vehicle, the accident can cause a traffic pile-up, resulting in many people becoming seriously injured. Additionally, the debris from truck accidents can cause more accidents.

How Fatigue Impacts Truck Driving 

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)’s Large Truck Crash Causation Study estimates that truck driver fatigue may contribute to as many as 40 percent of all heavy truck crashes. Fatigue impacts a driver’s ability to drive a truck safely in many different ways. For example, when truck drivers are fatigued, they may not be able to perform well because they have decreased vision and reaction time. 

The driver’s judgment and coordination can also be impaired. When a truck driver falls asleep while behind the wheel, he or she may veer into oncoming highway traffic, causing a devastating head-on collision. In other cases, a driver may forget to check his or her blind spots before changing lanes and cause a side-swipe collision.

Federal Regulations to Prevent Truck Driver Fatigue

The dangers of fatigued truck driving are so significant that the federal government has imposed regulations on how long a driver can be behind the wheel at one time. Federal hours of service rules aim to prevent tired drivers from staying on the road and causing preventable collisions. According to the hour of service rules, truck drivers cannot drive more than 70 hours in an average work week. 

Once the truck driver has reached the limit, he or she cannot drive for 34 consecutive hours. Drivers must also take a 30-minute break within the first 8 hours of a shift. Unfortunately, many truck drivers ignore these regulations and drive while fatigued, putting everyone else on the road at risk. 

Proving an Accident Was Caused by Driver Drowsiness

As the victim of a truck accident, you may be entitled to compensation by pursuing a personal injury lawsuit. In a personal injury lawsuit, the plaintiff pursues compensation from the party or parties whose negligence or recklessness caused the accident that resulted in their injuries. Depending on the facts in your case, more than one party may be liable to pay you compensation for your injuries. Suppose a truck driver refused to take a 30-minute break within the first 8 hours of his or her shift. Because of his fatigue, he veered into your lane and caused an accident that injured you severely. 

In this case, you would have the right to pursue a lawsuit against the truck driver. You may also have a right to pursue a lawsuit against the truck driver’s employer if you can prove that the employer’s negligence contributed to the accident. Trucking companies may push their drivers to skip breaks for sleep and rest so they can complete more jobs quickly. If you can prove that the trucking company had a policy of encouraging drivers to violate hours of service rules, you may be able to recover compensation from them.

Steps to Take if You’ve Been Injured in a Truck Accident

The first step you should take after being injured is to call 911 and request an ambulance. Ensure you tell the paramedic and the doctors who treat you at the hospital all your symptoms. Keep all your medical records and follow up on your appointments. 

Doing so will help you recover and will help you prove that you have suffered significant damage from your injury. After you’ve received medical treatment, it’s important to discuss your case with an experienced attorney. An attorney can begin gathering the following types of evidence proving that the driver was fatigued at the time of the accident:

  • Truck driver logbooks
  • On-board GPS
  • Cellphone data
  • Receipts
  • Stamped pick-up and drop-off times
  • The truck’s black box 

Comparing driver log books with the truck GPS can show whether the logbook is accurate. Reviewing the driver’s receipts can show whether the driver stopped for food, gas, and other supplies. 

Compensation Available in Drowsy Truck Driving Accidents

Due to the heavy weight and massive size of commercial trucks, victims of truck accidents can suffer devastating injuries. Through a personal injury lawsuit, you can pursue compensation for your past and future medical expenses, lost income, and loss of future earning capacity if you are no longer able to work due to your injuries. 

You can also pursue non-economic damages for your pain and suffering. The attorneys at Hunt Law will carefully review your medical record and work with financial experts to determine the full extent of your damages so we can begin pursuing the full and fair compensation you need and deserve.

Reach Out to a Skilled New Mexico Truck Accident Attorney

The New Mexico truck accident attorneys at Hunt Law have a proven track record of successfully obtaining compensation for clients who suffered severe injuries in fatigued truck driver accidents. Contact Hunt Law to schedule a complimentary, no-obligation case evaluation.