The Dangers of Drowsy Truck Driving in Reno
For truck drivers, drowsy driving can have devastating consequences in Reno. According to the Federal Highway Administration, Nevada had 1,094 vehicle accidents which resulted in serious injuries during 2021. Drowsy truck drivers are responsible for over 10% of all large truck crashes. If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident with a fatigued semi-truck operator, you may be entitled to compensation.
Driving a commercial vehicle requires an enormous amount of concentration and alertness. However, truck drivers often face schedules that require them to drive for 11 hours at a time and get little sleep – a dangerous combination. The large size and weight of trucks also means that drowsy driving accidents frequently lead to severe injuries or even death.
Some signs that a truck driver may have been drowsy or asleep at the wheel include:
- Drifting out of their lane or off the road
- Delayed braking or swerving
- Failure to notice traffic signs or signals
- Head nodding or eyes closing.
If you suspect that drowsy driving was a factor in your Reno truck accident, contact a personal injury attorney immediately. They can conduct a thorough investigation to determine liability, including obtaining the driver’s logs, work schedules, witness statements and expert evaluations. You deserve compensation for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages. Do not delay; statutes of limitations apply.
With the help of a knowledgeable lawyer, you can hold negligent trucking companies and drivers accountable for the harm they have caused. Your legal team will fight to get you the maximum settlement so you can recover from your injuries. Drowsy driving is preventable, and together we can work to improve road safety for all.
Common Causes of Fatigue in Commercial Truck Drivers
Commercial truck drivers face many challenges that can contribute to fatigue and drowsiness while operating a vehicle. According to the National Sleep Foundation 6,400 people have died per year as a result of accidents caused by fatigued or drowsy drivers.
Some of the most common causes of fatigue in truck drivers include:
- Irregular work schedules and long hours: Truck drivers often work early mornings, nights, weekends, and holidays to meet delivery schedules. Working longer than the allowed 11 hours of driving time in a 14-hour period can lead to drowsiness and impaired driving.
- Inadequate rest: Not getting enough restorative sleep between shifts can accumulate sleep debt and make it difficult to stay awake. Most adults need 7-9 hours of sleep per night to feel well-rested.
- Sleep disorders: Conditions like sleep apnea, insomnia, and restless leg syndrome can disrupt sleep and cause excessive daytime sleepiness.
- Poor diet: Eating large, heavy meals, excess sugar, and caffeine can spike and crash your energy levels, making it hard to stay alert.
- Lack of physical activity: Driving for long periods in a confined space can cause fatigue. Make an effort to walk, stretch or exercise when possible to increase alertness and circulation.
By understanding and addressing the root causes of drowsiness, truck drivers and trucking companies can take steps to prevent fatigue-related accidents. Maintaining a consistent sleep schedule, eating healthy, staying active, and screening for any underlying sleep disorders are some of the best ways for commercial truck drivers to avoid drowsy driving and stay safe on the road.
Liability in Reno Truck Accidents Involving Drowsy Driving
If you were injured in a truck accident caused by a drowsy or fatigued driver in Reno, you may be entitled to compensation. Under Nevada law, trucking companies and their drivers can be held liable for damages in drowsy driving accidents.
Truck drivers have a legal duty to operate their vehicles safely. Driving while extremely tired or falling asleep at the wheel constitutes negligence. The trucking company may also be negligent if they failed to properly screen, hire, train or supervise the driver.
Trucking companies must comply with federal regulations that limit driver hours of service to prevent drowsy driving. Exceeding these limits or pressuring drivers to do so makes the company liable in any resulting accidents. They can also be liable under the legal doctrine of vicarious liability, where employers are responsible for the negligent acts of employees during the course of their duties.
In some cases, another driver or entity may share fault for the accident. For example, if another motorist crashed into the truck, causing the driver to lose control, some percentage of liability may lie with the other driver. The trucking company’s insurance provider will likely argue for shared fault, to reduce the amount of compensation. An experienced truck accident attorney can help prove the truck driver’s negligence was the primary cause of the crash.
If the trucking company and/or driver are found liable, you may recover damages for:
- Medical bills, both current and future
- Lost wages and loss of earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Property damage
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Wrongful death (in the event of a fatality).
To have the best chance of obtaining full compensation in a Reno truck accident claim involving drowsy driving, it is advisable to speak to a knowledgeable attorney regarding your legal options. They can handle communications with insurance companies, investigate the crash to determine fault, and take the case to court if a fair settlement cannot be reached.
