Accidents Caused by Truck Driver Fatigue in Albuquerque
Truck driver fatigue can be one of several factors behind a devastating truck crash. The Albuquerque truck crash attorneys at Parnall Law Firm, LLC represent individuals who have suffered injuries in a truck wreck. Our lawyers understand the complex nature of truck accident cases. They will conduct a thorough review of your case to see if truck driver fatigue, or other factors involving the driver or trucking company, caused the accident and your injuries. Call us today to discuss your case.
Truck Driver Fatigue in Albuquerque
Truck driver fatigue is the cause, or a contributing cause, of many truck accidents on our roads. In one 2007 study by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), driver fatigue was reported as a factor in as many as 13 percent of crashes that involved a truck. Truck drivers were less alert at night, particularly after midnight, when many choose to drive to avoid congested roads. The likelihood of a crash for a fatigued driver is compounded if factors such as speed or drug or alcohol use are involved.
A fatigued truck driver lacks the alertness to respond quickly and safely to avoid crashes. The FMCSA recognized the danger of overtired truck drivers and changed the hours-of-service (HOS) regulations in 2013 to help combat the problem. The regulations include a maximum average work week of 70 hours, and only permit a driver to continue work after 34 consecutive hours of rest that include two nights of rest between 1 am and 5 am. The change in the regulations, however, does not guarantee a reduction of accidents caused by truck driver fatigue, especially when truck drivers are pressured by truck driving companies to make or beat deadlines.
Accountability for Albuquerque Accidents Caused by Truck Driver Fatigue
While several regulations are aimed at curbing incidents of truck driver fatigue, truck drivers and trucking companies may disregard the law to meet their bottom line. Truck driver fatigue can arise from violations of the HOS regulations, or from negligent conduct. A truck accident victim can hold a fatigued truck driver liable under a theory of negligence if they can show the driver owed a duty of care to the victim (usually a duty to drive safely), breached that duty, and thereby caused the victim’s injuries.
A trucking company may also be held accountable for the actions of a fatigued driver. Under the law, trucking companies must monitor their drivers by requiring them to keep logbooks of their HOS for each 24-hour period. They must also test drivers for use of alcohol and controlled substances, and ensure their drivers have the proper licensing. A trucking company that fails to monitor their driver’s hours or otherwise disregards signs of fatigue or impairment may be held liable if their negligence results in a crash.
Holding a trucking company accountable for injuries, however, can be difficult. A trucking company may fail to adequately preserve evidence of an accident in order to avoid liability. New Mexico recognizes a cause of action called spoliation, which is the intentional destruction or alteration of relevant evidence in a pending or future litigation in an attempt to hamper a victim’s right to recovery. A victim may file a separate spoliation claim against the trucking company if evidence was intentionally destroyed or altered in their case.
Truck driver fatigue may be only one of several factors that cause an accident. An in-depth and prompt investigation of the accident can help preserve critical evidence to hold the appropriate parties accountable for a victim’s injuries.
Seeking Justice for Your Injuries
You may be able to recover damages if you were hurt in a truck accident. By filing a personal injury claim against the responsible parties, you may be able to recover compensation for your past and future medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. If your relative was fatally injured in a truck accident, you may file a wrongful death suit against the driver or trucking company responsible for the crash.
Contact an Albuquerque Truck Accident Lawyer Today for Help!
The Albuquerque truck accident lawyers at Parnall Law Firm, LLC understand the complexities of the various laws that govern the trucking industry and are ready to help you. Our attorneys will act quickly to preserve evidence in your case and protect your rights. Our seasoned trial lawyers can effectively negotiate settlements and advocate for you in the courtroom. To speak with a Parnall Law Firm, LLC attorney about your truck accident case, call us at 505-268-6500 or complete our online form today.