Truck Driver Fatigue
Large trucks are one of the primary ways that companies send freight across the United States. Despite their usefulness, however, the massive size of these trucks and their often precarious loads can cause deadly accidents. One of the most common causes of truck crashes is driver fatigue. Truckers often have strict deadlines within which they must deliver or pick up freight, which put them under pressure to make good time on the road. Although the federal government has imposed regulations that require drivers to take breaks and limit the number of hours that they can spend at the wheel, many truckers succumb to the temptation to ignore these safety rules. If you have been hurt due to a truck driver’s fatigue, you may be entitled to compensation. Greenville and Spartanburg truck accident attorney Patrick E. Knie can investigate the details of your case and help you explore your options.Establishing the Liability of a Fatigued Trucker
One of the main elements that you usually must show in a truck accident case is that the driver had a duty to operate his or her vehicle with the same ordinary care and skill that a reasonably prudent driver would use. In truck accident cases, the duty of care is informed in large part by the myriad state and federal regulations that govern commercial drivers and their employers. The objective of these rules is to ensure that drivers are operating their large and potentially dangerous vehicles with appropriate attention to safety. A driver who has been on the road too long lacks the awareness and responsiveness necessary to avoid posing hazards to others.
Also, South Carolina recognizes a legal theory called respondeat superior. According to this doctrine, an employer may be held indirectly liable for any negligent acts by its employees. To recover damages from an employer, the plaintiff must show that the employee was acting within the course and scope of his or her employment at the time of the accident and that the employee was acting for the benefit or profit of the employer. Most truck drivers are part of a larger company that contracts with producers for the transportation of goods. They often have greater resources and more generous insurance policies than an individual driver, which can be useful when it comes to compensating an accident victim.
After showing that the truck driver failed to comply with the appropriate standard of care at the time of the collision, the plaintiff must show that this breach was the direct cause of his or her injuries. In other words, he or she would not have been hurt if the trucker had met the standard of reasonable care. Finally, the plaintiff must provide evidence supporting the damages that he or she is seeking, such as medical expenses, lost wages, loss of future earning capacity, pain and suffering, and property damage.Enlist a Truck Accident Attorney in Greenville or Spartanburg
Spartanburg and Greenville truck accident lawyer Patrick E. Knie has represented accident victims throughout Cherokee, Union, Greenville, and Laurens Counties, as well as other areas of South Carolina. He can guide you in seeking the compensation that you deserve after falling victim to a truck driver’s carelessness. Call motor vehicle collision lawyer Patrick E. Knie at 864-582-5118 or contact us online to set up a free initial consultation.