Seeking Compensation for Injuries From a Drowsy Truck Driver Crash
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident caused by a drowsy truck driver in Reno, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses. To pursue a personal injury claim, it is in your best interests to contact an experienced truck accident attorney as soon as possible.
An attorney will first conduct a thorough investigation into the crash by collecting police reports, photographs, witness statements, and footage from traffic cameras or dashcams. They will analyze details like how long the truck driver had been on the road, whether they were adhering to hours-of-service regulations, whether any signs of drowsiness were reported before the collision, and whether the trucking company properly screened the driver.
File a Lawsuit
With evidence in hand, a lawyer can determine who is liable for your injuries and file a lawsuit against the appropriate parties, such as the drowsy driver, trucking company, vehicle manufacturer, or another third party. Lawsuits must be filed before the statute of limitations expires in Nevada, which is 2 years for personal injury claims.
If the lawsuit is successful, you may recover compensation for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, property damage, and other accident-related expenses. An attorney will negotiate with insurance companies to reach a fair settlement or take the case to court if needed. Compensation may include:
- Medical costs: Hospital bills, rehabilitation, medication, etc.
- Lost income: Wages lost due to missed work during recovery and treatment
- Pain and suffering: Physical pain, emotional anguish, loss of enjoyment of life
- Property loss: Costs to repair or replace your vehicle and other belongings
- Punitive damages: Additional damages to punish the defendant for reckless behavior.
By hiring a reputable personal injury law firm in Reno with experience handling drowsy driving truck accident cases, you can pursue the maximum compensation you deserve after such a traumatic event. Their legal guidance and advocacy will help you recover physically, emotionally, and financially from your injuries.
FAQs: Drowsy Driving Truck Accident Claims in Reno
What compensation can I recover in a drowsy driving truck accident claim?
If you were injured in a collision caused by a fatigued truck driver in Reno, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses. This can include medical expenses, pain and suffering as a result of the accident, loss of consortium, and possibly punitive damages due to the negligence of the trucking company.
How long do I have to file a drowsy driving truck accident claim?
In Nevada, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims is 2 years from the date of the accident. This means you have 2 years to file a lawsuit against the at-fault parties to recover compensation for your damages. If you miss this deadline, you may lose your right to pursue a claim.
How can I prove that the driver who caused the accident was fatigued?
Proving fatigue as the cause of an accident can be challenging. However, there are certain pieces of evidence that can help establish a claim, such as eyewitness testimonies, police reports, driver logs, surveillance footage, and expert opinions.
Are commercial drivers subject to different rules regarding fatigued driving accidents in Nevada?
Yes, commercial drivers, such as truck drivers, are subject to different regulations regarding fatigued driving.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) sets specific hours-of-service regulations that dictate the maximum amount of time a commercial driver can spend on the road before taking mandatory rest breaks. Violation of these regulations can be evidence of negligence in a fatigued driving accident claim.
Why Use Us at Leverty & Associates?
Leverty & Associates has over 30 years of combined experience representing clients in truck accident and personal injury cases. Our attorneys are highly knowledgeable in Nevada trucking laws and regulations. We stay up to date with changes in legislation and case law to build the strongest case possible for our clients.
Track Record of Success
We have a proven track record of success and client satisfaction. We prepare each case thoroughly, leaving no stone unturned. Our firm has the resources and experience to go up against large trucking companies and their insurance providers. We fight aggressively to get you the maximum compensation you deserve.
We offer free initial consultations to evaluate your case and determine the best way to proceed. There are no upfront or hidden fees. We work on a contingency basis, which means we only get paid if we win your case. Our fee is a percentage of the damages award. If we are unable to secure compensation, you owe us nothing. You have nothing to lose by contacting us.
Each case is different, so we develop customized legal strategies based on the unique details of your accident and injuries. We get to know our clients and build close relationships, guiding them through each step of the legal process. Our attorneys are accessible and responsive, answering questions and addressing concerns promptly. We make sure our clients feel supported during what is often an extremely difficult time.
Leverty & Associates has the skill, experience, and dedication to handle your drowsy driving truck accident case. Don’t delay—contact us today for your free consultation. We will evaluate your case at no cost and help you pursue the maximum compensation you rightfully deserve.