Pittsburgh Fatigued Driving Truck Accident Lawyers
Aggressive Pittsburgh Personal Injury Lawyers Fight to Protect the Rights of Injured Victims of Accidents Caused by Fatigued Truck Drivers
Truck drivers are expected to operate their rigs with the attention, skill, and care that a large piece of equipment like a commercial truck deserves. In fact, there are laws and regulations in place to ensure that drivers are alert and attentive while behind the wheel. However, when a truck driver drives his or her truck while fatigued or tired, it can easily lead to a truck accident. A truck accident can leave victims with catastrophic, life-long injuries and disabilities.
Truck accidents can occur due to fatigue for a number of reasons. Truck drivers may be pressured by their employers to meet strict or unrealistic delivery schedules, or drivers may get stuck in heavy traffic or weather that delays them. In any event, drivers may decide to stay behind the wheel longer than they are allowed to by regulation; before they realize it, they can begin to experience the effects of fatigue.
At Goodrich & Geist, our attorneys bring over 50 years of combined experience to your case to help you hold the trucking companies accountable when you suffer injuries and damages from a truck accident caused by fatigue. Contact us today for a free initial case review to learn more about your rights and options and how we can help you pursue maximum compensation in your Pittsburgh truck accident case.
How Fatigued or Drowsy Driving Causes Truck Accidents in Pittsburgh
Commercial trucks are large, complicated vehicles that require a driver’s full attention and focus to safely operate. When a truck driver gets behind the wheel while fatigued, it creates a significant risk of an accident. Fatigued or drowsy driving can lead to a truck accident in one or more ways, including:
- Delayed or slowed reflexes — Fatigue slows down our reflexes, which can make it harder to properly react behind the wheel when a situation occurs on the road that requires immediate action from the driver, such as needing to quickly slow down or come to a stop.
- Impaired judgment and reasoning — Fatigue also impairs our judgment and reasoning; while an alert driver may be able to observe and analyze the situation on the road in a fraction of a second, it can take a fatigued driver longer to do so, meaning he or she may take longer to recognize an emergency situation developing. A fatigued driver may also misjudge the speeds of and distances to other vehicles, or may determine that certain maneuvers are safe when an alert driver would not judge them safe.
- Increased aggression — Fatigued drivers are more likely to drive aggressively, either because tiredness generally makes us more irritable, or because the driver realizes he or she is fatigued and is trying to more quickly get to his or her destination.
- Erratic driving — A fatigued driver will have difficult driving in a safe, consistent manner, and may end up doing things like weaving in and out of the lane of travel, gradually slowing down well below the speed limit only to then speed back up, or driving consistently well below the speed limit. These actions, particularly when done by a large truck, can lead to an accident with other vehicles.
- Lack of awareness — Finally, a fatigued driver may miss normal details that an alert, observant driver would easily notice, such as a vehicle in the side view mirror when the truck driver goes to change lanes, or the vehicle’s speed, or the fact that the truck driver is approaching his or her exit off the highway.
Goodrich & Geist, P.C. Strives to Obtain Maximum Compensation for Truck Accident Victims Injured by Fatigued Drivers
After you’ve been injured in a truck accident caused by a fatigued truck driver, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and damages, including for:
- Past and future medical expenses to treat your injuries
- Costs of long-term care if you are disabled as a result of your injuries
- Lost wages due to time missed from work during your recovery
- Lost earning capacity if you are disabled from your job or from all gainful employment
- Lost quality of life, such as due to disability or disfigurement
- Pain and suffering
Pursuing a truck accident claim can be a complex task. Let the experienced truck accident attorneys of Goodrich and Geist fight to get you the fair and full compensation you deserve in your case.
Contact Our Firm for an Initial Case Review to Discuss Your Pittsburgh Truck Accident Caused by Fatigue
Truck accident claims require careful review of many pieces of evidence unique to truck accident cases. Let an experienced Pittsburgh truck accident attorney handle your case and fight to get you the monetary compensation you need. Schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with Goodrich & Geist today to discuss your case with our legal team and to learn more about how we are prepared to fight to secure the financial recovery and justice you deserve following your accident.
Frequently Asked Questions about Truck Accidents Due to Fatigue in Pittsburgh, PA
Investigating truck accidents, including those caused by truck driver fatigue, requires examining multiple pieces of evidence unique to truck accident claims. One critical piece of evidence in truck accident claims is the truck driver’s logs, which show how long the driver has been behind the wheel. Drivers are limited by law in the number of hours they can spend behind the wheel; if a driver exceeds these legal limits, it is strong evidence that the driver may have been fatigued at the time of the accident. You may also be able to point to other signs of fatigue, such as the truck driver’s inability to stay in his or her lane or drive at a steady speed.
The truck driver is certainly liable if he or she operates a truck while drowsy or fatigues. When the truck driver is employed by the trucking company, the trucking company can be held vicariously liable for the truck driver’s negligence or recklessness as well. The trucking company may also be held directly liable for its own negligence or recklessness if it permitted the driver to operate his or her truck while fatigued, or ordered or pressured the driver to drive while fatigued in order to meet delivery deadlines.