When tragedies like an accident involving a commercial truck happen, you want answers. While there is a long list of reasons truck accidents occur, one common cause is driver fatigue.
Truck drivers may not realize they are too tired to drive until it’s too late. As the victim of a truck accident, you may want to seek compensation for your suffering. That’s where a Virginia truck accident attorney comes in.
You might know the driver was driving without sleep at the time of the accident, but how do you prove it?
What Is Driver Fatigue?
If you want to prove driver fatigue was the cause of your accident, you need to understand what it is.
Truck drivers drive long hours and may go without sleep to reach their destination sooner. Some employers provide incentives for drivers to deliver their cargo more quickly, which leads to drivers ignoring the federal regulations that prevent truck driver fatigue.
The hours of service regulations mandate that truck drivers take periods of rest between certain stretches. For example, they can only drive a maximum of eleven hours after ten hours off. They must also take at least one 30-minute break for every eight hours they drive consecutively.
Despite these rules, drivers will set out on the road thinking they can push through their exhaustion. Unfortunately, this isn’t always true. Driver fatigue makes it more difficult to pay attention to the road, stay alert, and maintain quick reflexes.
In severe instances, driver fatigue can have similar effects to intoxication. A driver may experience blurred vision, reduced motor skills, and even loss of consciousness. If you think the truck driver in your accident exhibited these symptoms, you can file a truck accident lawsuit.
How to Prove Driver Fatigue in a Virginia Truck Accident Claim
Speculation isn’t enough to prove that the truck driver in your accident was fatigued. You will require proof. A Virginia truck accident attorney can help you collect evidence.
Drivers must keep a logbook of their hours on the road. This should document their breaks in detail as well. You can use this in the event the driver didn’t take their regulated hours of rest before the accident. The logbook isn’t always enough, however. Drivers can lie in their log books, so you want to compare those documents with other pieces of evidence.
Another indication of where the truck driver was will be their receipts. Gaining access to their gas, toll, or meal receipts could prove they did not take the required rest periods.
Cabin Monitoring System
Many commercial trucks now come with cabin monitoring systems, which track drivers’ activity. These records show how long the driver was driving without rest before your accident. This tool is more objective than the logbook, which relies on the driver’s honesty.
Finally, your attorney can bring in an expert witness. Expert witnesses are qualified individuals who can testify to information based on their expertise. For example, you could call on a doctor to testify to the effects of driver fatigue.
Prove Driver Fatigue in Your Virginia Truck Accident with Experienced Attorneys on Your Side
Don’t take on the burden of finding this proof alone. Attorneys have the experience and connections you need to help you seek proof that the truck driver was fatigued at the time of your accident.
In addition to collecting evidence, a Virginia truck accident attorney will help you negotiate with insurance companies, find witnesses, and represent you in a trial. To start seeking truck accident compensation, contact Geoff McDonald & Associates, P.C.
Call 804-944-8439 now to schedule a free consultation.