In March 2015, on a highway near Orondo, Washington, a truck driver veered into oncoming traffic, struck a school bus filled with children, and hit another vehicle head-on, killing that vehicle’s driver. A Washington State trooper reported that the driver appeared to be falling asleep just before the crash. Of the fifty-six people taken to a hospital for treatment, seven, including the truck driver and his passenger, were reported to have been badly hurt. A photograph of the scene showed clear skies and a clear road, suggesting that weather was not a factor.

When a trucker causes a traffic accident by driving while fatigued or otherwise driving in a negligent manner, the driver and the driver’s employer may be found liable for accident victims’ resultant injuries or deaths. If you have been injured or one of your family members has been killed in a truck accident of any kind, The Trucking Injury Firm’s respected team of trucking-injury attorneys can help you obtain the compensation to which you and your family are entitled.

Who Can Be Held Responsible for Truck Accident Injuries and Deaths Caused by Driver Fatigue?

sleeping semi truck driverTruck-driver fatigue is a serious problem that endangers the safety of everyone with whom truck drivers share our nation’s highways. This form of negligent truck driving is so prevalent that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has enacted Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR) specifically intended to prevent accidents caused by fatigued operators of commercial motor vehicles (CMV). These Hours of Service (HOS) regulations limit the length of time most drivers of CMV may work and drive, prescribe mandatory rest periods, and prohibit trucking companies from requiring or allowing drivers to exceed specified driving times, among other things.

The violation of an HOS regulation may be found to constitute negligence per se on the part of a truck driver and result in the direct liability of the driver and the indirect liability of the driver’s employer for accident injuries and deaths determined to have been caused by the violation. A trucking company that employs or dispatches a truck driver may also be found directly liable for accident injuries and deaths found to have been caused by the company’s own HOS violation. This may occur, for example, if a company requires a driver to travel a certain distance in too short a time to allow for required HOS rest periods. In addition, a driver who is found to have been in compliance with HOS regulations but who was, nevertheless, driving while fatigued may be found liable for accident victims’ resultant injuries and deaths.

Obtain Legal Assistance from The Trucking Injury Firm

The Trucking Injury Firm’s national trucking-accident lawyers have been recognized around the country for their aggressive pursuit of justice on behalf of those who have been injured or killed in preventable truck accidents. Contact The Trucking Injury Firm’s team of truck-injury lawyers for experienced and dedicated assistance with your case.