According to the Maryland Motor Truck Association, commercial trucks transport approximately 93% of all the goods and commodities required/used in the state. With the trucks having to move such volumes on time, it is easy for the truck drivers to get fatigued, putting everyone on the road at risk. Truck drivers almost always have to clock dozens of hours per day to meet the ever-growing demand. If you, or a friend, were involved in an accident where the truck driver was at fault, you could seek compensation for the damages. All you need to do is contact a truck driver fatigue accident lawyer in Maryland to help file the claim. We at Pinder Plotkin have a team of highly qualified and experienced truck accident lawyers to help build the case, as well as ensure you are compensated handsomely.
The Relationship Between Driver Fatigue and Accidents
Most truck drivers have to drive for long hours during the day, and sometimes at night to deliver the goods. Staying behind the week for extended periods causes physical and mental exhaustion. The driver will in most instances hardly get any sleep making the condition even worse. It’s easy for a driver to fall asleep while behind which again increases the risk of an accident. Studies conducted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration show that at least 13% of all commercial truck accidents are as a result of driver fatigue.
Do Federal Regulations Apply to Truck Drivers?
The short answer is yes. The law allows commercial drivers up to 11 hours behind the wheel, after which they should grab plenty of rest. According to federal regulations, every commercial truck driver should drive as many as 77 hours in a week. While the law is clear on this, many truck drivers are forced to drive for longer hours (than stipulated) to meet their deadlines. This is according to a survey conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
The federal law was however revised in 2013 whereby a trucker’s workweek was reduced to 70 hours per week. The trucker can only drive for a maximum of 11 straight hours, after which he/she should get a 10-hour rest shift.
How Does Negligence Law Apply in Truck Accident Cases in Maryland?
Negligence is defined as a failure to take proper care causing harm to someone else. A commercial truck accident is classified under Maryland’s contributory negligence doctrine and personal injury but only if the accident was because of driver fatigue.
The doctrine dictates that parties cannot claim damages if they were to blame for the accident. Contributory negligence comes in full force at the hint of the slightest mistake on your side. A good truck driver fatigue accident lawyer in Maryland should be able to explain this in detail, and where the law draws the line regarding negligence.
How Can One Prove Negligence?
There are 5 elements of negligence. Each of these elements has to be proven for your claim to stand. These are:
Duty of care: Truck drivers are required (by law) to be watchful and drive with caution in public places and around other people to avoid property damage and/or injuries.
Breach: Omission and driving while fatigued qualify as a breach.
Causation: If the accident was due to driver fatigue.
Damages: If the accident leads to financial loss.
Proximate cause: A foreseeable accident occurred.
Economic and noneconomic damages allowed by the law include:
- Therapeutic treatment and medical care expenses
- Loss of income (present and future)
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Punitive damages
- Loss of consortium
Our lawyers will look into details and facts about the accident to determine if there’s sufficient evidence to make the case.
Advantages of Working with A Maryland Truck Driver Fatigue Accident Lawyer
Proving a truck driver was at fault can be quite a challenge for many. A good attorney can, however, collect all the evidence and proof needed to make your case. Our lawyers will go the extra mile to collect electronic logs and talk to witnesses, as well as ensure the subpoena is written on time. Contact us today for a free consultation.